Friday, August 31, 2012

LAST DAY to help One Farm at a Time win $5,000!

Vote today to help One Farm at a Time win $5,000! One Farm at a Time is a finalist for the Yolo Federal Credit Union’s Community Challenge Grant. Without local farms, there would be no local food! One Farm at a Time gives all of us the opportunity to invest in the future of the farms and farmers that feed us — and ensure sustainable sources of local food for generations to come. This $5000 grant will move us closer to completing our pilot project and preserve Good Humus Produce as a sustainable working farm forever! The last day to vote is August 31, so vote soon and spread the word. California FarmLink is a One Farm at a Time partner.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Call for Papers Regarding "Alternative Food Networks"

Making alternative food networks work: hitching the horse of critique to the wagon of improvement 
Annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG)
Los Angeles, California, 9-13 April 2013

Co-organizers: Ryan E. Galt (University of California, Davis), Liz Carlisle (University of California, Berkeley)

Possibility of multiple Paper Sessions, with possible Panel Session


In our experience, the "horse" of academic critique tends to get decoupled from the "wagon" of making the world a better place.  We're interested in scholarship that bridges this gap, deliberately hitching critical analysis to the difficult work of improving agriculture and food systems.  Potentially generative critical perspectives include, but are not limited to, political economy and political ecology, feminism, post-structuralism, new materialism, and critical GIS.  Specifically, we wish to include in our session(s) research that is of use to, and/or has been used by, groups of people who seek to create more just, sustainable social and ecological relations through alternative food networks (AFNs).

We define AFNs broadly as alternative provisioning systems that aim to avoid or combat the social and environmental abuses of the conventional food system.  Prominent examples include Fair Trade, values-based supply chains (VBSCs), community supported agriculture (CSA), subsistence agriculture, community gardens and farms, farmers' markets, farm-to-institution arrangements, farms run by food justice organizations, incubator farms, and food hubs, though this is not an exhaustive list.  The research can focus on any element of these AFNs, such as labor processes, organizational challenges, racism and anti-racism, market exchanges, etc., and can emphasize the ideal, the material, the discursive, or a combination of these.

We envision that work based on participatory action research, community-based participatory research, engaged scholarship, activist scholarship, and/or critically reflexive praxis would fit well into the session.  Yet, we also want to provide space for practitioners who are interested in academic theories and analysis, and in heretofore "armchair" scholars who want to move into more participatory roles.  The group of papers in our session(s), then, will hopefully span the continuum from practitioners to academics, with an emphasis on the middle ground rather than the separation.

Please send 250 word abstracts to Ryan Galt <regalt@ucdavis.edu> or Liz Carlisle <lizcarlisle@berkeley.edu> by October 10, 2012.  Detailed abstract guidelines can be found here: <http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/call_for_papers/abstract_guidelines>.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ag Innovations Network (AIN) is hiring an Alliance Coordinator (Fresno County)

Ag Innovations Network (AIN) is now hiring a half-time Alliance Coordinator to join the AIN staff
team and provide staff support for the Fresno County Food System Alliance. AIN designs, organizes, convenes, and facilitates multi-stakeholder collaborative processes and initiatives to improve outcomes from the food system. These efforts are undertaken on the local, regional, statewide and national levels. The focus is on locally or regionally specific issues or outcomes (e.g.: regional food system infrastructure development, farm-to-institution programs, food system assessments, land use policies, etc.) as well as overarching issues such as ag water stewardship, ag greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the ag regulatory burden through interagency coordination, farm worker housing, etc.

Position Description

The Fresno Alliance Coordinator will serve as the staff coordinator for the Fresno County Food System Alliance, directly supporting the Alliance facilitator and the Alliance members, helping to implement the Alliance goals and process as described by funding deliverables, the Alliance members and the California Food System Alliance Network (CFSAN) protocols. The Alliance Coordinator will organize and support the efforts of the Alliance under the direction of the local AIN facilitator and the CFSAN program director. The Coordinator’s primary responsibility is to provide staffing and organizational support that will lead to effective Alliance outcomes. In general, this will include researching and assessing of needs, building organizational partnerships, supporting advisory committees, implementing communications plans, drafting reports, etc.

Specific duties of the Project Coordinator will include but not be limited to the following:
• Support the Alliance facilitator and members with basic organizing, including meeting scheduling and meeting logistics, tracking work products, preparing and distributing meeting notes and communicating with members.
• Research on issues, needs, best practices, funding programs, etc.
• Conducting stakeholder surveys and interviews when needed.
• Support Alliance committee formation and functioning.
• Support members in special projects and working out Alliance process issues.
• Create and co-create project information, descriptions, communications, reports, etc.
• Conduct maintenance of project websites and databases and social media.
• Maintain and manage updates to project workplans.
• Serve as planning and logistics lead on workshops, meetings, forums, etc.
• Serve as primary recorder/notetaker of results at all meetings.
• Serve as back-up and/or breakout process facilitator at meetings.
• Maintain effective communication with AIN Alliance team, especially Fresno facilitator and
Alliance director by participating in weekly/monthly meetings. Support the creation of publications, press releases and other communications projects with the support of AIN staff and Alliance members.
• Member outreach, communication and correspondence between monthly Alliance meetings.
• Community outreach to both solicit input on issues and solutions and to create deep ongoing engagement between existing and emerging community-based efforts and desires and the Alliance process.

Qualifications

Ideal candidate will be highly organized with excellent communication and management skills,
tech- and web-savvy, and have a passion for creating a healthy food and agricultural system. The
ideal candidate will have the following skills and experience:
• Three years or more of experience working to advance sustainable food and agriculture goals. Qualifying experience may include work in not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions and the private sector.
• Previous leadership or participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated ability in working with diverse stakeholders, including isolated communities, government and industry representatives, and public interest advocates.
• Familiarity with community organizing processes and the Fresno / Central Valley community.
• Excellent communication skills, including both written and verbal communication.
• Ability to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and project management software applications.
• Meticulous organizational skills and ability to keep track of multiple project efforts.
• Ability to work as part of a team to solve problems and coordinate projects.
• Ability to multi-task; work within a fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions.
• An undergraduate degree or its equivalence in experience in agriculture, public policy, community development or related field.
• Fluency in Spanish is highly desired.
This position requires access to reliable transportation and a home and/or shared office space with a high-speed Internet connection. The position will provide for compensation for the costs of transportation and use of office space.

About AIN

Ag Innovations Network (AIN) is a leader in the effort to create a vibrant, healthy, and enduring
food system (see www.aginnovations.org). Since 2000 we have worked with farmers, ranchers,
farm labor advocates, environmentalists, food processors, distributors, retailers, and health and
food access advocates—virtually every stakeholder in the food system—to devise strategies that
create better results at every stop from farm to fork. We focus exclusively on facilitating the
dialogue between stakeholders that will lead to new business models, new ways to grow and
distribute food, new community efforts, and new public policy to create a better food system.

Compensation and Benefits

The position is a half time salaried position. Compensation is dependent on experience. Paid
vacation leave, employer-paid health benefits, and an employer-matching retirement plan are
included as benefits.

Position location

This position is based in Fresno, CA and requires frequent travel throughout the County and
approximately three trips per year of overnight travel to Northern California.

To apply:

Please send a resume and letter of interest to: jobs@aginnovations.org
Ag Innovations Network is an equal opportunity employer, all interested individuals, including
people of color, women, and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.

The target start date for this position is September 13, 2012.