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Thursday, August 25, 2011

UC Cooperative Extension-Sonoma Searching for a Regional Food System Coordinator

The North Coast Regional Food System project supports connections between farmers and consumers while seeking to understand rural realities and identify viable economic development strategies within a five-county region.  The project links producers, processors, businesses, resource providers, and markets to provide efficiencies and competitive advantages throughout the "value chain." A Steering Committee, comprised of stakeholders representing the five counties – Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Napa, and Marin – has been established to lead this effort.

The project will hire a Regional Food System Coordinator to assist the Steering Committee and other stakeholders. The Coordinator, working closely with the Steering Committee, will build a knowledge base to aid in the development of value chains, and identify opportunities for innovative entrepreneurial ventures, vibrant business and micro-enterprise networks, and public and private sector investments. 

Scope of Work

1. Coordinate North Coast Regional Food System Network (NCRFSN) ~ five County Steering Committee Members, Sonoma, Mendocino, Marin, Napa and Lake Counties.
• Conduct regional interviews within the NCRFSN on the successes and failures of past/current efforts; and search for a food hub or system within the United States to serve as a model as well as interview key contacts involved as to its successes and failures.
• Identify the key elements found in specific geographic areas that create a vibrant and sustainable regional food system.
• Establish contacts with “Businesses” along the value chains

2. Identify Regional Food Components and/or Links in the Value Chains
• Review and collaborate with existing regional food systems, for continuous learning across regions concerning sustainability. 
• Determine needs/overlaps with the CAFF Aggregation study:
a. Production
b. Storage
c. Processing
d. Distribution
e. Marketing
• Help identify and measure key indicators that determine whether there is positive change in the regional food system as a result of projects or programs. 

3. Document Local Food Products
• Needs/Barriers
• Opportunities

4. Coordinate Subcommittees
• Work with leaders and food businesses in specific geographic areas and/or communities to identify and support the key elements that are not yet well developed. 

This is a contract position with the County of Sonoma for $30,000. Contractor will work with Dr. Stephanie Larson, UCCE County Director and members of the NCRFSN steering committee. Office space will be provided by University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Sonoma County.

The project timeframe is September 1, 2011 – August 31, 2012.  

If you are interested in applying for the position, please send a resume, a letter of intent and a one page response that addresses: 

(1) How you would you complete the tasks described above?
(2) What skills do you have to bring to this position? 
(3) Why do you want the position?

Applications will be taken until September 6th, 2011. For questions concerning the position, please contact:

Stephanie Larson, Ph.D.
County Director
University of California Cooperative Extension
Livestock & Range Management Advisor
133 Aviation Boulevard, Suite 109
Santa Rosa, CA  95403
707.565.2621  OFFICE
707.565.2623  FAX
707.481.4403  CELL

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