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Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development: Business Education Manager

Company: Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development

Salary: $52000 / per year Location: Amana, Iowa

Description

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION

Founded in 1998, Iowa Valley RC&D’s influence is grounded in community, partnerships, and collaboration as we train and support farmers, build local food infrastructure, generate new innovative markets, improve access of locally grown foods, and model and communicate the positive impact of a future food system that nourishes people and place.
Iowa Valley is committed to centering community needs and lifting-up community strengths as part of all our programs and partnerships. We work alongside farmers, value chain coordinators, and value complex reciprocity in our work with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as we explore our relationships with diverse communities, food, land, and agriculture. We are committed to centering racial justice and social equity through collaborative and intentional projects.

DESCRIPTION

The Business Education Manager will work under the Program Director to develop and implement a business coaching program for farmers and small food businesses, contributing to the Farmer Development Initiative in Eastern Iowa and across the state. The Manager will play a crucial part in deepening relationships with farmers and supporting their success within the regional food system. They will provide personalized technical support in market analysis and business development, helping farmers and small food businesses identify barriers and opportunities for profitable sales to wholesale and direct-to-consumer markets. The manager will collaborate with farmers to establish connections across the food and agriculture supply chain, and shape programs that promote resilient farms and businesses.
Iowa Valley is seeking someone with a strong understanding of diversified farming and local food systems, excellent business development and relationship-building skills, and the ability to coach and empower individuals with empathy for their farms and businesses. Strong project management skills and experience in program design and outcomes analysis are essential.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDER

As a technical service provider, the Manager will build relationships with farmers and food businesses to foster their success with personalized support and business development assistance. Projects include managing a 6 month one-on-one business coaching program for direct market farmers and assisting with the development of a new Farmer Fellowship training program for beginning farmers. This role will guide program participants through developing a robust business plan, marketing strategies and branding, managing customer relationships, and assist them with market, capital and land access for their new businesses, while connecting participants to local resources and networks.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDER

As a Relationship Builder, the Manager will cultivate and nurture relationships with local producers, encompassing various programs. In addition, you will provide crucial support in facilitating outreach and engagement across several programs, ensuring effective information sharing and collaboration. Furthermore, you will actively recruit beginning and underserved producers and food businesses who are seeking to enhance their financial metrics and develop robust business planning. Relationship building is essential to fostering strong relationships, promoting program engagement, and driving the success and growth of local producers within the regional food system landscape.

MARKET MATCHMAKER

Your expertise and dedication will enhance the visibility and accessibility of local products to more Iowans. Collaborating with partner organizations and committees, you will actively contribute to supporting farmers and small business entrepreneurs in their growth and development. This includes assisting with the planning and hosting of events to build relationships between buyers and producers and providing one-on-one matchmaking for participants in IVRCD programs. By fulfilling these responsibilities, you will help foster strong partnerships between producers and buyers and contribute to the overall growth and sustainability of local food market development.

Requirements

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

Experience building partnerships and collaborations.
Proficiency with Excel, Google Suite.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Strong project management skills.
Demonstrated ability to collaborate within a team
Strong business planning and financial analysis skills
Skill in marketing strategies, branding, social media, and customer relationships
Experience coaching, teaching or assisting individuals/networks.
Passion for supporting and collaborating with rural and urban communities in Iowa.
Ability to travel and meet with farms and food businesses in Iowa.
Ability to provide empathy alongside consultation to new farms and businesses.
Passion for Iowa Valley RC&D’s mission and vision.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

Experience starting and/or managing a food or farm business.
Knowledge of regional food systems and regenerative agriculture concepts.
Experience living and working in a rural environment, and/or working with small farmers.
Demonstrated experience of providing business planning technical assistance to food or farm businesses.
Experience with grant writing.
Program and project design experience.
Bilingual or multilingual.
Proficiency with Airtable, Local Food Marketplace, Qualtrics.
Lived experience in systematically marginalized communities.

Ideal Candidate

COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE

Diversity brings strength, creativity, and resilience. Iowa Valley believes that one of our key roles is creating meaningful opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and people of color to engage in their communities. We seek to empower marginalized people to become future leaders in a just, equitable community. Iowa Valley RC&D is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. There is no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind in our organization.
Iowa Valley RC&D is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply, especially those who have been marginalized by society due to race, color, religion, gender, gender nonconformity, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. In compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act, Iowa Valley RC&D will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages prospective employees and incumbents to discuss potential accommodations with Iowa Valley RC&D.

How to Apply

COMPENSATION

Annual wages: $52,000
This is a full-time position and eligible for benefits that include health, dental, vision, PTO, cell phone stipend, etc. This position is located at the Iowa Valley RC&D office in Amana, IA and includes some remote work. The position will include meetings offsite, at participants’ farms and at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm in Iowa City. Travel is required. Must possess and maintain a valid Iowa Driver’s license with a satisfactory driving record.

TO APPLY

Job Opportunities

To apply for the position, send a resume, cover letter, and references that outlines the following to Jason Grimm at jason@ivrcd.org;
Your motivation to apply for this position
Your past experiences that will help you succeed in this role
Interviews will be conducted with qualified applicants on a rolling basis beginning February 12th and will continue until the position is filled.

CONTACT

For any questions or concerns regarding the position please contact Executive Director Jason Grimm at jason@ivrcd.org