Local Foods Business Specialist
Full-Time, 40 hours/week, Non-exempt
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La Semilla Food Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established in 2010, the result of community garden, youth development, and food system education efforts in southern New Mexico. Owing to these efforts, La Semilla is the only nonprofit organization solely devoted to fostering a healthy Paso del Norte region food system. Since our inception we have taught thousands of students, youth, teachers, and families how to grow and cook fresh food while establishing a 14 acre education and demonstration farm in Anthony, New Mexico. We are committed to building strong relationships that empower youth and families to grow and cook good food, create positive change, and foster connections between food, health, and local economies.
The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce & La Semilla Food Center seek an energetic and experienced individual with a passion for food and retail to effectively support food-based business growth and expansion, assist with navigating the regulatory and financial landscape, positively impact the local foods economy, and improve local food sourcing and marketing that grow sales.
Position Summary: This 40-hour per week position works under the supervision of Carrie Hamblen, CEO/President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and is housed in the Green Chambers office in downtown Las Cruces. This position is funded by a three year USDA Local Foods Promotion Program grant that aims to keep consumer dollars in Las Cruces by supporting local farmers, food artisans, and other local businesses, and providing jobs for people in the area.
The Local Food Business Specialist delivers high quality and efficient business planning services that enhance the viability of Las Cruces’ food system. The Specialist will design and manage the program for farm and food business clients by working in close collaboration with project partners and the Marketing & Promotion Specialist. This position provides business planning education, technical support directly to farm and food businesses, helps develop a robust business incubator program and a la carte business support services, and works hand in hand with local food businesses to understand the regulatory landscape and financial services available. They will also support the evaluation and assessment of food businesses, as well as referrals or short-term engagements.
PRINCIPLE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Lead the design and development of local food-based business development services.
- Cull existing curriculum materials & develop curriculum and programming for local foods business planning & development workshops, and tailored technical assistance programs.
- Lead all program business development programs on an ongoing basis.
- Assist with outreach, recruitment, and marketing for workshop series and tailored technical assistance programs.
- Provide business development assistance to food-based businesses.
- Connect food-based businesses with appropriate business planning and development partners and tools and coordinate and facilitate necessary workshops with project partners.
- Assist businesses in setting and meeting local food sourcing goals.
QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS & KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS
- Minimum of three years of experience in food business planning, development, and/or, administration.
- Experience working directly with farmers or food entrepreneurs seeking to enhance their business operations required.
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, management, economics, or related program preferred.
- Excellent budget and project management skills and computer skills
- Strong knowledge of business planning concepts required. Experience with farm financial planning preferred.
- Bilingual in English and Spanish, strongly preferred.
- Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills and a demonstrated ability to develop written proposals and resources.
- Strong organizational skills including strong attention to detail.
- Ability to work independently, manage time and multiple clients and problem-solve.
- Willingness and ability to learn and grow to meet the changing requirements of the job.
- Familiarity with local food systems and farming a plus.
- Reliable transportation, prompt, and dependable.
- Ability to foster and maintain a spirit of unity, teamwork, and cooperation.
Salary & Benefits
This is a 40 hour per week position with competitive pay ($20.20/hour) and excellent benefits, including paid holidays and time off, Health/dental/vision insurance, and Simple IRA.
Please email a cover letter, resume, and three references to email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
La Semilla Food Center and the Las Cruces Green Chamber are equal opportunity employers.