Spring 2021 Empowering Mountain Food Systems Apprentice

Job description

Posting Number:

PG191369TM

Position Number:

11ASO1654

Position Type:

Temporary

Essential Job Duties:

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems Food and Farm Apprenticeship Program, is seeking highly-motivated individuals from a variety of different backgrounds to participate in a hands-on work study and remote apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program trains participants in many aspects of sustainable agriculture, value-added production, and local food and beverage small business expansion, marketing and business support. Apprenticeship appointments are for 8 – 12 weeks and are located in Jackson, Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Swain, Macon, and Haywood Counties, including the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Some positions require an on-site presence and others are remote. Students applying for remote apprenticeships must have adequate communication tools, computer, and broadband access.

Eligibility

  • Students enrolled in Southwestern Community College, Tri County Community College, Haywood Community college curriculum or continuing education programs
  • Students enrolled in Western Carolina University (including rising Freshman)
  • Students enrolled in any secondary institution and living in the program region during the apprenticeship period
  • Students graduated within 12 months from Southwestern Community College, Tri County Community College, Haywood Community College, Western Carolina University or other colleges/universities if applicant primary residence is in Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay, Cherokee Counties or the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Brief Program Overview
During the 8-12 weeks, apprentice will have the opportunity to:

  • Immerse oneself in agricultural and value-added production, spending up to twenty hours a week as an integral part of a team
  • Assist business and nonprofits with expanding their marketing and outreach
  • Interact with other apprentices at the various mentor sites
  • Develop production and marketing skills
  • Assist business with expanding their marketing and outreach strategies via internet based platforms including web site design and development, social media, digital graphics, and e-commerce

For additional Information about the EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems Food & Farm Apprenticeship Program visit:
https://cefs.ncsu.edu/food-system-initiatives/emfs-empowering-mountain-food-systems/emfs-food-farm-apprenticeship-program/

7 Available Spring/Summer Apprenticeship Opportunities

1 Butterfly Cove Botanicals (Swain Co.) – Bryson City, NC

Apprenticeship Duration – 8 weeks for 15-20/hrs per week

  • Butterfly Cove Botanicals specializes in growing native medicinal herbs/plants, elderberries for elderberry syrup and heirloom vegetables for seed production. Their focus is on long-term farm sustainability, farmland preservation and conservation land management practices including the reintroduction of native plants on landscape and heirloom vegetables to the region. All Butterfly Cove Botanicals products are grown without pesticides and their value-added products are produced in small batches without preservatives. Butterfly Cove Botanical understands the importance of health and well-being and works with individuals, students, and groups to host and teach educational workshops on-farm to provide hands-on experience and proper native plant identification and propagation.
    Butterfly Cove is looking for a digital media and marketing apprentice to promote brand awareness, and expand their farm’s e-commerce business, by updating their website and online store, building a robust social media presence and active campaigns to drive traffic to their website. Skills include a working knowledge of various internet-based digital platforms such as website builders, social media; including applying social media analytics to their social media strategy, graphic design, and email marketing. Apprentice will use graphic design platforms to create social media graphics, event posters/flyers, and other visual content to increase product sales. The apprentice will gain knowledge and skills in online marketing specifically geared towards integrating a convenience factor into their online sales platform. This is a remote apprenticeship. The apprentice will work remotely with Butterfly Cove Botanicals via email, Zoom (or similar) and by phone. The apprentice must have adequate communication tools, computer and broadband access. The apprentice has the option to go on-farm to obtain website content and meet with the farm owner.

Learning Objectives:

  • Website content development
  • Maintain and expand e-commerce site
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve social media presence
  • Social Media analytics
  • Track increased farm product sales
  • Marketing material development, i.e. digital newsletters, event and or new product flyers, social media banners, etc.
  • Community engagement and outreach to market farms brand awareness and promote e-commerce site

Experience

  • Familiar with WordPress website builder
  • Website site design and maintenance
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
  • Internet based graphic design platform (Canva)

Working Business Hours

  • Monday-Sunday, 9am-6pm

Estimated Number of people per visit

  • 2-20

2 WNC Farm to Table (Jackson Co.) – Sylva, NC

Apprenticeship Durtion

  • 8 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week

WNC Farm to Table is a new food hub serving Jackson County, NC working with local farms to distribute and sell fresh produce and farm products to local businesses, individuals, and restaurants through an online store/platform. WNC Farm to Table is full-service, they work directly with local farms to full-fill orders and deliver products to their customers. Their mission is to support the local food movement in the region, expand the market base for individual small farms, work with community leaders and other non-profits to improve the health of residents by making local food more accessible.

WNC Farm to table uses the software system, Local Food Marketplace. https://home.localfoodmarketplace.com/. They are looking for a digital media and marketing apprentice to promote brand awareness, and expand their e-commerce business, by managing sales through an online store. The apprentice will train and provide support to farmers on how to upload their product inventory. Expand social media presence and active campaigns to drive traffic to their website; including applying social media analytics to their social media strategy. Skills include a working knowledge of various internet-based digital platforms such as website builders, social media, graphic design, and email marketing. The apprentice will use graphic design platforms to create social media graphics, event posters/flyers, and other visual content to increase product sales, The apprentice will gain knowledge and skills in online marketing specifically geared towards integrating a convenience factor into our local food sales platform. This is a remote apprenticeship. The apprentice will work remotely with WNC Farm to Table and it’s clients via email, Zoom (or similar) and by phone. The apprentice must have adequate communication tools, computer and broadband access.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties

  • Maintain and expand e-commerce site (Local Food Market Place)
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Social Media analytics
  • Tracked increased farmer/client product sales
  • Community engagement and outreach to market business brand awareness and promote e-commerce site
  • Work closely with the staff to support the food hub, including meeting via Zoom
  • Interact directly with local food producers/farmers (help with organizing inventory) as well as patrons (placing orders) with the ordering system Local Food Marketplace
  • Ability to train producers/farmers via Zoom regarding product upload and inventory

Experience

  • Website development and maintenance. Keeping in mind the business uses the platform Local Food Marketplace
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
  • Ability to work independently with self-guided initiative
  • Strong attention to detail and well organized
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to complete tasks and respond to email communications in a timely manner

Working Business Hours

  • Monday-Sunday, 9am-6pm

Estimated number of people per visit

  • 4-25

3 Jehovah Raah Farm (Haywood Co.) – Clyde (Fines Creek), NC

Apprenticeship Duration

  • 12 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week

Jehovah Raah Farm is a 42-acre heritage farm reaching back to the 1800’s specializing in raising fiber animals for yarn production for weaving. The farm raises many different fiber animals including Alpacas and Shetland Sheep as well as Scottish Highland Cattle. In recent years, the farm has added poultry, including heritage breed chickens and turkeys and expanded into cut flower production. Jehovah Raah Farm has a rental cabin for folks to experience the farm and learn how to weave using the fiber from their animals. This Agritourism based business is looking for an apprentice to help maintain the farm and interact with guests.
The apprentice will work side by side with the farmer to learn day to day animal care/maintenance, farm management, animal shearing, fiber production, and weaving. The apprentice will engage with farm visitors. Apprenticeship activities will include work to make farm improvements such as; road maintenance, implementing conservation practices, such as fencing for rotational grazing and stream exclusion, forestry management including invasive species control and removal. The apprentice will also work on herd management including: vaccination and deworming protocols, overall animal health and predator control. Jehovah Raah Farm is very diverse and the apprentice will work with the farmer on any other odds and ends to help the farm operate more efficiently.
Additionally, the apprentice will work with the farmer to create an updated inventory system for yarn and fiber products.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties

  • Overall care for small ruminates for fiber production (sheep, alpacas, etc.)
  • Overall care for cattle
  • Overall care for poultry
  • Bee keeping and honey production
  • Animal husbandry and herd health, including vaccination and deworming protocols, disease prevention measures, nutritional and feed requirements based on animal use and condition, shearing, and hoof trimming
  • Small farm animal care
  • Farm cleaning/maintenance and pre-farm tour preparation
  • Farm land conservation practices including rotational grazing, fence maintenance, maintaining heavy use areas, and water quality
  • Predator prevention measures
  • Interaction with farm visitors with a focus on diverse small farm education
  • Learn about fiber production. Including animal shearing, fiber cleaning and spinning into yarn, and weaving
  • Retail sales
  • Agritourism business growth and visitation expansion. Including interaction with B&B guest and assisting with teaching weaving
  • Help organize, sort, and price yarn and fiber products for sales
  • Small Farm Business Management

Experience

  • Comfortable working with livestock

Working Business Hours

  • Monday-Sunday, 8am-6pm

Estimated number of people per visit

  • 3-12

4 Qualla Berry Farm (Clay Co.) – Hayesville, NC

Apprenticeship Duration

  • 12 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week

Qualla Berry Farm is a small family farm, focused on growing, marketing, and selling ginger and turmeric using sustainable organic farm practices. They have been innovating ways to grow and use these tropical perennials in the Appalachian Mountains successfully. The apprentice will learn how to grow and market a valuable niche crop (with many culinary uses and potential health benefits) that creates farm income.

The apprentice will assist farm owners in soil preparation, making new beds, fertilizing, irrigation, planting, and maintaining high tunnels and help with invasive plant removal and planting native perennials on the forest farm for pollinator habitat. As pandemic conditions improve, there will be opportunities to help with creating and implementing on-farm educational and sales events. Computer and web development skills will be helpful in transitioning to a new website with e-commerce capability.

Duties include manually planting, cultivating, and harvesting ginger and turmeric, improving soil, applying compost, watering, transplanting, weeding, cleaning, seed starting, sales, and possible computer work helping create their new marketing campaign 2021, calendar, and educational events. Other work includes labeling, pricing, and quality assurance on plant starts plus managing plant protection with hoops and shade cloth. Ginger and Turmeric Crop cultivation thru the season including care of overwintered starts.

  • High tunnel and greenhouse maintenance and crop production
  • Watering and irrigation of beds and containers
  • Farming practices for tropical perennials and climate adaptations
  • Small farm business sales and marketing, including social media, online website sales, educational events
  • Product Pricing, labeling, and quality assurance-fresh rhizomes and potted plant sale
  • Record keeping and inventory
  • Soil improvement work

Experience

  • Basic farm or garden skills desired but not required
  • Willingness and enthusiasm to learn about plants and small farming
  • Physically agile and able to do strenuous outdoor work
  • Self-starter and able to work on their own after being shown tasks
  • Positive outlook
  • Computer skills and some social media savvy beneficial
  • Creativity and innovative spirit are valued

Working Business Hours

  • Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm

Estimated number of people per visit

  • 1-3

5 Righteous Rebels Farms (Macon Co.) – Franklin, NC

Apprenticeship duration

  • 12 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week

Righteous Rebels Farms is a small 30-acre farm located in Franklin, North Carolina. They are a pastured poultry operation specializing in egg and meat bird production with a focus on animal welfare, farmland preservation and conservation land management practices. In the last couple years, Righteous Rebels Farms has expanded their operation to include a diverse variety of produce by using high tunnel production and indoor grow systems for microgreens.
Apprenticeship activities will include hands-on experience with pastured meat bird production and processing, livestock management, seed starting, transplanting and cultivation of fresh produce, including harvesting and a processing produce for market and retail sales. Additionally, the apprentice will work with the farmer to expand sales and explore new marketing channels.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties:

  • Overall animal care of pastured poultry operation
  • Animal husbandry and bird health, including vaccination and deworming protocols, disease prevention measures, nutritional and feed requirements based on animal use and condition
  • Meat bird processing and butchery
  • Farmland conservation practices including rotational grazing, fence maintenance, maintaining heavy use areas, invasive species control, and water quality
  • Farm cleaning/maintenance
  • Predator prevention measures
  • High tunnel production and season extension
  • Seed/Crop selection
  • High tunnel and field irrigation
  • Farming practices which adapt to climate variations
  • Product pricing
  • Market grower operations
  • Product reliability and quality
  • Proper record keeping for overhead and inventory including small farm business management
  • Organic Integrated Pest Management Techniques (IPM)
  • Good Agricultural Practices for fresh produce including harvesting and post-harvest handling

Experience

  • General interest in farming
  • Willingness to learn

Working business hours

  • Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm

Estimated number of people per visit

  • 3-10

6 Heaven’s Gate Orchards (Haywood Co.) – Canton, NC

Apprenticeship duration

  • 10 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week

Heaven’s Gate Orchard is a USA military veteran owned 105-acre mountain side apple orchard producing several different varieties of apples. Heaven’s Gate uses their own apples to produce gourmet apple-based spreads and condiments for the wholesale marketplace. Heaven’s Gate is looking for an apprentice to help increase their production and sales through proper farm management with a focus on farmland preservation and conservation land management practices. Additionally, the apprentice will work with the owners to expand their manufacturing capacity and new product development as well as exploring additional marketing channels, in turn increasing sales.
The apprenticeship will learn about the cultivating and harvest of fresh fruit, tilling soil, applying fertilizers and pesticides, thinning, pruning, cleaning, packing, loading, and processing of harvested products, and repairing farm infrastructure. The apprentice will learn the care and maintenance of orchard trees and yields and expand market and sales through new product development and increased production.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties

  • Food Safety Regulations and Processes for apple-based value-added products – Canning, Equipment Cleaning, Product Labeling, Record Keeping
  • Care and maintenance of orchard trees
  • How increasing production along with marketing strategies will increase sales and profitability
  • Crop cultivation
  • Field irrigation
  • Farming practices which adapt to climate variations
  • Commercial grower operations
  • Product reliability and quality
  • Proper record keeping for overhead and inventory
  • Integrated Pest Management Techniques (IPM)
  • Farm business management
  • Marketing
  • Time management
  • Understanding product pricing

Experience

  • An interest in farming
  • Marketing and sales experience preferred

Working Business Hours

  • Monday-Sunday, 9am-6pm

Estimated number of people per visit

  • 3-15

7 Shaka Alpaca Farm (Cherokee Co.) – Murphy, NC

Apprenticeship duration

  • 10 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week

Shaka Alpaca farm is looking for an apprentice to help expand their Agritourism based business specializing in Alpaca Treks, and educational tours, offering informative discussions about how small livestock farms are operated. The apprentice will work side by side with farm owners to learn day-to-day animal care and farm operations. Additionally, the apprentice will work to expand social media marketing to promote farm awareness to increase farm tours.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties:

  • Overall care for small ruminates (goats and alpacas)
  • Animal husbandry and herd health, including vaccination and deworming protocols, disease prevention measures, nutritional and feed requirements based on animal use and condition
  • Small farm animal care (chickens, rabbits, bees and any other new additions)
  • Farm cleaning/maintenance and pre-farm tour preparation
  • Farm land conservation practices including rotational grazing, fence maintenance, maintaining heavy use areas, and water quality
  • Predator prevention measures
  • Interaction with farm visitors with a focus on small farm education
  • Prepare Alpacas for Treks
  • Learn how to guide Alpaca Treks
  • Retail sales
  • Agritourism business growth and visitation expansion. Including accommodating larger group tours and making accommodations with individuals with special needs
  • Improve social media presence, including real-time posts during tours and farm activities
  • Marketing material development, i.e. digital newsletters, event flyers, etc
  • Small Farm Business Management

Experience

  • Some social media platform experience (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.)
  • Comfortable in working with livestock

Business working hours

  • Monday-Sunday, 8am-5pm

Estimated number of people per visit

  • 3-12

WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
We seek individuals who embrace the messaging of sustainable agriculture, are hard-working, self-motivated, have the ability to work consistently on repetitive tasks and have a positive attitude. Successful applicants will have the ability to take direction, show initiative, and work well in a team as well as independently. We desire someone with good communication and organizational skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to lift up to 45 pounds.
For remote apprenticeships, work will be conducted via using online platforms, email, and phone communications. All work is remote

WORK SCHEDULE
Flexible – Monday – Friday, Hours can be scheduled directly with the mentor during their normal hours of business as written above and in coordination with student(s) schedule. Approximately 20 hours per week

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE/EDUCATION
High School

Is Time Limited:

No

Department:

CEFS

Classification Title:

Temporary-Technical/Paraprofessional

Working Title:

Spring 2021 Empowering Mountain Food Systems Apprentice

Work Schedule:

15-20/hrs per week

Minimum Experience/Education:

-High School

Department Required Skills:

-Must embrace the messaging of sustainable agriculture, are hard-working, self-motivated, have the ability to work consistently on repetitive tasks and have a positive attitude
-Ability to take direction, show initiative, and work well in a team as well as independently
-Good communication and organizational skills, strong attention to detail
-Ability to lift at least 45 lbs
-must be flexible and open to working with producers, EMFS Program Managers and Evaluators, faculty, Extension Agents and other organizations
-Self-motivated

Preferred Years Experience, Skills, Training, Education:

-Keen interest in supporting marketing strategies to highlight messaging of sustainable agriculture practices, agriculture and product education, sustainable livestock production, benefits of proper animal husbandry and promotion of local foods
-For remote positions, skills in design and development of online digital marketing platforms
-Experience with internet based marketing strategies to expand customer base and increase revenue

Required License or Certification:

-Valid Driver’s License

Valid NC Driver's License required?:

No

Commercial Driver's License Required?:

No

Anticipated Hiring Range:

$12/hr

Job Open Date:

03/09/2021

Quick Link:

https://jobs.ncsu.edu/postings/141087

AA/EOE:

NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or [email protected] Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree equivalency verified at www.wes.org or equivalent service. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

 

 

 

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Job No:
Posted: 3/27/2021
Application Due: 6/25/2021
Work Type: Full Time
Salary: