The Farm to Market Tech Hub is a new project at CAFF, providing free resources and consulting for California family farms–as well as related local food businesses like farmers markets and food hubs–to help them pivot to tech-based sales and marketing tools and strategies better suited to the current COVID-19 crisis and to longer-term consumer purchasing trends. Many farmers, in particular historically disadvantaged farmers, have struggled to adopt web based technologies either because of language, cultural, or technological barriers. This position will help farmers overcome these tech challenges and guide farmers in how to incorporate web based technologies to bolster their business and contribute to long term financial success.
The Tech Hub Specialist, with guidance from other CAFF staff, will be charged with developing and launching this valuable new program, while becoming an expert in small farm ecommerce and online marketing, while promoting more accessible and scale-appropriate technology within the agricultural industry. The Tech Hub Specialist will also explore and promote cooperative solutions to make purchasing local food more convenient, accessible and competitive. Resources developed as part of this program will be shared on CAFF’s website, social media, by webinar and through our many statewide partners, assuring that these tools are accessible to and designed for farmers of all types and from all backgrounds. The Tech Hub Specialist, in addition to at least two contractors, will also provide direct one-on-one consulting to farmers and local food business owners.
A strong grounding in technology for small farmers, a commitment to using technology to advance equity, project management skills, the ability to be part of a dynamic team are all important qualities for succeeding in this unique role.
Major Duties & Responsibilities:
30% Tech Hub Project Management and Implementation
-Develop, host and promote regular “office hours” each month during which farms can sign up for 1-on-1 remote consulting for their ecommerce or online marketing needs
-Host at least 4 educational webinars each year covering different aspect of small farm ecommerce and online marketing
-Develop and maintain dynamic “Farm to Market Tech” page on CAFF’s website with a variety of relevant resources
-Create blogs, reviews, flowcharts, videos and other online tools to help farmers understand and navigate their options
-Design and help set up basic farm website templates for use by less tech-savvy farmers in need of market exposure, in particular older farmers and those from disadvantaged communities
-Assist the Farm to Market team with the development of an Bid Generator App to streamline local food purchasing for institutional buyers
-Assist with, grow, diversify and promote CAFF’s California Farm Directory
20% Supervise and Support Farm Tech Consultants
-Hire and supervise at least 2 part-time contractors with relevant skills to assist with 1-on-1 consulting. Host team meetings monthly to share resources and stay up to the date on the latest tools, trends, etc.
10% Events and Conferences
-With help from other CAFF staff, plan and produce two annual “Small Farm Tech Expos” (virtual or in-person, pandemic depending), an educational and networking event showcasing tools and technology designed specifically for smaller-scale operations, including not just those for sales and marketing but also production, e.g. tractors, irrigation, etc. (see CAFF’s 2018 Farm Tech Expo for inspiration and event template)
-Produce the “Innovation Challenge”, a contest that encourages innovators, entrepreneurs and farmers to develop new technologies to benefit small farms, concluding at the Expo
15% Ongoing Program Development
-Ongoing research into the latest tech-based solutions for small farms, with the goal of becoming an authority on the topic and vetting options to meet small farmers needs
-Collaborate with partners and those in the industry to stay up-to-date and connected: working groups, events, etc. (e.g. Fresno-Merced Future of Food initiative, National CSA Network)
Build bridges between the small farm community and those of tech innovators, Silicon Valley startups, engineers and others to help them better understand the unique needs of small farms and to encourage appropriate-scale innovation
-Occasionally assist other CAFF programs with relevant tech and online marketing support, helping make materials more tech-savvy, accessible and integrated with the Tech Hub
-Participate in weekly all-staff meetings and annual all-staff gatherings
-Support fundraising efforts as needed
-Represent CAFF by participating in community activities and events as needed
-Other duties and special projects as assigned
Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Communications, Sales, Applied Technology, Food Systems or equivalent preferred
-At least 2 years of professional experience in small business marketing and sales, preferably in local food and/or with small farms specifically
-Professional experience managing dynamic projects
-Experience working directly with farmers
-Experience working with nonprofits strongly preferred
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
-Passion for sustainable agriculture, local food and family farms and a general understanding of related issues.
-Familiarity with–if not expertise in the following technologies:
Other website builders
Google Suite: docs, sheets, forms, etc.
Social media: facebook, instagram, twitter, etc.
-Other sales, marketing & business software: Salesforce, Square, CRM, analytics, email marketing tools, Slack, CSA management tools, record-keeping, crop planning, etc.
-Strong written and oral communication skills
-Basic event planning skills
-Ability to think strategically to develop and implement program goals and objectives
-Strong relationship builder, outgoing and eager to make connections and grow the program
-Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, as well as collaborate with others in a team setting
-Ability to work on a variety of projects simultaneously with occasional weekend and evening commitments
-Access to transportation to enable occasional travel. Must be able to provide valid driver’s license and valid auto insurance.
-Connections in the tech world and Silicon Valley a plus
-Spanish language skills a plus
-Ability to sit for long periods of time working at a computer.
-Requires a full range of physical mobility, such as bending, stooping, lifting, turning, carrying objects, and grasping.
CAFF’s policy is that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. We strongly encourage those from diverse backgrounds and from historically underserved communities to apply
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three references with the subject line “Farm To Market Tech Hub Specialist” to email@example.com by November 6, 2020. We are reviewing applications immediately with a target start date of early December.