Please note, this position requires a significant amount of travel.
The Contract Farmer Organizer will work closely with the Contract Agriculture Reform Program Director. The Contract Farmer Organizer will conduct farmer outreach, build and maintain relationships with our farmer network, and collect research data along with contract farmers in livestock and other agricultural sectors. The Contract Farmer Organizer will also be responsible for intake and management of new contract farmer assistance cases, and will work closely with the Lead Farmer Advocate to ensure that contract farmers receive the support they need. The Contract Farmer Organizer will frequently travel to visit farmers in our network in states across the southeast including AR, MS, VA, WV, GA, and NC. (Average trips may range from 3 days to 1 week at a time.) Successful candidate must be comfortable with travel and willing to travel with short notice if necessary to visit farmers in rural areas.
The Contract Farmer Organizer will also manage confidential information and data, and must be highly organized with keen attention to detail. This is a full-time, salaried position with benefits including healthcare and paid vacation. The Contract Farmer Organizer will contribute to the research and current campaign of the Contract Agriculture Reform Program. In this program RAFI advocates for fairness and sustainability in contract agriculture production, and works directly with farmers in financial crisis. RAFI works with contract livestock producers across the southeast to understand the good and bad experiences of contract farming. Drawing directly from farmers’ experience , and especially with poultry production contracts, RAFI publishes materials that provide information for farmers, and analysis of the long-term social, legal, and economic impacts of the contract agriculture system. In collaboration with other national farm and community organizations, RAFI also works for reforms to protect the family farmer who turns to contract production.
Core Functions and Duties:
- Maintain and grow relationships with contract farmers and stakeholders in farming communities
- Strategize, connect, and support farmers in community organizing to build a collaborative and unified base for change in livestock production that is inclusive of workers, farmers, communities and other stakeholders
- Maintain and increase active core contract farmer advisory group
- Conduct farmer outreach to steadily increase participation in broader farmer network in target regions
- Engage a broader network of advisers to farmers including legal support, extension, banking, federal and state agencies, alternative agricultural industries and others
- Serve as point person for contract farmer contact, direct farmers to resources as needed
- Manage and keep track of contract farmer support cases along with Lead Farmer Advocate
- Assist Lead Farmer Advocate in servicing farmer support cases, gathering necessary information, prompt communication with farmers
- Manage database and record keeping related to farmer support cases
- Assist Program Director in organizing and implementing workshops, fly-ins, farmer meetings and other events involving members of farmer network
- Assist in development of 2017 research agenda for Contract Ag Reform program
- Conduct data collection and manage participatory research goals along with farmers in network
- Develop plans and procedures for disseminating publications and information to farmers
- Assist in development of and circulation to farmers of publications, blog posts, website updates, action alerts and other materials
- Assist in fundraising activities, program evaluation, and writing grants and reports
- 3+ years working in agriculture and/or agriculture-related organizations
- Familiarity with federal farm programs, agencies and services
- Familiarity with principles of community organizing
- Previous work or related experience in rural communities
- Extremely organized and attentive to detail, ability to keep accurate records
- Responsible with managing confidential information
- Ability to remain sensitive and clear-headed for crisis management situations
- Applicants must demonstrate a proven track record of cultural competency and power analysis, especially when working with people of color, low wealth communities, rural communities, people with limited English proficiency (LEP) and veterans.
- Must also demonstrate ability to work effectively with diverse communities and build coalitions across unlikely partnerships.
- Ability to manage and analyze basic data in Excel
- Ability to work with remote team members through online platforms
- 2+ years in community organizing in rural communities
- Experience in client or case management
- Experience in research or data collection
- Experience in farm management
- Experience in livestock or poultry production