Urban Farming Research Coordinator
This is a contract position with the Vancouver Urban Farming Society
Project Description and Background:
Over the past five years, Urban Farming has seen phenomenal growth in Vancouver. Starting with just two or three farms five years ago, Metro Vancouver now boasts close to 30 urban farms.
In the past two years urban farmers started working together to raise the profile of urban farming in Vancouver and increase the sustainability of their urban farming businesses. Early achievements include the development of an active urban farming listserve, a monthly newsletter and www.urbanfarmers.ca and the hosting of urban farmer gatherings, discussion sessions, urban farming workshop series and the 2011 urban farming forum.
Urban farmers incorporated as a society in April 2012 and are eager to continue with capacity building. As more and more urban farmers enter the field in Vancouver the need to ensure best practices has been identified. A code of best practices provides a way for urban farmers to proactively and continually address the challenges and concerns around urban farming such as growing practices, community engagement, business practices, health and safety, and other issues sure to be identified in our research.
The research into best practices will draw on existing models such as Canadian and American organic standards; Canadian Good Agricultural Practices (CanadaGAP); Local Food Plus’ “Certified Local Sustainable” and input from local urban farmers. The public will also be engaged in collaboration with the city’s six Neighbourhood Food Networks.
Complementing our research and community engagement will be the strengthening of our online presence through both our website and social media tools.
- Organize and host the 2012 Urban Farming Forum to engage urban farmers in dialogue about best practices research needs and priorities. Forum results will be summarized and used to inform best practices research.
- Organize and host community engagement sessions, in cooperation with Vancouver’s six Neighbourhood Food Networks, to inform Best Practices research and identify and mitigate public concerns around urban farming while increasing awareness and understanding of urban farming in communities across Vancouver.
- Conduct research to develop Best Practices and create a dynamic living document of best practices for urban farming in Vancouver which can be adapted for other municipalities.
- Coordinate and host a minimum of six urban farm tours for members of the public to engage with urban farmers in the field and increase public awareness and understanding of urban farming.
- Further develop the urbanfarmers.ca website and social media tools to increase our ability to share with and receive input from the public on issues regarding urban farming and raise the profile of the society and our best practices research.
General Desired Qualifications:
- At minimum an Undergraduate Degree in Agricultural Science or related field reflecting the ability to conduct self-directed research
- Demonstrated knowledge of urban agriculture and local food system related opportunities and issues
- Demonstrated self-starter and is confident, reliable, responsible and flexible
- Experience with event coordination and project management or otherwise demonstrated ability to manage projects effectively
- Strong administrative and time management skills, and the ability to create and stick to a work plan while reporting to a board of directors
- Strong leadership and interpersonal skills
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Keen attention to detail
- Ability to communicate with people from different sectors
- Ability to lead community engagement sessions and facilitate dialogue
- Ability to balance different opinions and work well under the scrutiny and direction of a volunteer board of directors and other engaged urban farmers
- Experience working with web-related tasks such as newsletter software, website updates and email correspondence
- Ability to work from home or office and has access to computer, printer, telephone and email
- Experience in small scale and/or urban agriculture
- Experience working in the Non-Profit sector, reporting to a volunteer board of directors
- Knowledge of agricultural standards (ie certified organic, GAP, Local Food Plus, etc…)
- Prior involvement or knowledge of Vancouver Urban Farming Society
- Experience with and willingness to write grant proposals and fundraise
- .66 FTE: 3 days a week
- Working towards a .8 FTE contingent on additional funding
- September 1st 2012~ August 31st 2013
- All deliverables need to be completed by August 31st 2013 with deadlines occurring throughout the term.
- Work schedule is flexible, but there may be times where attendance is required at monthly director meetings, applicable committee meetings and events which will require evening and weekend availability.
- This is intended to transition into a permanent position. Any expansion or contraction of the program in future years will require revision of terms of employment.
Monthly Salary: $2,400
How to apply:
Please apply with a cover letter and resume to Gavin.Wright@urbanfarmers.ca by Wednesday, August 22nd . Please, no phone calls. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.