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Food & Farm Program Director Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

  • Date Posted November 17, 2023
  • Location Richmond, VT
  • Category Agriculture / Nonprofit
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is a 501c3 nonprofit focused on engaging young people in service, work, conservation, and agriculture. Since 1985, VYCC staff have provided valuable work and learning opportunities to youth and young adults from across the country and from nearly every town in Vermont. Our model is strong and simple: take action and build community by working and learning together with the land. Job description

The Director of the Food & Farm Program leads an experienced and passionate team in managing an organic farm where young people engage in agriculture, food security, food preparation, and community building. This compassionate leader will create the conditions for staff members to design responsive and impactful programs where young people and communities care for each other and the land that feeds us.

The new Director will bring experience, networks, and an innovative spirit to the VYCC team to build on the success and impact of the current program and continue its innovation and development. This position requires a passion for working with young people, education and food justice, a strong practical knowledge of farm and food systems, a deep commitment to community food security, and a collaborative and creative mindset.   

Essential Functions 

Organizational Leadership 

  • Facilitate reciprocal relationships with staff across the organization to collectively further the VYCC mission and the goals of the Food & Farm Program.
  • Balance on the ground program support with leading the team through organizational processes and systems.
  • Attend board meetings and other VYCC events, presenting and contributing as needed 
  • Collaborate with the team of Officers and Directors individually and in regular meetings, on defining and achieving organizational priorities.

Program Leadership  

  • In collaboration with staff and partners, identify opportunities for the evolution of the Food & Farm Program in ways that engage and inspire young adults, and lead to a supportive and sustainable program for staff.
  • Mentor the Farm Production Team in implementing sustainable agriculture practices that build soil health, meet production needs, and model best practices while looking to future innovations. 
  • Play a lead role in designing Leader training to ensure they are prepared to support Corps Members in a successful season. 
  • Collaborate with Conservation Program Director and other staff on cross-program intersections, such as participant learning outcomes, shared use of spaces and resources, recruitment goals, and program policies.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Directors to implement risk assessment and safety management in the Food & Farm Program. 
  • Cultivate a culture of innovation on the team. Building from the success and impact of the current program, explore new program ideas and lead the team into continued development and evolution of the program. 
  • Facilitate team members in resolving conflict in healthy ways and play a leadership role in mitigating crew-level challenges as needed. 

Program Administration 

  • Mentor Food & Farm Program Staff in their professional growth and development to ensure they have the support and resources they need to thrive. 
  • Oversee supervision structures and team culture of healthy communication, reciprocal support, and professional growth. 
  • Manage systems where information is shared regularly and clearly, comradery is built, collaboration is fostered, and feedback is normalized. 
  • Support Farm Program and Administrative Staff in welcoming AmeriCorps Members, VYCC crews, and volunteers who contribute to the success of the Food & Farm Program 
  • Lead the season reflection, program planning and budgeting processes that collect. feedback from all team members and achieve programmatic financial and impact goals.
  • Align program design, implementation, and outcomes with AmeriCorps compliance.   
  • Collaborate with VYCC’s engagement department to generate marketing materials. 

Partnerships and Revenue  

  • Identify, secure, manage, and report on a suite of diverse revenue streams; collaborate with Food & Farm Team members to grow program revenue.  
  • Lead the annual program budgeting process and manage the program budget throughout the year. 
  • Steward relationships with current partners, local farmers, businesses, and organizations; pursue new partnerships that align with evolving goals of the Food & Farm Program. 
  • Support staff in communications with partner organizations for the Farm at VYCC, including medical centers and hospitals, the Vermont Foodbank, local food shelves, area schools, NOFA-VT, and others.  
  • Support Farm Production Managers in developing VYCC’s farm stand and other sales.

  Required Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities 

  • Proven commitment to working with young adults to help them learn, grow, and succeed. 
  • Expertise in sustainable agriculture and food systems. 
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: food security, education, youth development, and/or workforce development. 
  • Passion for VYCC’s mission and an ability to communicate this energy to others. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Demonstrated experience managing a high-performing team. 
  • Several years’ leadership experience in education or non-profit organizations. 
  • Strong working knowledge of program planning, organizational structure, budgeting, administrative operations, and fundraising. 
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, with the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies. 
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus, and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders. 
  • Ability to handle multiple, often competing,  
  • Flexible, motivated, responsible and willing to both take direction and work independently. 

Compensation & Benefits: 

  • Starting salary for this position is $75,000, commensurate with experience. Exempt from overtime.
  • Medical and dental insurance; Health Savings Account (HSA) with matching contribution; disability and group life insurance
  • Simple IRA with matching contribution (once eligibility criteria are met)
  • Annual paid time off (PTO), paid sick time
  • One-week paid closure in November for all staff (in addition to PTO)
  • Ongoing professional development
  • Annual gift card to the VYCC farmstand (organic produce and eggs)
Compensation this position is : salaried, 75k-100k Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
If you are not registered, you'll be prompted to do so. Don't worry, it's free! DeadlineDecember 31, 2023

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