The New York Organic Consultant will assist farmers across the state and relevant adjoining regions in the process of transitioning to, initiating, and/or maintaining certified organic and regenerative organic (ROC) farms and complying with necessary regulations. In addition, particular focus will be applied to expanding organic and regenerative organic agriculture in the region through market facilitation and networking.

This position will report to the Consulting Program Manager and will work indirectly with the Research Department interpreting and translating soil analysis, crop production research, and other findings to farmers; they will also periodically aid in the development of educational programming with the Education Department and the Rodale Institute Farmer Training (RIFT) program. This position will work both remotely from a home office and will be available to visit Rodale Institute Main Campus in Pennsylvania periodically.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Travel within the NY region and adjoining states (where relevant) to provide agronomic consulting services to farmers directly
  • Guide beginning, conventional, and existing organic farmers in transitioning to, establishing, and managing regenerative organic farms
  • Work with existing organizations and buyers in New York to strengthen supply chains for organic and regenerative organic farm products; connect farmers with market opportunities and lead grower meetings to discuss overcoming challenges
  • Attract grant funding to New York and Northeastern U.S. to support specific projects that promote organic practices on farms (ex: communal equipment, cover crop trials, production practices, etc.)
  • Help develop educational programming for farmers across a variety of media (print, audio, video, etc.)
  • Assist farmers with completing all USDA Organic and ROC Program paperwork and recordkeeping
  • Respond to farmers’ questions regarding the certification process and organic crop production; disseminate practical resources where appropriate
  • Provide assistance to farmers in choosing a certifier, filling out the application for certification, choosing inputs, and preparing for inspection
  • Support operations and organizations that develop specific priorities around addressing food insecurity and offer services to historically underserved populations
  • Provide accurate, crop-specific production strategies to farmers
  • Provide advice on marketing and sales strategies
  • Assist and train willing farmers on using research and experimentation on their farm to improve crop yields and increase profitability
  • Stay up-to-date on information concerning certification to ensure internal standards and policies comply with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP)
  • Assist farmers in updating Conservation Plans with private or government consultants
  • Follow the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Perform other duties as assigned by management

Qualifications:

  • Experience working on an organic farm
  • Strong agronomic background
  • Knowledge of crops grown in the NY region
  • Strong customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Written and verbal communications skills
  • Strong organization and planning skills
  • Hold a valid driver’s license

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in the field of Agriculture, Agronomy or Soil Science (preferred)
  • Desire to become IOIA trained
  • Desire to become a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA)

Travel:

  • Extensive traveling across New York to visit farmers
  • Some out-of-state travel to meetings and conferences

Other Expectations:

  • Trustful and respectful to all staff and visitors
  • Willingness to work remotely
  • Additional Information:

  • To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to Elaine Macbeth, Director of Finance/HR, at elaine.macbeth@rodaleinstitute.org.
  • About Rodale Institute: Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For seventy years, the Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.
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