Food System Professional Employment Opportunities

NAFSN regularly searches for food systems–related job opportunities from a dozen green job sites as well as COMFOODJOBS email list. Please note that this list is for professional or managerial positions only that pay at least a LIVING WAGE in your locale. Farm apprenticeships and internships are not included. Other farm management positions are welcome.

If you would like us to post a job opportunity, send details with links and contacts to NAFSN Jobs Listing Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Job Detail: Master Gardener Program Coordinator


The Extension Master Gardener (MG) Volunteer program is the local arm of an internationally-recognized volunteer program. The mission of the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is to use research-based horticultural knowledge and practices to deliver educational outreach and project-based efforts that inspire change and promote healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet. Master Gardener volunteers’ work focuses on community engagement through horticulture and supports seven program priorities including horticulture skills, pollinators, plant biodiversity, nearby nature, clean water, climate change, and local food.

In 2019, more than 2,400 Extension Master Gardeners volunteered over 143,000 hours. Alignment with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum provides increased infrastructure and administrative support for the program, enabling Extension Master Gardener leadership and faculty to concentrate on developing, delivering, and managing innovative and effective research-based educational programs. The Arboretum grounds serve as a living laboratory for many of the education programs.

Position Responsibilities: 

Program Management (45%)

  • Increase the level of volunteer community engagement. Develop yearly goals with volunteers and review with state coordinator/program leader.
  • Increase the number of volunteers through recruitment and retention. Develop goals with volunteers and review with state coordinator/program leader.
  • Lead the Master Gardener group in setting annual goals to align with program priorities. Create, record and have on file a work plan to be available upon request.
  • Develop collaborations with community organizations and stakeholders to leverage resources to educate residents about using research-based horticulture to build healthy communities (e.g., Conservation Districts, schools, Habitat for Humanity, etc.).
  • Submit an annual report to the State Leadership Team, including program highlights and success stories (due mid-November) and program outcomes and financial reports (due mid-January).
  • Document and report the program’s public value impacts and accomplishments to stakeholders via presentations, written reports, video, and social media.
  • Manage the program database. Use technology to communicate, locate information, monitor trends, design and deliver programs, evaluate and report.
  • Oversee accountability of volunteers; ensure volunteer work focuses on education and aligns with state program and county needs
  • Ensure availability and accuracy of the local Master Gardener program data; use appropriate evaluation systems to compile data for annual reports and demonstrate program impact.
  • Ensure that programs, facilities, committees, education, and volunteer opportunities are accessible to new, diverse and historically underserved audiences.
  • Ensure financial management systems are in alignment with the University of Minnesota policies and procedures.
    • Budget responsibilities: plan, prepare, forecast, monitor and approve budgets
    • Hold an annual budgetary meeting with lead volunteers to assess previous fiscal year’s expenditures, forecast new income and expenses and allocate appropriate funds for the new fiscal year. 
    • Review U of M accounting financial reports monthly with the Secretary / Treasurer volunteer to monitor and amend expenses as necessary. 
    • Review volunteer check requests and vendors’ statements and process payments monthly.
  • For Ramsey County position: Manage funding streams: University finance management system, endowment, and 501c3/Board of Directors.
  • Utilize media to maintain public relations and provide educational content to the public. This work can include providing content to newspapers, radio, and social media platforms.
  • Work with volunteers to plan marketing efforts, including creative materials to promote events
  • Oversee community outreach efforts and supervise community-engagement staff.

 Volunteer Management (45%)

  • Manage the recruiting, selection and orientation of new volunteers.
    • Follow the process of application, interview and background check as outlined on the state website.
    • Facilitate new and on-going background check processes and monitor volunteer statuses.
    • Provide orientation of new volunteers to local program expectations. Establishing a mentoring system for interns is encouraged.
  • Serve as the first point of contact for the program and access to volunteers.
  • Maintain a regular system of communication with and among volunteers in coordination with the State Program.
    • Provide input and convey information to volunteers promptly
    • Establish a process for communicating with volunteers; ensure the process includes methods for communicating with volunteers who have limited or no electronic communication access.
    • Work with volunteers to update the volunteer directory and handbook on an annual basis.
    • Provide leadership in developing and supporting volunteer leaders and mentors
    • Ensure opportunities to recognize volunteers
  • Ensure compliance with program policies and guidelines.
    • Review and implement policies and guidelines set by the U of M and U of M Extension Master Gardener Program (e.g., Safety of Minors Policy).
    • Approve projects, volunteer and continuing education hours.
    • Ensure volunteers submit hours into the state database by the due dates; ensure there is support in entering hours for individuals with limited computer and/or internet access.
    • Monitor and update volunteer status in the state database.
    • Submit required forms to expedite volunteer transfers and reinstatements.
  • Foster and contribute to a positive work climate with colleagues, advisory groups, volunteers, audiences and partnerships.
    • Ensure opportunities to recognize volunteers; work with the State Leadership Team in determining awards.
    • Support MG-led programs and projects.
    • Conduct conflict mediation and disciplinary actions promptly.
    • Through consistent and clear communication, build and maintain strong relationships with local stakeholders, local Extension committees, county stakeholders, community partners, colleagues, and volunteers.

 State Leadership Team Partnership (10%)

  • Partner with the State Leadership Team in promoting the mission of the program to volunteers.
  • Promote and reinforce the use of educational offerings developed by the University of Minnesota Extension educators among volunteers (e.g., Flowers for Pollinators and Water Wisely train-the-trainer learning package, Hot Topics, etc.).
  • Promote and implement state-wide program goals, objectives and initiatives in a positive way at the county level.
  • Report on county activity and actively participate in regularly-scheduled program meetings with coordinators and the program leader.
  • Provide constructive input to the State Leadership Team for the development of future program strategies and policies.

Position Qualifications

Required Education/Experience: A Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) with at least 4 years of experience (in volunteer engagement, team leadership/management, project management, human resources, or education-focused leadership) or a combination of related higher education and work experience to equal eight (8) years.

Required Skills/Abilities:

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders, colleagues, and partners.
  • Effectively communicate orally and in writing.
  • Communicate with, supervise and empower volunteers/team members to be effective in their roles.
  • Work cooperatively with a diverse group and different personalities.
  • Effectively organize and coordinate teamwork, resources, and projects.
  • Work with Microsoft Office Suite and Google apps.

Also Requires:

  • Ability to work occasional weekends and evenings.
  • Valid driver’s license and own means for traveling throughout the state and legally required vehicle insurance. (Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.)

Preferred Qualifications/Skills:

  • Previous experience as a volunteer coordinator.
  • Knowledge and/or interest in horticulture.
  • Demonstrated familiarity and experience with social media.
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • Understanding of standard accounting practices.
  • For Ramsey County position: Experience working with a 501c3.

How to Apply:

Applications must be submitted online.  To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions.  You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume. Please include the following attachments with your online application:

  • Cover letter – Please indicate position location preference(s)
  • Resume that describes your qualifications based on the job requirements
  • Three professional references with complete phone and email contact information. Can be attached to your cover letter or resume.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).

For questions about this position, contact: 
Diane Greiwe, Volunteer Manager, Master Gardener Program,

For questions about applying online, contact:
Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources,

About the job

Location St. Paul, MN
Field Agriculture
Time Full-time
Date 15 March 2020

About the company

Company name University of Minnesota
Logo logo


Form Company
Employees 0-10


Phone (612) 625-5000


Street 100 Church St.
City Minneapolis
District Minnesota
Zip 55455
Country United States