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Farm Institute Director at Sierra Harvest - 16623

Job Title: 
Farm Institute Director
Sierra Harvest
313 Railroad Ave Suite 201
95959 Nevada City , CA ,
Job Type: 
Employment Type: 
Job Description: 

Sierra Harvest is a nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives & strengthening community through fresh, local, seasonal food. We train dozens of farmers, organize hundreds of community events, and educate over 9,500 school children. We envision a thriving local food economy and a network of financially viable farms providing good food for the community, where health and wellness is the norm and people of all ages are engaged in growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing fresh food. We are creating a place where farmers thrive and residents of all ages have access to nutritious, whole food.

The Farm Institute Director is responsible for managing farmer support and training programs, advocating for regional agricultural policy, and creating strong community ties in the agricultural community. Primary activities are focused on increasing local, sustainable food production in Nevada County through increasing the number of farmers trained, acres cultivated, certified Organic acres cultivated and financial viability of participating farms. Key responsibilities include development, oversight and evaluation of Sierra Harvest Farm Institute Programs, Farmer Events including the Sustainable Food & Farm Conference, and facilitation of the Nevada County Food Policy Council.

Salary range $58,240 - $62,400 depending on experience, plus 14 days paid time off (PTO), sick days, $50 per paycheck contribution to HSA for eligible employees or a $50 per paycheck wellness stipend, and 10 paid holidays annually. In addition, we offer paid professional development, 401K retirement savings plan with employer match up to 1%, and self-care planning tools and support.

Position is 40 hours per week with 50%+ being in the office, with the option for working remotely for part of the work week. Must be available to work occasional nights and weekend to support program staff.

At Sierra Harvest, our founding was built on equity and we support and celebrate differences. Sierra Harvest is proud to be provide an Equal Opportunity workplace. We are committed to incorporating Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion throughout our work, including improving our efforts to hire, support and engage BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people, and members of other historically marginalized groups.

Duties & Responsibilities: 

The Farm Institute Director will be responsible for all aspects of program design and implementation, including program planning, curriculum updates, building partnerships, marketing strategy & participant recruitment, program evaluation, data collection & analysis, and budget creation & oversight. The FID will also recruit, hire and manage program staff and contractors and assist with fund development efforts for their program.

Specific duties include:
- Management and development of all program staff and contractors including hiring, regular meetings, quarterly and annual staff evaluation, and annual contract renewal.
- Create and manage annual program budgets building opportunities for program revenue and sustainability.
- Work with fundraising staff to secure program funding through grant writing support and speaking with donors about program impact and needs. Manage grant scope-of-work implementation, evaluation, budget and reporting.
- Develop and evaluate curriculum, instructors, and contractors.
- Create and oversee a marketing strategy that increases program participation and event sales. Create content in the form of editorial, website, and social media posts to promote programs and participant success stories.
- Oversee outcomes-based evaluation and data tracking of programs and events through current and past participant surveys, data collection, and participant feedback.
- Understand current and evolving issues in agriculture faced by regional farmers and ranchers and the factors that influence farm and ranch viability. Conduct regular formal and informal stakeholder feedback sessions.
- Communicate and collaborate with other Agricultural support agencies working in Nevada County including UC Cooperative Extension, Farm Bureau, Bear Yuba Land Trust, County Ag Department, Nevada Irrigation District, RCD, and NRCS.
- Oversee the Sierra Harvest Land Match Program by updating program requirements and materials, conducting site visits and intake interviews with farmers, ranchers and landowners, making appropriate land matches, evaluating and providing support for prior Land Match participants, and communicating regularly with CA FarmLink to ensure participants are operating with up-to-date, legal, and equitable lease agreements.
- Serve as the primary Sierra Harvest representative with the Forever Farms partnership. Attend monthly steering committee meetings, oversee the Agricultural Advisory Committee, and participate in campaigns to protect farmland in perpetuity.

Education & Experience: 

Essential Traits:
- Creative thinker and problem solver who enjoys finding solutions to challenges
- Excel at tracking and executing multiple tasks
- Enjoy presenting to groups of people
- Enjoy meeting new people and developing relationships
- Like managing your business using spreadsheets and a budget
- Strong alignment and commitment to Sierra Harvest mission

Preferred Skills and Qualifications:
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills both verbal and written
- At least 10 years’ experience in or working very closely with commercial agriculture
- Demonstrated leadership and vision in managing staff and major projects/ initiatives
- A background in educational programs, including developing and implementing training and/or agriculture incubator programs
- Experience supervising coworkers and contractors. Ability to provide inspiring leadership to staff.
- Experience building relationships with diverse partners and stakeholders, with ability to collaborate on creating and implementing programs.
- Experience with outreach and participant recruitment.
- High computer proficiency, especially with Microsoft Excel.
- Experiencing creating and managing program or project budgets, and preferably grant budgets and grant reporting.
- An understanding of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the food and farming sector, and a commitment to furthering these ideals.

Physical Expectations:
- Able to work on a computer for up to 8 hours a day, including sitting or standing at a desk for extended periods, reading a computer screen, and manually operating a keyboard.
- Able to clearly communicate in a variety of ways (in person, on phone, digital).
- Able to navigate farmland and uneven surfaces for program activities.
- Able to occasionally lift objects weighing up to 30 pounds.

Application Instructions: 

If you do not meet all of the job skills or qualifications and think you would be a good fit for this position, please tell us more about yourself and why. To request a disability accommodation in the application process, please contact our recruiting team at at least 48 hours in advance.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis, and interviews begin mid-October. Expected start date is mid-November. To apply, please send cover letter and resume to

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