Job Opportunities

MEDIA RELEASE

August 18, 2020

Contact(s): Sue Beckwith, Texas Center for Local Food, sueb@TexasLocalFood.org 512-496-1244

Courtney Long, program manager, ISU Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program, court7@iastate.edu, 515-460-3227

ELGIN, TEXAS – A growing number of practitioners across the US are working to create and enhance thriving, equitable local and regional food systems. These food system practitioners have identified a need for professional development opportunities to build their skills and capacities and are pleased to release their report today.

In August 2019, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) formed a cooperative agreement with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program to work with national partners to develop a set of core competencies that food system practitioners deemed essential to their success.

Under the leadership of program director Craig Chase and program manager Courtney Long, a diverse group of more than 30 partners including the Texas Center for Local Food, identified nine core competency categories for food system practitioners. Categories range from community capacity and equity to policy and business development.  

The group then agreed upon a set of sample learning objectives related to each competency. Finally, based on a national survey, the team developed a matrix of existing curricula from providers across the US that can meet one or more of the learning objectives. 

“Relating to agricultural marketing, extension educators identified a need for curricula that address emerging markets and consumer trends,” said Courtney Long. “Building skills in those areas will help food businesses and farmer clients improve profitability.”

“As a result of the burgeoning consumer interest in local food, we are seeing expanding career opportunities across the food system from increasing food access to enhancing economic development to catalyzing food business opportunities to reducing food waste,” said Sue Beckwith, Executive Director of the Texas Center for Local Food. “By identifying the requisite core competencies and essential skills, we have created the foundation for focused professional development that will increase our effectiveness and quality of work individually and collectively.”

The next step recommended by the project team is to create an online public access portal listing existing curricula based on the identified competencies. The portal also would offer information to assist food systems practitioners in understanding the logistics of accessing the curricula (location, costs, registration, etc.)

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The Texas Center for Local Food provides education, research, and technical assistance to create regional food systems in Texas that support prosperous family farms, healthy Texans and vibrant rural economies.  The Texas Center for Local Food is financially supported by members.  We invite you to join us today to support this important work.  TexasLocalFood.org

Related links:

Group photo of about 30 adults who worked together on the core curriculum project.
The Food Systems Core Competencies Project partners met in October 2019 in Chicago to begin developing a list of food system training requirements and available curricula.
Photo Credit: ISU Extension and Outreach

This article in the Austin Chronicle (March 8, 2019) highlights the latest players in the burgeoning Austin consumer packaged goods (CPG) world. We want the best of these companies to locate in Elgin where we have land, farms and a strong labor force. At the Texas Center for Local Food, we’re raising funds now to build the Elgin Local Food Center to provide jobs and opportunities for our region’s talented food entrepreneurs.

And yea, we want to help them buy from our Texas family farms! So hey you up and coming CPG companies, drop us a line.

This article on Medium includes some good tips on planning and holding a successful public community meeting on food security.

1 – Do we really need another meeting?

2 – Curate!

3 – Comfort zone

4 – Fun.. intentionally

5 – Inspire

6 – Make space for networking and informal learning

The Texas Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services is looking for Soil Conservationists in 27 cities across Texas.

Vacancy announcement NRCS-18-0570-DE-CF, Soil Conservationist, GS-0457-05/07/09, opened September 14, 2018.  The scheduled closing date of this announcement is September 21, 2018.  Full details of the positions can be found at:  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/510944300.

Open Positions are available in the following Texas cities:

US/TX – Boerne
US/TX – Bonham
US/TX – Brady
US/TX – Coleman
US/TX – Cooper
US/TX – Corsicana
US/TX – Denton
US/TX – Farwell
US/TX – Fort Stockton
US/TX – Franklin
US/TX – Fredericksburg
US/TX – Georgetown
US/TX – Hondo
US/TX – Iowa Park
US/TX – Knox City
US/TX – Lampasas
US/TX – McKinney
US/TX – Nacogdoches
US/TX – Paris
US/TX – Seminole
US/TX – Sherman
US/TX – Stephenville
US/TX – Sulphur Springs
US/TX – Tulia
US/TX – Waco
US/TX – Weatherford
US/TX – Wellington

 

 

Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA) is a statewide non-profit organization supporting farmers, ranchers, and gardeners who produce organic and sustainable food and fiber in Texas. With a focus on education and community, TOFGA promotes the many benefits of organic agriculture and encourages its use throughout Texas.

Position Summary: The role of the Operations & Membership Manager is to oversee administrative tasks, manage and grow the membership program, and assist with planning and execution of special events, particularly the annual conference. There is significant opportunity for growth in this position as the organization plans for expansion and excellence.

Reports to: TOFGA Board of Directors, with regular support from Board President and other officers/members as needed.

Classification: Non-exempt, part-time

Pay: Starting at $15/hour

Hours: 20-30 hours/week

Position Responsibilities:

ADMINISTRATIVE

  • Develop and maintain Operations Handbook
  • Participate in strategic planning, workplan development, and monitoring
  • Assist bookkeeper with bank deposits and accounts payable
  • Maintain all insurance, corporate filings, contacts, and admin files
  • Co-manage grant contracts and reimbursement requests in tandem with grants manager, grants committee, and bookkeeper

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Respond to inquiries by phone and email; process mail
  • Monitor social media and maintain an active TOFGA presence through multiple outlets
  • Coordinate outreach volunteers
  • With assistance of the Board Secretary, publish the monthly e-newsletter
  • Support consistency of messaging in all communications

MEMBERSHIP & DEVELOPMENT

  • Manage membership program, management software, and recruitment plan
  • Send out welcome letters, perks, and acknowledgements of donations
  • Manage merchandise inventory (t-shirts, hats, etc.)
  • Incorporate new avenues for member recruitment and donor solicitation
  • Recommend and implement improvements to systems

CONFERENCE & SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Assist in developing process and conference planning manual
  • Manage pre-conference and on-site registrations
  • Ensure that payment procedures run smoothly and as directed by bookkeeper
  • Handle administrative tasks and issues
  • Assist board and bookkeeper with timely post-conference wrap-up and thank you’s
  • Assist with other special events as needed, may require some travel

OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES AS DIRECTED BY THE BOARD

Position Requirements:

  • Strong background and work experience in relationship building, team work, and volunteer management
  • Excellent computer proficiency, familiarity with Wild Apricot a plus
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; strong attention to detail
  • Demonstrated experience in customer service and relationship management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative management style; ability to look at situations from several points of view
  • Demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards
  • Must be able to work independently and achieve goals according to a timeline with minimal supervision
  • Three years of work experience required, non-profit management experience a plus
  • Ability to manage and coordinate multiple projects in a fast-paced environment

Application Process:

Send letter of interest, resume, and 3 references to president@tofga.org. No phone calls.

Application deadline:

Submit application materials by September 15, 2018

TOFGA is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status.

Farmers Market in Texas

Director of Operations

Organization: F2M Texas
Posted by TFM Operations – Aug 09, 2018
Posted in Nonprofit Job
Address: PO BOX 14984, Austin, TX, 78761
Start Date: Sep 01, 2018
Application Due Date: Sep 01, 2018

Position Details:Position Title: Director of Operations

Classification: Full-time, salaried

Reports to: Executive Director

Position Summary:

The Director of Operations oversees and completes a wide variety of operational, administrative, and managerial functions for Texas Farmers’ Markets, conducting three markets in Austin, Texas. The Director of Operations refines systems to enhance the efficiency of the market, maintains vendor relations, performs administrative tasks, directly supervises the Operations Team, volunteers, and other contracted laborers, and implements Food Access programs. There may be need for hours beyond the regular workday, or outside the target scope of 40 hours per week.

Major Responsibilities:

Operations and Administration                                   

  • Acts as point of contact for vendor, customer service, and all other immediate issues at each market. Maximizes procedures for set-up through break-down of market to ensure ease of operation. Creates a safe, clean, enjoyable market experience for all vendors and shoppers. Updates emergency call lists and safety precautions
  • Conducts vendor relations. Creates market layouts (placement of vendors, events, etc.) to maximize market experience and vendor success. Communicates with and is accessible to vendors throughout the week, and sends recurrent correspondence to vendors with important notifications. Provides at market counseling on logistical and customer service issues. Responds to attendance/payment/general rule violations by vendors. Retrains and updates vendors at annual meetings. Assists vendors in health code permitting and compliance
  • Develops and maintains an Operations budget. Improves spending by reviewing sourcing and tracking expenditures. Responsible for Operations purchasing and budget attribution. In charge of storage and completes regular inventory of all market supplies in trailers and offsite units. Monitors and repairs equipment including scheduled maintenance
  • Reconciles financial records and deposits weekly revenue from markets. Generates and distributes vendor invoices, including annual membership fees, contracts and agreements. Promotes market merchandise sales
  • Maintains Austin Public Health permitting for Sample the Market booth, including renewal annually
  • Obtains accurate and current required certificates and licenses of vendors, e.g. organic certification, health permits, food handlers, liability insurance, etc.
  • Supports the Director of Marketing and Agriculture by managing logistics for special events. Directs special events such as visiting nonprofits, chefs and community groups on the ground. Creates original educational curriculum for Market Sprouts programming
  • Makes record of observations from markets. Improves systems that track metrics, provides data for evaluation and reports including customer and vendor satisfaction and crowd counts. Inputs data to support grant funding
  • Attends and leads regular meetings. Contributes to weekly conference calls and annual board and planning meetings
  • Provides Human Resources functions for the organization. Maintains awareness of applicable laws and revises and renews insurance policies on a yearly basis
  • Collaborates with Director of Marketing and Agriculture on creating signage and attractions to draw shoppers (including content that warrants social media distribution)
  • Aids in vendor recruitment and attends farm and ranch verification visits as needed
  • Assists with and provides staffing for the Austin Fermentation Festival
  • Perpetuates positive relationships with site partners and abides by city codes according to location
  • Represents Texas Farmers’ Markets and delivers original presentations at conferences and other related functions
  • Strives for growth through professional development and networking

Staffing and Management

  • Directly supervises the Operations Team (day-of market contractors) and other contracted laborers. Oversees paid staff including Market Coordinators, Crew, and Information Booth Assistants (Sampler, Community Composter, and Food Access Associate). Develops and implements an effective staffing structure that contributes to employee satisfaction and retention. Employs staff for additional labor as needed
  • Recruits and hires a diverse Operations Team. Conducts thorough interviews and checks references. Onboards new hires and collects appropriate tax information and paperwork. Orients new staff, arranges thorough training, and provides supplementary training materials where applicable. Creates a monthly schedule, accommodates time-off requests and responds to the ebb and flow of market staffing needs. Approves timesheets and distributes checks
  • Manages the Operations and Marketing Assistant. Collaborates with Director of Marketing and Agriculture to designate their regular responsibilities and provide feedback. Identifies opportunities for Operations and Marketing Assistant to relieve other members of the TFM team of miscellaneous administrative duties. Helps pilot the new role, analyzes the position, and makes adjustments as needed
  • Provides direct and immediate feedback to both vendors and staff. Thoughtfully approaches vendor and staffing related issues, tracks conversations to identify patterns and take further action when needed. Retrains, holds review sessions, and meetings as necessary to keep all individuals well informed and high performing
  • Recruits and engages volunteers. Schedules, greets, and conducts onsite training. Supports participants and works towards long-term and repeat volunteers
  • Tracks staff Food Handler’s certifications and prompts renewals when necessary. Secures Food Manager’s License for markets personally, and reregisters with city according to expiration dates

Food Access

  • Responsible for implementation of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Double Dollars, and FMNP (Famers’ Market Nutrition Program) at all markets with the assistance of the Sustainable Food Center. Directly supervises Food Access Associates, oversees the Food Access tent, collects and inputs data to support program funding, and streamlines corresponding processes
  • Hires Food Access Associate for the market. Finds qualified candidates with support of the Sustainable Food Center and confirms prospective candidate’s proficiency in Spanish. Administers onsite training, delivers feedback, and creates schedules for the FAA. Updates FAA with changes to programs, tools to enhance the user experience and yield results towards program goals
  • Acts as ambassador for Texas Farmers’ Market’s participation in Food Access programs when liaising with SFC on related matters. Documents and reports as requested by each sponsor or grant. Attends meetings at the Sustainable Food Center as required, and facilitates extracurricular projects such as annual surveying
  • Monitors program equipment, including electronics and scrip (vouchers). Accountable for cellular and data plans associated with Food Access

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:  

  • Excellent verbal, written, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Attentive to details and displays a strong aptitude for organization
  • Strong customer service skills- displays enthusiastic, outgoing, and helpful behavior
  • Team oriented as well as self-motivated
  • Good analytical skills- able to creatively problem-solve
  • Ability to initiate tasks and coordinate projects through completion with minimal management
  • Aptitude for prioritizing tasks and showcasing flexibility in the event of a change
  • Model ethical and professional integrity
  • Comfortable working with numbers, bookkeeping and POS technologies
  • Strong skills in MS Office and web-based applications
  • Willingness to learn and expand job skills
  • Flexible time schedule to accommodate variable hours and market activities a must
  • Competency in Spanish desired but not mandatory

Education/Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher preferred
  • 3+ years work experience in relevant work, preferably Farmers’ Markets or nonprofits
  • Minimum five years experience in people management

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to work in field and at the markets that operate rain or shine
  • Should be able to lift ~50 lbs. and stand, walk, or sit for prolonged periods of time
To Apply: Send cover letter and resume to manager@texasfarmersmarket.org with subject: Director of Operations Application- YOUR NAME

Farmshare is hiring! To apply, submit your resume and cover letter along with two references to info@farmshareaustin.org.

Click position title for a detailed description. Please include which position you are applying for in the subject line.

Mobile Market Manager

Expected start date: Monday, September 10

Application closes Thursday August 9

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Mobile Market Coordinators

(3 positions available)

Expected start date: Monday, September 24

Application closes Thursday August 30

ATX Jerky is looking to fill positions at their Elgin store location and for working at farmers’ markets.  Detailed descriptions of both jobs are below.  Contact Greg at (512) 796-1210 for more information.

Market Workers:

Most Markets are on Saturday Mornings requiring the vendors to be set-up by 8:30am.  The markets are generally open until 1pm.  Set-up requires setting up folding 6′ tables, erecting a 10’x10′ folding tent, and carrying product (Jerky, Honey, Pickles etc…) in plastic tubs (up to 40lbs) and setting product onto tables for presentation.  Cash boxes and credit card processing are provided by ATX Jerky; the market worker will need to have mobile phone access and internet service.  We will provide the downloadable app needed as well as all supplies.  This is a paid position.  Payment is $40 per market plus 10% of sales.  The general market averages from $75 – $125 for the market worker.  Festival events are available offering more opportunity for sales and income.  The market worker would be required to have reliable transportation, be able to pick up equipment and supplies from our warehouse pickup located in North Austin (Mopac & Wells Branch Pkwy) and have sufficient room for 3 tables, tent, tent weights, 2-4 plastic bins, roll-up banners.  Liability Insurance and Valid Drivers License are required.  After the market conclusion, drop off all product and equipment at same location.  The position requires and outgoing personality to work farmer’s markets throughout the Austin Metro area.  Offering samples and product knowledge are key and training and support is provided by ATX Jerky.  This position is also available for Sundays (10am-2pm), Wednesdays (4pm – 7pm), Fridays (2pm-6pm) as well as the Saturdays.  Market worker can work 1 or more markets per week.  Very flexible scheduling.

Store/Kitchen Workers:

Requires Food Handler License (we can assist to obtain).  Position would require general restaurant type duties, health department requirements are a must.  This includes wearing hats or hair nets, using disposable gloves when handling food, and proper temp control for sanitizing equipment.  We manufacture Jerky and also many products made with our honey.  This allows a wide array of duties throughout each shift. The duties would include (but are not limited to) preparing the beef with spices for the cooking process.; operating the dehydrating units; food prep; and packaging of the final product.  We also deal with large volumes of cucumbers and other vegetables which we pickle and package for resale.  Knife skills are a plus with this step.  Applicants for this position are offered employment according to level of knowledge and experience in working in the food industry, stamina to stand for hours at a time, and cleanliness.  Salary to be determined.

Seeking Full or Part Time Farm Assistants; Individuals or couple, join our growing Certified Organic vegetable and herb farm, a data driven operation, experience preferred but not required, diverse duties; Planting, Harvesting, Sorting & Packing, Weed control, Irrigation,  open field and greenhouses maintenance, may require deliveries to San Antonio and Austin, Dorm available, reference required. Smoke and Drug free environment.

Contact Pedro Shambon Myfathersfarm@gmail.com or 830.822.0200.