About the Role
You will work with diverse local producers in our region and across the state to strengthen the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program and Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program projects, collaborating with staff and community partners; research best practices and work within a racial equity framework; develop educational resources; and improve technical assistance resources and strategies to help local producers strengthen their businesses and sell to new markets.
BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION
The Iowa Local Food System Development Coordinator Standard VISTA will earn a biweekly living allowance totaling $17,600 over the entire year, and is eligible for a post-service benefit of either the Segal education award (Currently $6,500 - equal to the value of a full semester Pell Grant) or a cash alternative ($1,800).
VISTAs are also eligible for over $8,000 in supplemental medical benefits, a childcare subsidy, paid sick and vacation days, and Noncompetitive Eligibility when applying for federal employment for 1 year after completing service.
***This position has been filled for the 2022-23 cohort year. It will reopen in spring/summer of 2023 for a start date in late August of 2023. We look forward to staying in touch with interested applicants, and please feel free to look into our other positions!
You will thrive as a critical and innovative thinking self-starter who works alongside diverse groups of people with accountability and compassion; eager to establish and maintain positive working relationships internally and externally; and having an equity centered mindset, excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills with interest in community development projects. Strong computer skills, with ability to learn and use new programs, and experience overcoming adversity are desired.
About the Organization
As a CFS VISTA member, you will serve among a cohort of Community Food Security (CFS) VISTA members throughout Iowa, sponsored by the Center for Energy & Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa, and will have frequent opportunities to share knowledge within this community through regular cohort-wide meetings and site visits. In addition to all standard AmeriCorps VISTA benefits, you will engage regularly with thought leaders in local food via the Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network and Regional Food Systems Working Group, in addition to being invited to professional development opportunities coordinated by a VISTA Leader in your cohort.
Our full time AmeriCorps VISTA member is currently working with Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development (Iowa Valley RC&D) to center racial equity and food sovereignty across all facets of the Grow: Johnson County program’s efforts. Your position will closely collaborate with this full-time VISTA to conduct research into best practices in advancing racial equity and implement those practices in the form of racial equity policies, a Community Advisory Board (CAB), and farm-based educational programming for BIPOC youth. The CAB will include people receiving food from Grow Johnson County who are experts in this work in our community and who will help guide program decision making.
Iowa Valley RC&D is leading exciting new projects through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the United States Department of Agriculture. As an AmeriCorps VISTA hosted at Iowa Valley RC&D, you will learn about local farming and food businesses, develop a deeper understanding of food insecurity and hunger in Iowa and will learn about a broad range of solutions to challenges facing local food value chains.