AmeriCorps Position: Community Food Specialist

Position has been filled. Thank you for your interest!

We have a half-time position available for 2013-2014. The goal is access to healthy food, working as a Community Food Specialist. The start date is Sep. 3, 2013 and the end date is Aug. 31, 2014. Compensation is $10-$15 per hour depending on educational attainment level. You would report to Kathie Starkweather, Director, Rural Opportunities. 

Principal Activities and Outcomes

  1. Help members of the Santee Sioux and Omaha Tribes of Nebraska grow fresh food in a sustainable manner
  2. Assist with Farmers Market with Santee Sioux Tribe and Omaha Tribe
  3. Recruit volunteers to help with the program
  4. Assist with Community Garden Development with Santee Sioux and Omaha Tribes
  5. Work with gardeners, growers, advisory committees and community members
  6. Participate in joint projects with other AmeriCorps members

This position requires working cooperatively with the other AmeriCorps members, farmers, rural community members, rural community leaders, and with Center for Rural Affairs staff.  

Preferred Skills and Experience

  1. Self-starter and passionate about the work
  2. Respect for all cultures
  3. People skills
  4. Community organizing
  5. Some knowledge or experience working in rural communities

Additional Information:

1. What is the real-world need the right person will solve? 

Most of the work will be with the Omaha and Santee Tribes in Northeast Nebraska. These are food deserts, with little access or money for fresh foods. Obesity and diabetes are epidemic. You will help community members learn to grow their own fresh, healthy food to save money and improve their diets and health. You will schedule educational sessions, handle logistics for project activities, and arrange media for publicity and announcements. You will also help as time allows and your interest extends with Latino farmer training, minority community leadership development, women farmer internships, farm-to-school connections, and other new projects that start while you’re here or that you may design or find funding for.

2. How will we quantitatively measure success so we can recognize a top performer? 

Time after time, our top performers are those who are embraced by the communities we help: participants ask for these employees, expect them to continue indefinitely, and invite them to community and family activities. We will measure how gardeners apply what they learn, how many families benefit from growing good food, and how many people show they trust us by returning to the activities we sponsor.

3. What are the common attributes of our top performers - hard skills, soft skills, what they do in their free time? 

Our top performers can write so well that we are in awe of their insight, humor, and grasp of complexity. Our top staff can converse across cultural lines and be welcomed despite any differences. Our best are voracious learners and exceptional listeners - who amaze us with their experiences, observations, and willingness to share.

4. Why would the right person want this job?

The Center for Rural Affairs has a national reputation as one of the top organizations in the country who work to make rural communities more vibrant. You will be hired to work half-time and we'll do our best to hold you to it because we don't want to abuse your time and good will. We believe in independence and job responsibility, and your ideas will be heard and oftentimes implemented here. And you will make a difference.