Grow Food Northampton

2017 Land Stewardship Coordinator

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Posted On: Wednesday, 31st May 2017
Category: Administrative
Location: Florence, MA
221 Pine St., Suite 349 Florence, MA 01062
Job Type:
Full Time

Job Description:

About TerraCorps

TerraCorps, formerly MassLIFT-AmeriCorps, is an innovative national service program helping communities conserve and secure land for the health and well-being of people and nature. Using the AmeriCorps national service model, TerraCorps prepares and mobilizes emerging leaders to help strengthen community-based nonprofits working to meet these goals.

This year’s TerraCorps program will support thirty-six full-time AmeriCorps members, serving in one of four positions: Land Stewardship Coordinator (LSC), Regional Conservation Coordinator (RCC), Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC), and Youth Education Coordinator (YEC).

Members will serve in full-time, eleven-month positions (August 28th, 2017- July 27, 2018) in which they complete at least 1,700 hours of service with one of our partner organizations. Members receive a living allowance, education award, and additional AmeriCorps benefits (see full list at end of announcement).

 

About Grow Food Northhampton

Grow Food Northampton’s mission is to promote food security by advancing sustainable agriculture in the Northampton, Massachusetts area. Founded in 2010 in response to development threat to the largest buildable prime farmland parcels in Northampton, Grow Food Northampton moved from a small group of advocates to a vibrant, community-driven non-profit organization.

We now own the largest community farm in Massachusetts, which is largely leased out to private farmers, helping to address land access and tenure challenges. We also manage a 270-plot community garden and a Giving Garden project where volunteers grow many thousands of pounds of vegetables for donation to soup kitchens and food pantries. We operate educational programs on the farm and in classrooms, fund and manage several food access programs that ensure that everyone in our community can afford to eat local produce, and manage a vibrant local farmers’ market. All of our programs celebrate local food as a way to build a stronger, more sustainable, and more inclusive community.

 

Job Overview

Grow Food Northampton will host a Land Stewardship Coordinator for the 2017-18 service year. Information about all TerraCorps positions is available at terracorps.org. 

Land Stewardship Coordinators (LSC) build the long-term capacity of their host sites by creating networks of volunteers to support hands-on stewardship of community lands. They organize, train, and collaborate with municipal boards, neighborhood and civic associations, community members, youth groups, and schools to care for, improve access to, and support the long-term resiliency and sustainable use of community lands.

LSCs may assist their host site by: surveying and monitoring conservation land, building and maintaining recreational trails, monitoring and maintaining urban farmland, restoring wildlife habitat, mitigating erosion, and improving public access to open spaces. By providing training and organizing collaborative land-focused projects, they increase resources for community projects, demonstrate environmentally responsible land management, help individuals build skills, and nurture an inclusive sense of public ownership in the local landscape. LSCs spend roughly 60% of their time in the office and 40% in the field.

TerraCorps members engage with their supervisors to develop and carry out three or more capacity building projects over the course of the service year. Some of these projects will involve recruiting, training, and/or managing community volunteers.

 

Potential Projects/ Responsibilities

1) Plan and manage, with some supervision and hundreds of hours of volunteer and intern support, a 1⁄2-acre organic Giving Garden, growing produce for donation to soup kitchens and food pantries. Duties include cover crop and vegetable crop management and rotations to support soil and plant health and sustainable yields, equipment maintenance, training and supervision of volunteers and interns, coordination with Youth Education

Coordinator on bed preparation and other tasks to integrate youth field trip activities, and improvement of a farm plan for the Giving Garden for future years. This project meets a need that low-income populations have for fresh, healthy, and local food, as well as a need for our organization to ensure that its protected farmland serves the entire community.

Goals include donating 10,000 pounds of high quality produce, engaging 50 or more volunteers, and building relationships with 5 or more partner meal sites and food pantries.

2) Help to plan for and coordinate farm leases, balancing needs of private farmers with Grow Food Northampton’s desire to encourage sustainable land management and a vibrant local agricultural economy.

3) Help to plan for and directly manage protected farmland that is ancillary to or not currently in agricultural use, potentially including invasive species and field edge management, trail building, and perennial agricultural systems in riparian buffers.

Development of these and other projects will occur during the first two months of service and consider the member’s interests and skills.

 

Essential Qualifications

  • Knowledge and direct experience of small-scale vegetable-centered agriculture
  • Experience with (or demonstrated ability to learn) operation and maintenance of two-wheeled tractor and other small machinery
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience with natural systems and identifying plant and wildlife species
  • Comfortable serving independently in both an office and field setting
  • Physical and mental ability to serve independently in both an office and field setting under sometimes demanding conditions, including lifting 50 pounds regularly and performing repetitive field tasks
  • Familiarity with and ability to quickly learn a variety of computer systems

 

Desired Qualifications

  • Degree in sustainable agriculture, agronomy, soil science, or related field.
  • Experience training and managing volunteers
  • Proven ability to work well with young people ages 5 to 18
  • Familiarity with seed starting and seedling care, vegetable disease management, crop rotation principles and practices, harvest criteria and techniques, post-harvest handling, and related topics
  • Familiarity with local farmers and the farming community, challenges faced by beginning farmers
  • Familiarity with agricultural lease terms and conditions
  • Familiarity with whole farm planning, regenerative agriculture, productive conservation, and/or related approaches to sustainable farm management

 

To Apply

go to: terracorps.org/become-a-member/ (do not apply directly to Grow Food Northampton)

For questions about Grow Food Northampton’s service positions, contact Clem Clay at clem@growfoodnorthampton.com.

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