The Small and Diversified Organic Farm Consultant will assist all farmers across Pennsylvania in the process of starting or maintaining an organic farm and staying in compliance with NOP regulations. The Consultant will report to the Consulting Program Manager and work indirectly with the Research Department, interpreting and translating soil analysis, crop production research, and other research findings to farmers. This consultant will also aid in the development of educational programming with the Education Director and the Rodale Institute Farmer Training (RIFT) program.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Travel within Pennsylvania to consult with farmers with opportunity for out-of-state travel
  • Guide beginning, small-scale, and urban farmers in establishing and managing their transitional, organic, and regenerative organic farms
  • Help develop educational programming for small farmers across a variety of media (print, audio, video, etc.)
  • Assist farmers with developing an Organic System Plan or Regenerative Organic System Plan and associated documentation
  • Respond to farmers’ questions regarding the certification process, organic crop production, and available resources
  • Provide assistance to farmers in choosing a certifier, filling out the application for certification, choosing inputs, and preparing for inspection
  • Support urban farming operations and develop specific priorities around the advancement of farms/market gardens that address food insecurity and offer services to historically underserved populations
  • Provide accurate, crop-specific production strategies to farmers, including but not limited to:
    • Pest, weed and disease management strategies for diversified fruit and vegetable operations
    • Cover crop selection
    • Greenhouse and high tunnel production
    • Tillage and cultivation practices, as well as reduced tillage options
  • Provide advice on marketing and sales strategies
  • Assist and train 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 Pennsylvania region
  • Strong customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Written and verbal communications skills
  • Strong organization and planning skills
  • Hold a valid driver’s license

Education and/or Experience:

  • 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 Pennsylvania to visit farmers
  • Some out-of-state travel to meetings and conferences

Other Expectations:

  • Trustful and respectful to all staff and visitors

Additional Information:

  • To Apply: Please send cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to Elaine Macbeth 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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