Farm to School Fellow

Center for Rural Affairs:  Farm to School Fellow


Goal:                                     Create access to healthy locally grown food for Nebraska’s school children


Title:                                      Farm to School Fellow

Hours per year:                    Full time

Location:                              Center for Rural Affairs office, 145 Main Street, Lyons, NE

Rate of compensation:        $30,000 + benefits (health insurance, sick and vacation time)

Report to:                             Kathie Starkweather, Director, Rural Opportunities

Start Date:                            February 3, 2014, (can be somewhat flexible)

End Date:                             January 2, 2015 – with possibility of a second full year term


The Center for Rural Affairs is launching a Farm to School (F2S) project. The goal is to source food from local and regional farmers for pre-school through senior high schools in Nebraska. F2S also provides agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities. It improves the health of children and communities while supporting local and regional farmers.


Principal Activities and Outcomes

1.    Build connections for F2S programs in rural Nebraska through face-to-face networking

2.    Organize training for farmers and school food service personnel in farm product safety and usage

3.    Provide individual F2S facilitation for 10 pilot schools

4.    Raise awareness of F2S, laying the foundation for future expansion



This position requires working cooperatively with farmers, school principals and food service directors, rural community members and leaders, and with Center staff. It requires travel: day-trips by car (company car is available on occasion). You will also have the opportunity to attend the national Farm to School conference in Austin, Texas, in early 2014.


Preferred Skills and Experience

1.    Self-starter and passionate about the work

2.    Goal oriented

3.    People skills

4.    Respect of all cultures

5.    Community organizing

6.    Some knowledge or experience working in rural communities

7.    Some knowledge of farming would be helpful

8.  Writing and public speaking


Additional Information:

Many children do not have access to healthy food in their schools. Much of what they eat is high fat/highly processed food. We want to change this. Working with farmers and schools, the Farm to School Fellow will help children throughout Nebraska have better food to eat in their schools’ lunch and breakfast programs. It will open new markets for Nebraska farmers and help improve local economies.  As the Farm to School Fellow, you will reach out to farmers and schools and organize two Farm to School summits. In addition, you will serve as the state spokesperson for Farm to School, being seen as the statewide expert in this area.  You will work with Center media staff to arrange press coverage for publicity and announcements, and will be in charge of social media for this program. Most of the work will be with Nebraska farmers and schools, though some will also include work with other State Farm to School Leads in the Midwest, regional Farm to School Leads, and the national Farm to School staff.

This is an emerging project at the Center, and you will be responsible for increasing its public exposure, its use by schools and farmers, and its impact on Nebraska schoolchildren. We will measure how schools and farmers participate in this work, if new growers develop as a result of markets provided by selling directly to schools, and by the number of children served by the program.

Time after time, the Center’s stellar staff can converse across cultural lines and are embraced by the communities we help. Our best staff are voracious learners and exceptional listeners -- who amaze us with their experiences, observations and willingness to share. Our top performers can write so well that we are in awe of their insight, humor and grasp of complexity.


Why would you want this job?  The Center for Rural Affairs has a national reputation as one of the top organizations in the country that works to make rural communities more vibrant. You will be hired to work a 40 hour week and we'll do our best to hold you to it because we don't want to abuse your time and good will. We believe in independence and job responsibility and your ideas will be heard and often times implemented here. And you will make a difference, have fun working at the Center, and be inspired by the people and work being done at the Center for Rural Affairs.

Please submit a cover letter not more than two pages, outlining why you want the position and why you feel you are the best applicant. Include a copy of your resume or vitae, along with the names and contact information of three non-family member references.  

Fellowship Program at the Center for Rural Affairs

Fellowships are fixed-term positions at the Center for Rural Affairs that offer early career individuals an opportunity to work in a national recognized advocacy and development organization. Positions are intentionally located in our main office in Lyons, Nebraska to ensure the fellow has a full opportunity to learn about the organization and engage in formal and informal strategy and development conversations. Fellows can expect opportunities to engage meaningfully in program development, fundraising, and collaboration with partners and allies. The Center is committed to developing the next generation of leaders in rural community advocacy by offering fellows learning, mentorship and professional development opportunities during their fellowship period.

The term for Fellows is generally 12 months, though may be renewable for a second 12 months in some cases. The compensation rate is $30,000 annually and offers health insurance benefits. Center for Rural Affairs Fellows are recruited nationally.

Your letter and resume or vitae should be emailed to:

  Adele Phillips

  Rural Sustainable Food Systems Specialist

  Center for Rural Affairs

Email is the preferred method for submitting your information; however, if you need to mail a paper copy, please mail to:

  Adele Phillips

  Rural Sustainable Food Systems Specialist

  Center for Rural Affairs

  145 Main Street

  Lyons, Nebraska 68038

This position announcement will close January 10, 2014.

If you have questions, please contact Adele Phillips, Center for Rural Affairs, 402-687-2103, extension 1022,

The full job description and more information about our organization may be found here:

Nebraska (Statewide)
Publicaton Date: 
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 12:00am
Company Name: 
Center for Rural Affairs
Deadline to apply: 
Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 5:00am
Job Type: