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Local Food & Farm Business Consultant [SC]

Position Description
Business Consultant

 In 2012, leaders in the agribusiness, food, conservation, banking and farming community in South Carolina recognized the need to further small and mid-sized farm business development across the state. To this end, the SC Department of Agriculture hired Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center to complete Making Small Farms into Big Business (MSFBB), a strategic plan that identifies investments in the agricultural sector that will connect small farms to local markets. MSFBB outlines an agenda to increase: on-farm infrastructure (irrigation, packing sheds, equipment, etc.) and off-farm infrastructure (processing facilities, food hub development, distribution networks, cold storage, etc.); agricultural construction opportunities; direct-farm investment; farmer recruitment; and job creation and economic growth in the specialty crop sector. The plan recommends building and supporting “food nodes” and “food hubs” across the state to expand the farmer base and provide additional services and educational opportunities to small-scale farmers.

 An effort to implement the recommendation for food node and hub development in the Pee Dee region is currently underway. Palmetto Agribusiness Council, GrowFood Carolina, Coastal Conservation League and an advisory committee seeks a one-year contracted Local Food and Farm Business Consultant to oversee the planning and start-up of a food hub or node in the Pee Dee. The project may include fundraising, developing operations, facility planning, developing and executing a marketing strategy, procurement, staffing, and the launch of the hub. The consultant will be responsible for working with local leaders and rural communities, and will coordinate regularly with the advisory committee and partners listed above.

The ideal candidate possesses a strong background working in dynamic and entrepreneurial environments with management responsibilities. He or she has experience related to food, agriculture or produce/meat operations. An understanding of non-profit organizations and/or an understanding of the Pee Dee area is helpful, but not required. 

 Primary Responsibilities/Objectives:

 ·         Develop and continuously revise a business plan to build agricultural supply, aggregate local produce/meat and market and distribution through clearly identified sales channels.

  • Build strategic relationships and partnerships to enhance business operations and support the mission.
  • Establish operating procedures for managing the day-to-day operations, including utilizing information systems.
  • Identify and introduce new ideas to adjust the business within the mission.
  • Engage the community and stakeholders as the operation’s spokesperson.

Preferred Knowledge & Abilities:

  • Highly-motivated, entrepreneurial, self-starter.
  • Knowledge of agriculture production, produce storage and handling, and related quality control measures, such as HAACP, GAP, etc.
  • General business knowledge, including understanding of business accounting statements (P&L), managing employees, and complying with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Proficient with computers and internet-based applications.
  • Ability to delegate and multi-task under pressure. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Appreciation of preserving natural resources.

Qualifications:

  • College degree required.

·         3-5 years management experience in a food service or produce-related industry. 

Please send your resume and a cover letter to smallfarmsbigbusiness@mail.com by June 30, 2014.