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Farm to Table Coordinator with Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance


CLEDA is an action-oriented, high energy, collaborative, nimble, and progressive organization and has made great strides in food systems growth in a short time, including creating a food policy council, farm-focused entrepreneurship training, and a range of programming to increase low-income residents’ access to local foods. For additional information on CLEDA’s food related initiatives, see http://freshcentral.org. For more on CLEDA, see http://www.centrallouisiana.org/. CLEDA seeks to add a Farm to Table Coordinator to its team to develop market opportunities for Central Louisiana farm and food businesses and create successful matches between farmers and buyers. The Farm to Table Coordinator will create and coordinate partnerships across the food system between growers, processors, distributors, retailers, institutional buyers and build strong, lasting, and mutually beneficial local supply chain relationships. This is the role that brings local food to market and to table.

The Farm to Table Coordinator will report to the Executive Director and the Executive Director of the Business Acceleration System and will be part of CLEDA’s dynamic team.

CLEDA’s offices are located in downtown Alexandria, the region’s largest town and administrative and commercial heart. This riverside town is located in the state’s only national forest and is also home to a branch of the Louisiana State University and its Ag Center extension service, smaller colleges, attractive and affordable historic housing stock, and a burgeoning restaurant scene committed to local foods. With a mix of small towns and sweeping rural agricultural landscapes, the region’s natural resources are abundant. National Geographic magazine named it one of just two Louisiana “adventure towns”, with innumerable activities in the area’s waterways, forests, state parks, swamplands and historic plantations. Alexandria is also located within easy driving distance of bustling Lafayette and Baton Rouge and less than four hours from Houston and New Orleans.

Key responsibilities

• Create and coordinate partnerships across the food system between growers, processors, distributors, retailers, institutional buyers
• Build relationships and trust through regular communication with area farmers and buyers
• Communicate effectively and frequently with farmers to support their growth and align production with market demand
• Communicate effectively and frequently with commercial buyers to identify opportunities and eliminate obstacles to purchasing local foods.
• Facilitate and broker strong, lasting, and mutually beneficial local supply chain relationships
• Match supply and demand, by gathering and sharing product availability, crop planning and other strategies
• Convene, facilitate and "translate" amongst diverse stakeholders from distinct sectors, e.g. public institutions, private companies, growers, non-profits, government
• Collaborate and align efforts with Local Food Initiative partners
• Collaborate with CLEDA staff and partners to build a network of farm business support services for farmers from starting up to scaling up
• Coordinate and grow product aggregation opportunities for farmers
• Develop the metrics of success and process for tracking progress, including sales

Requirements

• College degree preferred, but significant relevant work experience will also be considered, such as produce sales/brokering/marketing, food distribution, or market management
• Two to three years of experience coordinating food systems players and/or activities, with experience influencing both food producers and buyers
• Proven ability to overcome obstacles in a collaborative manner
• Highly motivated self-starter capable of creative and strategic thinking
• Entrepreneurial
• Outstanding project management skills
• Ability to absorb new information quickly and translate key points into consistent results
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Excellent follow-through with outstanding judgment and a positive attitude
• Strong ability to ask excellent questions and actively listen to the answers.
• Experience facilitating, convening, engaging and communicating with diverse stakeholders
• Ability to plan strategically and tactically for the immediate and long term simultaneously
• Nimbleness and flexibility to take opportunities as they arise, while maintaining a clear long term vision
• Contribute energy, ideas and humor to CLEDA’s team and culture
• Knowledge of and commitment to regional food systems and agriculture
• Results oriented and flexible; at ease in a team environment
• Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Word, Excel and Outlook

The Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance offers a highly competitive annual salary with excellent benefits. If you want to play a key regional role in bringing local food to market and to table, have the experience and qualifications for this position and want to join an exceptional organization, please send a cover letter and resume, to jobs@karpresources.com. Please include Farm to Table Coordinator in the subject line. Qualified candidates will be contacted by phone and email. Background checks and computer literacy tests are required of final candidates.