Specialist - Outreach-Fixed Term

Job description

Job no: 697310
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Agriculture And Nat Resources
Department: Department Of Community Sustainability 10002241
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: 43420.00-50000.00 Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Non-Union, Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Agriculture, Education/Training
Position Summary

The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) within the Department of Community Sustainability is seeking a full-time, fixed-term Farm to Institution Fellow. This position is classified as a Specialist – Outreach that includes some research responsibilities.

This fixed-term position is a unique and exciting opportunity for a self-motivated, resourceful, and committed early-career candidate to bring creative vision to an existing, strong foundation of relationships, programs, and learnings to support and shape farm to institution programs in Michigan into the future. CRFS’s farm to institution work is highly collaborative. This position will require a collaborative, diplomatic candidate to work closely with partners from state agencies, MSU Extension, community-based organizations, institutions, potential funding agencies and national partners. Using a racial equity lens in all outreach, research, and communication efforts and organizational skills are critical for success.

Position overview:

The Outreach Specialist will support outreach, research, and project coordination for ongoing and signature farm to institution projects of CRFS including:

  • Evaluation of 10 Cents a Meal, the state-funded match reimbursement program to help schools, early child care centers, and residential child care institutions to purchase and serve more Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes;
  • Coordination of an Anchor Innovations project to support Michigan hospitals and healthcare systems to implement local food procurement as an anchor institution strategy, along with workforce development and community investment;
  • Transition planning for the Cultivate Michigan web-based platform that was developed to help member institutions track their progress toward the 20% by 2020 goal of the Michigan Good Food Charter, as we work toward adopting additional goals and/or values for the Michigan Farm to Institution Network beyond 2020;
  • Other research projects as needed for the Michigan Farm to Institution Network, a 650+ member network supported by a management team of CRFS and MSU Extension Educators;
  • Updating and sharing select Michigan Farm to School resources and providing outreach and technical assistance for farm to school practitioners and supporters.
  • Position expectations:

    1. Regularly convene and/or collaborate with CRFS staff and state and national partners virtually and in person;
    2. Maintain and/or provide leadership for data collection and analysis, including through web-based platforms, electronic surveys, etc., and share results;
    3. Develop papers, resources, and other creative forms of scholarship in a timely fashion for diverse audiences, including academics, practitioners, stakeholders, and the general public. Publication examples include reports, fact sheets, guides, videos, webinars, and journal articles;
    4. Present on outreach, research and/or education projects and findings at conferences, meetings, and other venues, which may include scholarly, government, association, and community audiences;
    5. Contribute to relationship-building and collaborate with CRFS partners and colleagues engaged in child nutrition, farm to institution, and good food efforts;
    6. Engage with the Michigan Farm to Institution Network, the National Farm to School Network, the National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative, and other relevant networks as needed; and
    7. Contribute to reporting on current grant projects.

    Expected of all CRFS academic specialists:

    1. Engage with relevant networks led by CRFS and/or partners and appropriate professional organizations;
    2. Document and share project work and accomplishments; maintain regular internal and external communication about project activities; write grant reports; develop and report on an annual plan of work;
    3. Actively participate in CRFS staff and strategic meetings and stay current on CRFS projects, activities, resources and publications as relevant to this work;
    4. Represent projects and CRFS in a professional manner in all forms of engagement and communication; and
    5. Help to foster, facilitate, and maintain the CRFS culture of anti-racism, trust, support and accountability.

    Status: This is a full-time, annual year (12-month), fixed-term position. Initial appointment will be for one year with six-month reappointment contingent upon funding and performance

    Available: June 1, 2021, or when a suitable candidate is identified

    Reporting: Individual reports to Colleen Matts, Senior Farm to Institution Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

    Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

    All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

    Required Degree

    Masters -community food systems, public health, n

    Minimum Requirements


  • Master’s degree required in community food systems, public health, nutrition, community development, food policy, or related field.
  • At least two years of work experience in a professional or academic setting required (including part-time or full-time and concurrent with education). Demonstrated experience fulfilling responsibilities such as data collection, analysis, or reporting, program coordination or communication, or provision of technical assistance, training, or outreach, preferred.
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness and ability to problem-solve and think critically.
  • Proven ability to self-direct and balance multiple projects simultaneously and to easily shift between working independently and collaboratively, including as part of a team. Demonstrated project leadership, management, and collaboration desired.
  • Demonstrated strong written and verbal communications skills and experience using a broad range of communication tactics.
  • Demonstrated experience using an equity lens in food systems programming and working with multicultural and diverse populations.
  • Proven ability to effectively and diplomatically engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholder groups such as nonprofit, academic, and governmental organizations and funders. Experience in network-building, teaching, presenting, and/or group facilitation desired.
  • High degree of knowledge of, and comfort with, using technology in completing job requirements including Microsoft Office suite; online search, file-sharing, and collaboration platforms; electronic survey and data analysis software; and phone/web conferencing systems.
  • Available to occasionally travel by car throughout the state and, infrequently, by plane within the U.S., including overnight. Possession of a valid, current state driver’s license required.
  • Understanding of, and committed to, a culture of anti-racism and inclusivity.
  • Required Application Materials

    Qualified applicants should submit 1) CV or resume, 2) a cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position. Include a statement of your philosophy that specifically addresses the alignment between your goals and CANRs focus on excellence through diversity and inclusion, including a summary of your experience with, or interest in working in diverse communities 3) names and contact information of professional three references

    Special Instructions

    If you have questions about the position or search process, you may contact Rich Pirog at [email protected].



    Department Statement

    The mission of the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University is to work to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems.

    CRFS recognizes that racism in the food system is historic, ongoing, and systemic. As we collaborate with partners to advance food systems rooted in local regions and centered on food that is healthy, green, fair, and affordable, we emphasize racial equity as a foundation of our work.

    MSU Statement

    Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

    Advertised: Apr 7, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close: May 5, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time




    Diversity Profile: University



    View more

    Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

    Arrow pointing right
    Job No:
    Posted: 4/8/2021
    Application Due: 5/5/2021
    Work Type: Full Time