Temp EmPowering Mountain Food Systems Apprentice

Employer
NC State University
Location
Raleigh, NC
Closing date
Oct 22, 2021

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Institutional & Business Affairs, Auxiliary Services, Technology, Analysts & Programming, Multimedia & Audiovisual

Job Details

Posting Number:

PG191681TM

Position Number:

11ASO1755

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
Eligible Students Include:

  • 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.

Payment: Apprentices are paid through the NCSU payroll system at a rate of $12 per hour

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.
  • 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 Summer/Fall Apprenticeship Opportunities:

1 – Laurel Ridge Farms (Clay Co.)

  • Brasstown, NC
  • Duration – 10 weeks, 10-15/hrs per week
  • Working Business Hours – Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm

Laurel Ridge Farms was established in 2019 and is a 365 day a year vegetable farm using sustainable farm practices. The farm specializes in indoor hydroponic leafy greens and microgreen production. Laurel Ridge uses solar PV to power their innovative indoor operation by using renewable energy and many other techniques to conserve energy and water while creating a perfect indoor growing environment for production. In the last couple years, Laurel Ridge has expanded their production to include a greenhouse, high tunnel and an outside garden to extend their growing season and add the production of vegetable, medicinal, and succulent transplants. This expansion has increased their product diversity, maximized their growing space and expanded their market sales. Laurel Ridge Farms is community oriented and sells fresh produce to local restaurants, farmers markets and small corner stores where fresh produce and vegetable transplants are typically not available. The farm is consistently adding new products and looking at how to improve their operation.

The apprentice will learn how to grow fresh produce in an indoor hydroponic environment, in high tunnel/greenhouses and traditional outdoor growing areas. In addition, the apprentice will learn season extension practices, how to maximize growing space and yields, and expand market and sales through crop diversity. The apprentice will assist farm owner in maintaining market diversification by supporting farmers market and restaurant sales.

Duties include manually planting, cultivating, and harvesting of fresh produce, tilling soil, applying fertilizers, transplanting, weeding, thinning, cleaning, packing, and loading harvested products. Additionally, the apprentice will maintain and repair farm infrastructure and participate in irrigation activities.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties

  • Indoor hydroponic production
  • High tunnel/greenhouse production and season extension
  • Seed/Crop Selection
  • Crop Cultivation
  • High tunnel/greenhouse and field irrigation
  • Farming practices which adapt to climate variations
  • Product pricing
  • Market Grower Operations
  • Direct to consumer sales
  • Product reliability and quality
  • Proper record keeping for overhead and inventory
  • Integrated Pest Management techniques (IPM)
  • Good agricultural practices for fresh produce including harvesting and post-harvest handling
  • Small farm business management

Experience

  • Willingness to learn basic farming skills
  • Self starter

Estimated Number of People per Visit

  • 3-6

2 – Waynesville Soda Jerks (Haywood Co.)

  • Waynesville, NC
  • Duration – 12 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week
  • Working Business Hours – Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm

Waynesville Soda Jerks is a family operation specializing in high quality handcrafted artisan sodas. “The Jerks” sodas are all-natural and brightly flavored with locally sourced ingredients from small family farms in the Southern Appalachian region. Being located in Haywood Co., NC, Waynevsille Soda Jerks understands the importance of supporting other rural small family businesses for the success of the local food movement in the region.
Waynesville Soda Jerks is a turn-key operation. They produce their own product, do their own bottling, labeling and packaging as well as sell their product in their own retail space, at special events and through wholesale distribution. The Jerks are continually looking for new flavors to bring to their customers and maintain the highest quality to keep their brand shining and support and expand their market.
Apprentices will assist with forced carbonation soda production, including cleaning and sanitizing of vessels, fruit processing, product monitoring, record keeping, kegging, bottling, labeling, shipping, stocking, etc. Storefront and retail work are included in daily operations. The apprentice will work with The Jerks to source and procure fruit from local farmers, take photos and videos to upload on social media accounts. The Apprentices must have good time management skills, be self-motivated, and be willing to learn new things while assisting with scaling-up production of products to increase sales potential.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties

  • Food safety regulations and processes for forced carbonation soda- bottling, equipment cleaning, product labeling, and record keeping.
  • Food Safety Regulations and Processes for fruit processing – equipment cleaning, product labeling, and record keeping.
  • Product creation.
  • How increasing production along with marketing strategies will increase sales and profitability.
  • Order fulfillment
  • Direct-to-Consumer Marketing.
  • Customer service/storefront/tasting room sales.
  • Time management.
  • Understanding the local supply chain.
  • Understanding product pricing.
  • Retail and wholesale sales

Experience

  • Experience in food production or in the restaurant industry is a plus, not required
  • The applicant must be able to stand for long periods of time
  • Some social media experience
  • Friendly with good communication skills to interact with customers in the store and special events

Estimated Number of People per visit
1-10

3 – Cherokee Agriculture Company (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Qualla Boundary)

  • Cherokee, NC
  • Apprenticeship Duration -
  • Working Business Hours -

Cherokee Agriculture Company is a small acre vegetable farm located in Cherokee, North Carolina at the sacred Cherokee site of the Kituwah Mound. Started by two Cherokee partners with regional generational farming experience, they use sustainable agriculture practices with a focus on soil health to produce the best product while preserving the land for future generations. In addition, Cherokee Ag Co. uses seed saving methods to continue traditional growing methods and to keep heirloom seeds in production.
Cherokee Ag Co. understands the importance of the impact of fresh local produce on the health of their community. They grow and sell produce on the Qualla Boundary, to local food banks by partnering with nonprofits, as well as directly to another local business specializing in ready to eat meals.
The apprentice will learn how to grow on open farmland while maximizing growing space and yields, growing culturally traditional regional crops, and expanding market and sales through crop diversity. The apprentice will work with farmers to map current fields to practice proper crop rotation and support soil health. The apprentice will assist farm owners in maintaining market diversification by local market and regional sales.
Duties include manually planting, cultivating, and harvesting of fresh produce, tilling soil, applying fertilizers and pesticides, transplanting, weeding, thinning, cleaning, packing, and loading harvested products. Additionally, the apprentice will construct trellises and raised beds and repair farm infrastructure and participate in irrigation activities.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties:

  • Field Production.
  • Seed/Crop Selection.
  • Crop Cultivation.
  • Field irrigation.
  • Seed Saving
  • Farming practices which adapt to climate variations.
  • Product Pricing.
  • Market Grower Operations.
  • Product reliability and quality.
  • Proper record keeping for overhead and inventory.
  • Integrated Pest Management Techniques (IPM).
  • Good Agricultural Practices for fresh produce including harvesting and post-harvest handling.
  • Soil health and improvement work, crop rotation including block mapping
  • Small farm business management

Experience

  • Passionate and hard working

Estimated Number of People per visit
3-6

4 – Talking Rock Farm (Macon,GA)

  • Otto, NC
  • Apprenticeship Duration – 12 weeks, 20/hrs per week
  • Working Business Hours – Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm

Talking Rock Farm is a quarter acre high production volume 365 day a year farm located in the mountains of Otto, North Carolina. Talking Rock is owned and operated by a single farmer focused on leafy green and vegetable production using sustainable organic farm practices. Talking Rock Farm emphasises educating the public on the environmental and health benefits of eating and buying local organic produce. Talking Rock conducts educational tours and invites volunteers to work on the farm to support their mission of a healthy lifestyle through community outreach. The farm is totally off grid using alternative renewable energy sources including micro hydropower to operate the farm.
The apprentice will learn how to grow in raised beds, low tunnels and cold frames, use only battery operated tools, no-till and season extension practices, how to maximize growing space and yields, and expand market and sales through crop diversity. The apprentice will assist farm owners in maintaining market diversification by supporting farmers market, direct to consumer and restaurant sales.
Duties include manually seeding and planting, bed preparation. cultivating, and harvesting of fresh produce, applying fertilizers and pesticides, transplanting, weeding, thinning, cleaning, packing, labeling and loading harvested products. Additionally, the apprentice will work with volunteers, construct trellises and raised beds and repair farm infrastructure and participate in irrigation activities.

Learning Objectives/Job Duties:

  • Low tunnel production and season extension.
  • Seed/Crop Selection.
  • Crop Cultivation.
  • Field irrigation.
  • Farming practices which adapt to climate variations.
  • Product Pricing.
  • Market Grower Operations including Direct to Consumer sales.
  • Product reliability and quality.
  • Proper record keeping for overhead and inventory.
  • Organic Integrated Pest Management Techniques (IPM).
  • Good Agricultural Practices for fresh produce including harvesting and post-harvest handling.
  • Small farm business management.

Experience

  • Basic farming skills
  • Ability to work on hands and knees
  • Punctual and good work ethic

Estimated Number of People per visit
3-10

5 – WNC Farm to Table (Jackson Co.)

  • Sylva, NC
  • Duration – 8 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week
  • Working Business Hours – Monday-Sunday, 9am-6pm

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.
  • Improve social media presence.
  • Social Media analytics.
  • Track 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
  • Ability to complete tasks and respond to email communications in a timely manner

Estimated Number of People per visit
4-25

6 – Righteous Rebels Farms (Macon Co.)

  • Franklin, NC
  • Duration – 12 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week
  • Working Business Hours – Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm

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

Estimated Number of People per visit
3-10

*7 – Heaven’s Gate Orchards (Haywood, Co.)

  • Canton, NC
  • Duration – 10 weeks, 15-20/hrs per week
  • Business Working Hours – Monday-Sunday, 9am-6pm

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

Estimated Number of People per visit
3-15

What Specific 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 15-20 hours per week.

Is Time Limited:

No

Department:

CEFS

Classification Title:

Temporary Technical/Paraprofessional

Working Title:

Temp EmPowering Mountain Food Systems Apprentice

Work Schedule:

Flexible, 15-20/hrs per week

Other Work/Responsibilities:

n/a

Minimum Experience/Education:

-High School Diploma or equivalent

Department Required Skills:

-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
-Must be flexible and open to working with producers, EMFS Program Managers and Evaluators, faculty, Extension Agents and other organizations
-Self motivated
-Experience with internet based marketing strategies to expand customer base and increase revenue

Preferred Years Experience, Skills, Training, Education:

-For remote positions, skills in design and development of online digital marketing platforms is preferred

Required License or Certification:

-Valid Driver’s License

Valid NC Driver's License required?:

Yes

Commercial Driver's License Required?:

No

Anticipated Hiring Range:

$12/hr

Job Open Date:

06/17/2021

Quick Link:

https://jobs.ncsu.edu/postings/145538

Organization

NC State: Think and Do

NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we're a pre-eminent research enterprise with 12 colleges excelling in all major academic fields.

NC State studentsOur 34,000 high-performing students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures that they leave here ready to lead the workforce. NC State's 13:1 student-faculty ratio is one of the reasons why we're the best college for your money in North Carolina (Money) and the No. 5 best value among public universities nationally (U.S. News & World Report).

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NC State is one of only two universities in the nation leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers — one developing wearable, self-powered health monitors, and the other researching smart-grid technology. We’re also leading interdisciplinary efforts to curb nuclear proliferation, help farmers confront climate change and build a new American manufacturing sector.

Our research doesn't just get published in a journal or sit on a shelf; it makes an impact. NC State is No. 6 nationwide in commercialization agreements based on university research, and we're No. 2 among universities without a medical school. Our Cooperative Extension Service provides research-based information to citizens in all 100 North Carolina counties. In addition, our industrial extension unit — Industry Expansion Solutions — has created an economic benefit for the state's manufacturers averaging $149 million per year since 2005.

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NC State’s 9,000 faculty and staff are world leaders in their fields, bridging the divides between academic disciplines and training high-caliber students to meet tomorrow’s challenges. NC State students won two Goldwater scholarships, five Fulbright scholarships, one Churchill scholarship and a record-breaking 25 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, 25 faculty are members of the National Academies.

NC State bldg in darkOur Centennial Campus, an award-winning public-private research campus, is home to more than 70 partner organizations working alongside more than 70 NC State research and academic units. Centennial is also the location of the innovative Hunt Library, which Time magazine has dubbed “the library of the future.”

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More than 130 years after its creation, NC State continues to make its founding purpose a reality. Every day, our career-ready graduates and world-leading faculty make the fruits of learning and discovery available to people across the state, throughout the nation and around the world.

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