About the Role
(This position is currently filled but we will gladly consider your application for the next term or for another position. The earliest possible start date for the next member in this role is 8/26/2024).
As a Community Garden and Farm Strategist VISTA, your service will contribute to the development of an incubator farm in Northeast Iowa which will provide a key pathway into the farming profession for underserved populations. You will familiarize yourself with the incubator farm model by researching success stories and holding discussions with leaders in the field, becoming an expert in the local and statewide landscape of laws, incentives, and other factors contributing to the ease or difficulty of establishing an incubator farm.
You will also promote the formation of partnerships which will lead to an incubator farm’s creation, working with such entities as extension agencies, local farmers and land-owners, community-based organizations representing populations identified as having a strong interest in farming, civic leaders, and educational institutions.
As a Nourish Iowa VISTA member, you will research existing incubator farms’ organization and processes. You will have the opportunity to speak with incubator farm leaders regionally and nationally. You will conduct a community needs assessment among potential users of the proposed incubator farm; identify and contact key community leaders and partners to assemble a planning team under the Leighty Foundation grant guidelines; and develop communication strategies to promote the long-term value of the incubator farm for the region. Gathered information will provide foundational materials for our community partners to consider as we work to establish an incubator farm in the Cedar Valley.
You should work well alongside diverse groups of people with accountability and compassion; be eager to establish and maintain positive working relationships; and have an equity centered mindset, excellent communication, and interpersonal and organizational skills.
About the Organization
As a Nourish Iowa VISTA member, you will serve among a cohort of members throughout Iowa, sponsored by the Center for Energy & Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa, and will have frequent opportunities to share knowledge within this community through regular cohort-wide meetings and site visits. In addition to all standard AmeriCorps VISTA benefits, you will engage regularly with thought leaders in local food via the Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network and Regional Food Systems Working Group, in addition to being invited to professional development opportunities coordinated by a VISTA Leader in your cohort.