Full-Time Farm Network Leader & Coordinator
Wolfe’s Neck Center is situated on over 600 acres of preserved coastal landscape in Freeport, Maine, Wolfe’s Neck Center uses its setting to connect people of all ages to the food they eat and where it comes from. Encompassing a demonstration farm, oceanfront campground, wooded trails, and historic buildings, our vibrant campus serves as a unique hub for education and exploration. As a nonprofit, Wolfe’s Neck Center draws upon a rich history of innovation and experimentation to continue the legacy of this place today. Through regenerative farming, innovative soil health research, and visitor interactions, this place-based organization is now used as an educational resource to create a healthier planet for all. We hope to inspire active participation in a healthier food system and build a community of people who care deeply about the future of food.
Launched with major funding from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the OpenTEAM collaborative, or Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management, is a community-driven platform to provide farmers and ranchers around the world with the best possible knowledge to improve soil health. OpenTEAM’s membership, which includes over 45 organizations and more than 200 researchers, developers, and producers, farm service providers, and food companies that are committed to improving soil health and advancing agriculture’s ability to become a solution to climate change. OpenTEAM is coordinated out of and hosted at Wolfe’s Neck Center. OpenTEAM staff will be coordinating a global community of technology development teams and agricultural networks to improve interoperability, create new shared software services and tools to increase farmer feedback and increase the value of environmental feedback to farmers and ranchers, researchers and ecosystem service markets.
Over the last several years, Wolfe’s Neck Center has taken on the role of leading collaborations amongst organizations, farmers and institutions that aim to facilitate information sharing, innovation and improved practices. The Maine Soil Health Network (MSHN) is a project launched through a collaboration between Wolfe’s Neck Center and Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) to provide Maine farmers with information and support to improve soil health on their farms. There are currently 10 farms enrolled in the MSHN who all have MFT land easements ensuring the land will remain in agriculture production. We have a mix of vegetable and livestock farms all across Maine who are participating. THE MSHN is part of a regional soil health study managed by Pasa, a pennsylvania based sustainable agriculture association, which involves tracking management practices and soil test results, access resources in Maine and beyond for technical assistance, and join group calls to share ideas and experiences, as well as focused discussion on topics of interest to the group. Additional collaborations that WNC leads and/or takes part in are the New England Grazing Network and the Maine Grass Farmers Network.
ABOUT THE ROLE
Wolfe’s Neck Center is seeking a Farm Network Leader and Coordinator to support the continued growth and effectiveness of the farmer networks WNC supports, to serve as WNC’s on-site ecosystem monitoring lead and provide leadership and mentorship for WNC research and OpenTEAM fellows and interns. This new position is full-time, year-round and reports to the Senior Director of Programs at Wolfe’s Neck Center.
Hub Tech Liaison Leadership for OpenTEAM at WNC:
- Participate in Hub Working Group meetings alongside representatives from 15-20 other hubs, consisting mainly of research and non-profit farms
- Work closely with the WNC farming, research, and education staff to implement and maintain ecosystem monitoring practices and further integrate the suite of technology tools into the WNC farming operations
- Represent WNC in OpenTEAM working group meetings to relay information and feedback from our farmers, educators and researchers
Intern & fellow coordination:
- Recruit, train and support interns and fellows into WNC’s research and monitoring work
- Work with the Director of Research and Director of Programs to develop and maintain partnerships with higher education institutions.
- Focus on finding a diversity of candidates
Maine Soil Health Network Leadership & Coordination
- Work closely with Maine Farmland Trust to lead the Maine Soil Health Network Initiative
- Perform site visits to farms in the network to provide technical assistance on monitoring and data collection tools.
- Co-lead virtual and in-person events and workshops for farms in the network.
Coordination of participation in regional Farmer initiatives
- Provide coordination and communication for the New England Grazing Network (NEGN), a grant funded initiative linking organizations in five New England States and their related work.
- Organize monthly meetings/retreats for all NEGN partners.
- Gather annual progress reports from the NEGN partners to provide to the funder.
- Support the WNC Dairy manager through participation in the Northeast Grazing Group and Maine Grass Farmers Network.
Skills and Qualifications
- B.S. required, M.S. desired
- Desire and ability to mentor young professionals entering into agriculture and food systems work
- Experience in coordinating networks, preferably in a sector related to agriculture and/or food systems
- Working knowledge of representative farm operations- could be achieved through a combination of on-farm experience, farm-based research or other related training
- Aptitude with technology, preferable in a ag setting
- Ability to work collaboratively as a member of a high functioning team and develop effective working relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds
- Strong interpersonal skills and public communication abilities, including excellent customer service and management ability with a diverse workforce, as well as writing and public speaking skills
- Strong organizational abilities, time management skills and ability to effectively plan ahead across the program season, and to prioritize and manage multiple projects.
- Energetic, dynamic and engaging personality
- Ability to deal with high levels of autonomy, and ability to be flexible to the changing needs of a vibrant and growing, but small, entrepreneurial organization, and to work well under pressure
- Must be able to work a variable work schedule, which includes occasional work on weekends
How to Apply
- Please email a cover letter and resume to email@example.com with Farm Network Leader & Coordinator as the subject line. In the interest of reducing waste, please do not mail a hard copy of your materials. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply ASAP. This position will be posted until it is filled but application materials received by January 7, 2022 will be given preference. No Phone calls please. Position posted 12/6/2021.
- Wolfe’s Neck Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace.
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