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Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development: Value Chain Manager

Company: Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development

Salary: $62000 / 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 Value Chain Manager will contribute to our Food Value Chain Initiative across the state of Iowa. In the Manager’s first year they will support the development of strategic plans and systems to guide the long term impact of their role. This will include working with partners to develop shared goals, SOPs, and information systems. The Manager will support the development of new institutional sales for the Food Hub Managers Working Group and play a crucial role in developing the statewide infrastructure for local and regional food value chains supporting aggregation, storage, distribution and marketing. The manager will primarily focus on marketing local products, by serving as a sales manager. The manager will provide business solutions to expand markets for local farmers and expand access to local food for institutional buyers, such as schools, hospitals, colleges and universities, retirement communities and other wholesale markets. Responsibilities will include guiding customers through the sales funnel, managing CRM software and actively collaborating with organizations leading logistics to safely procure, store and deliver local products. The Manager will identify barriers and opportunities for profitable sales to wholesale markets, collaborate with hubs to improve robust business plans, establish connections across the food and agriculture supply chain, and shape new programs that promote resilient farms and food businesses. This work will center around the following activities:

MARKET MATCHMAKER

The Manager’s expertise and dedication will increase accessibility of local products to more Iowans. Market matching will include collaboration with partner organizations and committees, to actively contribute to food hubs supporting farmers and small business entrepreneurs in their growth and development to help them access institutional markets. This person will contribute to new sales, by developing customer relationships and marketing materials to achieve revenue targets with value chain partners. This includes assisting with the planning and hosting of events that promote networking and relationship building within the value chain. 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.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDER

The Manager will develop and nurture relationships with key stakeholders within the value chain, including food service directors, purchasing managers, chefs and food hub staff. This will include working with the Iowa Food Hub Managers Working Group and Kitchen Sync Strategies. The Manager will actively participate in committees related to value chain activities, sharing expertise and insights to contribute to strategic decision-making. This person will represent Iowa Valley as a trusted partner and leader in relevant industry programs and initiatives including the Iowa Resilient Food System Infrastructure program.

VALUE CHAIN INFORMATION SYSTEM MANAGER

The Manager will participate in the design and implementation of systems and CRM software to ensure effective information sharing between different stakeholders in the food system value chain. These systems will act as a conduit for communication, sharing updates, market trends, and relevant information to enhance overall understanding and cooperation across the value chain partners. This person will collaborate with Iowa food hubs and farms to integrate systems that will support ordering, inventory, logistics and more to create seamless communication across different stages of the sales funnel. You will help facilitate coordination between value chain partners to optimize local food availability and support holistic value chain development.

Iowa Valley is seeking someone with a strong understanding of diversified farming and local food systems, excellent relationship-building skills, and robust institutional sales experience in local and regional foods systems.Strong project management skills and experience in program design and outcomes analysis are essential.

Requirements

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

Experience building partnerships and collaborations.
Proficiency with Excel, Google Suite.
Experience using design tools to visualize our work.
Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
Sales experience, preferable with local/regional or small-scale food businesses.
Experience in food services, food sales or procurement.
Willingness to engage with others using social media platforms.
Strong project management skills.
Demonstrated ability to collaborate within a team.
Strong business planning and financial analysis skills.
Commitment to the understanding by supporting small farms and food businesses access the larger Iowa food system value chain, it is possible to create a fairer, healthier and more diverse food system for Iowa.
Ability to travel and meet with farms and food businesses in Iowa.
Passion for Iowa Valley RC&D’s mission and vision.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

Strong understanding of food services, farm to farm school or institutional procurement.
Proficiency with various software like HubSpot, Airtable, Local Food Marketplace, Qualtrics, etc.
Tech savvy and passion for learning new tools.
Strong focus and the ability to maintain drive while working remotely, with regular meetings via Zoom (or in-person as necessary).
Experience with grant writing and/or reporting.
Program and project design experience.
Bilingual or multilingual.
Lived experience in systematically marginalized communities.

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: $58,000 – $62,000 dependent on the candidate’s experience or qualifications

This is a full-time position and eligible for benefits that include health, dental, vision, PTO, cell phone stipend, etc. This position is located in the Iowa Valley RC&D office in Amana, with the option of remote full time. This position requires extensive work throughout Iowa and the employee must be comfortable with flexible working locations and hours. The position comes with a healthy travel budget. It is estimated that this position will conduct 20-25 in-person visits to institutional customers around Iowa each year. 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 3 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