Beginning Farmer Technical Assistance Project Coordinator

Organization: Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions)

Location:        Boston, MA  (specific working location to be determined) 

Posted:           12/19/2014

Organization Description: The Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED), a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, has provided training, evaluation and management activities worldwide since 1988. ISED believes that high quality technical assistance, program evaluation, and measurement improve long-term social and economic outcomes for vulnerable people and their communities.  Refugee farming and gardening is ISED’s prominent domestic emphasis at the current time.

Job Summary:  The project is funded by USDA to set up a three-year collaboration with 24+ refugee-focused farming incubator projects (RFIPs) nationwide, to review beginning farmer curricula and programs for refugees, identify the gaps and develop, pilot test, and distribute specialized curricula and course workshop modules, and develop and test multiple instructional tools and manuals for instructors and technical assistance providers.  The Coordinator will work closely with the Project Director, interns, and partners to implement the program.  Major activities include coordination with partners; strengthening instructional and curriculum development skills among RFIPs; developing and pilot testing curricula and instructional methods; tracking and evaluating development and implementation efforts; and coordinating dissemination with USDA and project partners.

Essential Job Functions:

Team coordination and leadership: work with four teams and 20+ partners / organizations to plan and carry out core activities.  Includes liaisons with major partners New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and International Rescue Commission.


Assessment: Assemble and review existing curricula, and identify gaps in the education training and mentoring of refugee and immigrant beginning farmers.


Curriculum development: Help partners develop new and adapted curricula and instructional methods for refugee-focused farming incubator projects.


Dissemination: Assist all beginning farmer and rancher training programs by collaborating with the USDA-funded Clearinghouse, New Entry’ National Incubator Farm Training Initiative, other funded beginning farmer projects, and diverse beginning farmer service providers across the landscape to access, share or post relevant resources via websites, emails, and/or other communications


Tracking and evaluation: Help partners maintain commitments to document outputs and outcomes for their projects and their participating farmers; includes tracking multiple metrics from the onset of the program.

Overall Program Development: In order to expand resources for this work, assist in identifying other government and private (foundation) funding sources; and in the preparation of funding applications.

Other responsibilities:

  • Facilitate trainings to build instructional and curriculum development skills for RFIP audiences.
  • Assist partners to pilot test resources and instructional methods to train farmers and to provide feedback to the Development Team.
  • Support a Community of Practice approach to engage partners in peer-to-peer learning and sharing to strengthen their programs and deliver more effective T&TA.
  • Help manage meeting arrangements, expense reimbursements, scheduled payments to partners, and similar administrative activities. 

Special requirements:  

  • Available to travel for 2-4 annual project meetings (2-4 days per trip) with partners.
  • In a part-time capacity, availability, with reasonable notice, to participate in meetings, calls, events, and similarly scheduled activities involving other staff and partners.
  • Some flexibility as to main working location; currently location is to be determined.
  • Currently a 75% FTE position, but if interested, opportunities to reach 100% FTE through partner opportunities, and/or additional grants and consulting for related work will be strongly supported.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent, Master’s a plus.
  • 3+ years in nonprofit sector or equivalent work experience in related fields. 
  • Knowledge of small-scale farming operations and non-profit operations and management.
  • Experience with training and technical assistance for adults, particularly  for linguistically-challenged and limited education audiences.  Cross-cultural experience similarly helpful.
  • Grantsmanship experience and interest a plus.
  • Commitments to participatory and inclusive decision-making processes.
  • Meeting facilitation skills a plus.
  • Highly organized and strong attention to detail. 
  • Self-motivated and directed; works well within a rapidly evolving environment.
  • Effective communications, interpersonal skills, and strong writing ability. 
  • Working knowledge of basic computer software (MS Office, social media, distance learning tools).  
  • Additional computer skills including website development / operation; Salesforce experience a plus.

To Apply:  Apply by 1/7/2015, sooner is preferred.

We strongly encourage online applications. To apply, visit please include a resume and cover letter. We do accept applications by mail or fax.

Send to: Third Sector New England; NonProfit Center, 7th floor; Attn: HR – 89 South Street; Boston, MA 02111 or Fax: 617.523.2070.

Specific questions may be addressed to:  Hugh Joseph –

Boston, Massachusetts
Publicaton Date: 
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 12:00am
Company Name: 
Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions)