MOFGA Is An Equal Opportunity Employer
Organic Crop and Conservation Specialist
Low Impact Forestry Coordinator
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The Board of Directors of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners seeks a dynamic leader and proven manager who shares our passion for organic agriculture, local food production, a healthy environment, and thriving Maine communities.
Background and Overview
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), formed in 1971, is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. MOFGA takes pride in its success in promoting and supporting Maine farmers and a multi-generational agricultural community and has been at the heart of changing Maine's farm culture. MOFGA's efforts have resulted in dramatically increasing the popularity of organic local agriculture and healthy living, and its organizational successes and impact have resulted in national and international recognition.
When asked to describe MOFGA, the first response is almost always: "It's a community." Today that community includes more than 6,200 memberships, with over 11,000 members, a volunteer corps of more than 2,500, a 20 member board of directors, and a staff of 34. This community is best symbolized by its signature community gathering: the Common Ground Country Fair, which annually attracts more than 63,000 visitors during one weekend in September.
While best known to the general public as the host of the Fair, the core work of MOFGA is educating people – from novices to masters – about how to grow, prepare, and share good organic food. In addition to educating producers, MOFGA educates the general public, consumers, and policy makers about the value of local organic food and protecting the environment. Bolstering this work is MOFGA's active public policy role, advocating in support of organic farming and gardening, the health of the environment, and the survival of socially and economically just, rural communities.
MOFGA's organic certification program annually reviews the practices of over 500 farms and food processors to help assure the public that food labeled as "certified organic" has been grown according to nationally accepted organic standards. Today, as a result of MOFGA's support for, and partnership with, farmers in Maine, more than 95,000 acres of farmland in the state is MOFGA certified organic. MOFGA works to grow the market for local organic products and strengthen the economic viability of MOFGA certified producers and local communities.
MOFGA models organic farming and rural living at its year-round education center in Unity, a 300+ acre "campus" that includes MOFGA's administrative offices. MOFGA has an endowment most recently valued at $4.65 million, a 2018 budget of $4,095,000, and an annual campaign with a target this year of $815,000. Responding to a challenge grant from the Woodcock Foundation, MOFGA is in year two of a six year, $13 million campaign, and is in the planning stage for a comprehensive campaign.
MOFGA's mission: The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is a broad-based community that educates about and advocates for organic agriculture, illuminating its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production, and thriving communities.
A more comprehensive description of MOFGA and its many programs and services can be found on the website: www.mofga.org.
Priorities for the future
Guided by a recently completed strategic plan, the Executive Director will work with the Board of Directors, MOFGA volunteers and partners, and a talented and experienced staff to lead and grow the organic movement in Maine. MOFGA's Board is seeking an energetic and trusted leader who can build and nurture essential relationships throughout Maine – a leader who can embrace MOFGA's culture, honor its grassroots history, and support a highly regarded staff team to achieve ambitious goals for the future.
To support achievement of MOFGA's vision for the future – a future of healthy ecosystems, communities, people and economies, sustained by the practices of organic agriculture – the MOFGA Board of Directors has identified the following organizational priorities to guide our next Executive Director:
- Build relationships and strengthen bonds with our members, volunteers and donors, across the state of Maine, while working with the board, staff, and committees to advance the goals of deepening member engagement and building the diversity of our membership.
- Guide and support communication efforts to promote the Maine organic brand, to expand markets for organic products, and bring heightened visibility and recognition to MOFGA.
- Play an active and visible role in ensuring MOFGA's financial well-being and sustainability while taking a leadership role in annual and capital fundraising efforts.
- Support the staff team, taking steps to empower them in their work, build their capacity, and ensure they have the organizational, technological, and physical infrastructure in place to be successful.
- Partner with the board and staff to advance the strategic plan, bring rigor to the tracking and evaluation of performance, and support the ongoing development of board governance practices.
- Represent MOFGA in Augusta and in Washington D.C, advocating for organic integrity, small farmers, and a healthy, sustainable environment.
To lead MOFGA requires a comprehensive set of skills and abilities. We expect that the successful candidate will bring the following to MOFGA:
- A passion for our values, our mission, agriculture and the environment
- A "curious mind" and a hunger for learning
- Senior-level leadership experience, including proven ability to manage and support staff and volunteer teams
- Solid writing skills, comfort in public speaking, and being regarded by all as a "good listener"
- A proven "relationship builder" who can also demonstrate hands-on experience with and a readiness to engage in fundraising
- The highest level of recommendations from references, collaborative partners, and peers
In addition to the expectations listed above, preference will be given to candidates who can also demonstrate the following:
- A deep appreciation for the value and impact of volunteers and a track-record of successfully working with volunteers to achieve shared goals
- Demonstrated ability in developing organizational strategies and carrying them through to completion
- Nonprofit experience, including working in a healthy and productive partnership with a board of directors
- A global vision coupled with relevant policy and advocacy knowledge and experience at the state and federal level
- Hands-on experience with, and or a deep knowledge of, farming, growing, organic practices, and the realities of rural living
- Ability to engage with our varied and diverse community and develop and nurture essential relationships
Comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary commensurate with experience.
This position reports directly to the Board of Directors. The successful candidate can expect a formal review after six months as well as an annual review.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and résumé to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the following address email@example.com. The cover letter and résumé should contain detailed information concerning work experience, past successes, leadership experience and qualifications. Please be prepared to provide contact information for professional references upon request.
Paper copies may be sent to Lisa Belyea, Starboard Leadership Consulting, 84 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401, but electronic submission of materials is preferred. No phone inquiries, please. Review of applications will begin on March 28, 2018.
ORGANIC CROP AND CONSERVATION SPECIALIST
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Located in rural Waldo County, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is seeking an Organic Crop and Conservation Specialist. MOFGA, a leader in the organic agriculture movement, is looking for a dynamic individual interested in working with Maine’s growing organic farming segment. The individual will work with other Agricultural Services Staff to provide support for all aspects of organic crop production, and assistance to farm operations across the state with organic certification.
MOFGA was the first organization in the country to provide technical assistance specific to organic farming and gardening. The Agricultural Services staff provides farming, gardening and marketing assistance to growers in Maine and beyond. The staff assists seasoned organic growers, helps new organic farmers get started, and educates conventional farmers concerning the benefits of organic methods.
The Organic Crop and Conservation Specialist is expected to provide Maine organic farmers and gardeners with knowledge needed to be successful in organic crop production, through direct contact and written materials. As a member of the MOFGA staff he/she will encourage the use of organic practices among Maine’s farming community, particularly through interaction with related farming associations, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
- Degree in Sustainable Agriculture or related field of study, MS or Ph.D. preferred
- Experience in organic farming and gardening
- Knowledge of National Organic Program regulations
- Familiarity with process of transitioning to organic production
- Familiarity with conservation programs for farmers
- Strong familiarity with related technologies and scientific disciplines
- Ability to read and interpret research reports
- A willingness to initiate contacts with new people and a high degree of motivation
- Ability to work creatively and take initiative to find solutions
- Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing, with staff, volunteers and the public
- Provide technical support on organic production practices to farmers in Maine
- Develop metrics for conservation plans and environmental assessment that support Organic Agriculture
- Provide support and training in programs that will help MOFGA Journeypersons, MOFGA members, and other new farmers to become certified organic
- Keep abreast of new technologies in sustainable agriculture by reading appropriate literature, attending conferences, and maintaining contacts with academic and extension communities
- Keep abreast of USDA National Organic Program and national sustainable agriculture and certification issues
- Research and evaluate sustainable agriculture products, particularly for their efficacy and their use under the National Organic Program rule
- Answer questions and provide advice regarding farming and gardening, pesticides, and related issues through on-site farm visits, phone conversations, mail, e-mail, articles and reviews for MOFGA’s newspaper
- Write how-to bulletins and fact sheets on particular crops, pests, and management systems directed toward an audience of farmers and gardeners
- Present at MOFGA, Cooperative Extension, Maine Department of Agriculture and other relevent meetings and events
- Provide program material for the Farmer to Farmer Conference, Agricultural Trades Show, the Common Ground Country Fair, and other educational events
- Carry out all of the responsibilities listed above in accordance with the mission, vision and values of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
- Compensation: salary for this position will be negotiated based on educational background, work experience and demonstrated areas of expertise.
- MOFGA offers a full range of benefits (details available upon request) including paid vacation, a substantial wellness stipend in lieu of medical insurance, life insurance, paid sick leave, paid holidays and continuing education.
- Starting date is flexible.
To Apply: send resume, cover letter and references by email in a PDF by March 30, 2018 to: David Colson, MOFGA Agricultural Services Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Primary Responsibilities: To provide administrative support for MOFGA’s membership and development activities.
Supervisor: Director of Membership and Development
Work Week: Full time hourly position, non-exempt under Federal Fair Labor Standards Act; employee is eligible for overtime pay.
Required Abilities and Knowledge:
- Demonstrated fund raising experience, especially in the nonprofit sector
- Clear understanding of new media fundraising outreach
- Capacity to conduct on-line donor research, track information, write reports
- Strong writing and proofreading skills
- Ability to communicate effectively with donors, members, staff, volunteers and the public
- Capable of organizing meetings, gatherings and events
- Experience in coordinating and completing complex, fast moving projects simultaneously
- Handle word processing, databases, and spreadsheets effectively in a work environment
- Knowledge of direct mail options and procedures
Major Donor Cultivation/Stewardship
- Conduct donor research to improve our understanding of our donor base
- Assist with setting up donor visits for staff and Board members
- Coordinate and set up donor gatherings and other events
- Research and prepare donor background reports for visits
- Ensure documentation of donor visits via contact reports, follow-up letters, and next steps
- Track and ensure follow-up on donor visits
- Assist in the development of materials for MOFGA’s fundraising appeals
- Assist with preparing and mailing appeals, as well as processing returns
- Develop and implement new media strategies in support of MOFGA’s fundraising
- Participate in envisioning and coordinating year-round membership activities
- Help organize membership retention and recruitment activities
- Provide data entry support for member information and engagement activities
Dedicated Tree Program
- Oversee and administer MOFGA's dedicated tree program
- Provide administrative support to the fundraising team
- Proofread, prepare and send donor letters/correspondence
- Assist with developing and maintaining database files on individual, family, foundation and business donors
- Carry out all of the responsibilities listed above in accordance with the vision, mission and values of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
MOFGA's success is dependent upon the collaborative spirit among its staff members and volunteers. Employees are expected to be ready and willing to assist their colleagues in all program areas when asked to do so by their supervisors.
To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, current resume, and three references (by PDF) to email@example.com. The Development Coordinator hiring group will begin its review of applications during the week of March 19th and the process will continue until the position has been filled.
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MOFGA LOW IMPACT FORESTRY COORDINATOR
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Primary Responsibilities: supporting MOFGA’s Low Impact Forestry Program (LIF) activities and its network; helping to expand the scope and capacity of MOFGA’s LIF Program.
Supervisor: Educational Programs Director
Work Week: This is a year round position, requiring 20 hours of work per week (1040 hours per year). Exact schedule will be determined by LIF program needs and work plan, in consultation with the Educational Programs Director. Great flexibility is necessary as more time will be needed surrounding workshops and events and will frequently require evening and weekend hours.
Position: The position is non-exempt under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The employee in this position is eligible for overtime pay, however work hours are limited on a weekly basis, and it is unlikely that the employee will ever work overtime hours.
Required Abilities and Knowledge:
- Ability to work well independently as well as with staff, volunteers and the public
- Effective management and organizational skills including experience managing volunteers and participants of various ages and abilities
- Strong oral and written communication skills including understanding of and ability to work with various forms of communication media
- Ability to work effectively within a non-profit structure
- Understanding and commitment to the mission and vision of MOFGA and the LIF program
- Ability to manage many short- and long-term projects simultaneously
- Demonstrable leadership experience
- Understanding of current and historical practices in forestry, the commercial forest industry and the extraction of forest products
- Ability to think critically and creatively around current forestry practices, the forest products industry and their relationship to ecosystems and human communities
- Physical ability to traverse a forest in all seasons and all weather conditions
- Access to a personal vehicle and ability to travel long distances for meetings and program activities
- Coordinate between LIF Committee initiatives and MOFGA staff, including:
- Facilitate event planning and implementation with Events Coordinator
- Coordinate LIF press releases, announcements, mailings, new media and website activities with MOFGA Communications Director
- Engage with other MOFGA program areas to develop collaborative programs, coordinate activities and represent LIF
- Facilitate relationships and partnerships with other organizations
- Perform outreach with other private and public organizations to support LIF offerings
- Communicate with MOFGA membership regarding LIF activities and practices, including:
- Serve as primary contact for MOFGA membership with forestry concerns
- Manage content for LIF column in quarterly MOF&G
- Serve as primary staff liaison to the LIF Program Steering Committee
- Report regular program updates to Educational Programs Director as needed for reporting, program development and updating the Board of Directors
- Work with MOFGA Education and Development Departments to secure funding for LIF activities
- Assist in the planning of capital improvements, maintenance, and special projects on the MOFGA grounds relevant to LIF
- Carry out the responsibilities listed above in accordance with the mission, vision and values of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Candidates for the position should submit applications, including a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The committee will begin reviewing applications in the beginning of March and the position will remain open until MOFGA finds the ideal candidate.