Farmer Field Days Coming Soon!

No one knows more about farming than farmers themselves.  That’s why the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition is hosting a series of workshops starting Wednesday, May 25th to help farmers share their expertise.

Photo by Laurie Childs

Photo by Laurie Childs

Field days are free, on-farm, farmer-led events.  The workshops are geared towards people who are just at the beginning of their farm exploration – interns and pre-start-up farmers – but are open to beginning and established farmers of all ages and backgrounds.

The first field day will be at Ploughshare Farm, an 18-acre diversified vegetable and livestock operation in Moiese. Owners Nicole and Cale sell their produce at the Missoula and Polson Farmers’ Markets and through the Western Montana Growers’ Co-op and via that experience, they have gained a great depth of knowledge over the past eight years about how to successfully grow for a farmers’ market. Nicole will discuss crop and harvest planning and will host an interactive demonstration on setting up an effective farmers’ market booth.

Four additional field days will be held throughout the summer, with topics covering starting up an organic orchard and vineyard, producing vegetable seeds, growing weed-free onions, and managing resources on a diverse livestock operation.

For more info on this and other field days, visit http://missoulacfac.org/2016-field-days.html.

Zero Percent Interest Loans for Farmers

We are excited to announce that the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition is now a Kiva Zip trustee! This means that we provide endorsements to food and farm businesses in Montana who are seeking a loan on Kiva Zip’s platform.

To learn more about borrowing or lending, visit http://missoulacfac.org/kiva-zip.html

Note: If we get enough interest over the summer (which we know is a tough time of year!), we may hold a Pitchfest in September to help launch the first handful of Kiva Zip loans! If you’re interested, please email Annie at annie@missoulacfac.org ASAP.

Kiva Zip loans are:

  • Social Impact Investments, meaning participating businesses have a positive impact on their communities
  • Crowdfunded, meaning anyone on earth can lend money – from $25 to $10,000
  • 0% Interest, meaning lenders do not gain an additional return beyond what they lent
  • Zero Fees, meaning that neither Kiva nor CFAC charges any fees for this service
  • Up to $10,000, although borrowers are encouraged to apply for smaller amounts
  • For terms from 6 months to 36 months, depending on your loan amount

Updated Summer Position: Work as a Vista with CFAC!

CFAC, in partnership with MT Campus Compact, is searching for a Community Relations Coordinator Summer Vista! Join our team in fighting poverty by building a regional food system that promotes health, equity, and economic opportunity.

Coordinator is eligible for an Americorps education award once 300 hours of service are completed.

Note: This position is no longer available through work-study, so work-study eligibility is not required!

Apply ASAP! Start date is June 1, and Montana Campus Compact would like to have all positions placed by May 20. Feel free to contact Kim with any questions: 856.912.1080 or kim@missoulacfac.org. 

Community Relations Coordinator

Job details:

  • Compensation: AmeriCorps living stipend, plus eligibility for AmeriCorps education award at end of term
  • Hours per week: 40
  • Work schedule: Weekdays, some weekends and evenings
  • Start Date: June 1, 2016
  • End Date: August 9, 2016

Job Description:

The Community Relations Coordinator will primarily work to increase awareness of the Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) program and to engage its stakeholders in the development, execution and outcomes of the program. DSD is a community-centered program that supports healthy food access for low-income residents by making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable (a 1:1 match is provided when SNAP benefits are used to purchase healthy foods at participating venues).

This is a fun, interactive position with flexibility to include creative outreach projects of the coordinator’s choosing.

Travel for this position is not required, but the coordinator will have the opportunity to travel to partner sites in Polson and Whitefish to conduct outreach in those areas if s/he wishes. CFAC will reimburse the incurred mileage expenses.

Main responsibilities:

  • Work with project lead to develop a strategic outreach plan that strives to include a variety of disadvantaged populations, including seniors, children, Native Americans, and SNAP recipients 
  • Table at farmers’ markets periodically to offer nutrition information and food preparation techniques to Double SNAP Dollars participants and market customers; administer short surveys; and collect recipe ideas
  • Implement a social media campaign strategy
  • Plan and execute at least one Double SNAP Dollars community event
  • Provide program updates and collect feedback from Double SNAP Dollars vendors
  • Report feedback to program lead in an effective and useful manner
  • Conduct outreach and other activities as opportunities arise

Qualifications:

  • Pursuing a degree in marketing, communications, community development, and/or food systems work, plus related professional experience.
  • Junior, Senior, or Grad student status
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to connect well with others
  • Works well in a team environment
  • Highly detail-oriented and organized
  • Proficient in social media outlets, particularly Facebook and blogs
  • Position requires initiative, resourcefulness; experience as a “self-starter”
  • Availability for occasional work on weekends, especially during the Saturday morning farmers’ markets

Application instructions:

Apply through the AmeriCorps website: www.americorps.gov
If you do not already have one, you must create a profile on americorps.gov. Once you receive confirmation that your profile was successfully created, you can apply to this position. MT Campus Contact will be the first to contact you once you have applied.

Apply ASAP! Start date is June 1, and Montana Campus Compact would like to have all positions placed by May 20. 

Contact Information:

Contact Kim Gilchrist, Food Access Program Coordinator, with any questions about this position.

For more information:

 

Paid Summer Internship at CFAC

Want to help Montana’s beginning farmers grow successful, sustainable businesses?  Want to learn about how to develop new resources, plan educational opportunities, host events, and evaluate programs?  CFAC is looking for an intern for this summer to assist with a range of projects, including:

  • Promoting and marketing a new statewide resource, Farm Link Montana, to farmers and ranchers and the people who work with them across the state (throughout the summer)
  • Planning, promoting, administering, and evaluating a series of on-farm, farmer-led Field Days in Western Montana (throughout the summer)
  • Supporting MSU Extension and small business staff across Montana in offering business planning workshops in their communities (late summer)
  • Working with a range of partners to develop tools to connect farm and food businesses with investors in Western Montana (throughout the summer)
  • Researching and developing resources on land access for beginning farmers to be used in workshops in 2017 (throughout the summer)

Note: you will not be expected to lead these projects, but will have the opportunity to assist in development and management as appropriate. As an intern, you will have the opportunity to assist with multiple projects.  We can offer a $1,000 stipend to applicants able to offer 10-20 hours/week between May and September.

To apply, email annie@missoulacfac.org with your resume and a note on the project(s) in which you’re interested and any additional relevant information not covered in your resume.  We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis with a planned intern start date in mid-May.

CFAC is seeking proposals for Double SNAP Dollars marketing campaign!

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

MARKETING/COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN FOR THE DOUBLE SNAP DOLLARS PROGRAM

ISSUED JANUARY 4, 2016
PROPOSALS DUE FEBRUARY 8, 2016

PROJECT OVERVIEW
The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC), a multi-stakeholder food policy coalition in Missoula, Montana, is accepting proposals to develop a marketing/communications campaign for the Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) program. The DSD program provides a dollar-for-dollar match when Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps, are used to buy local fruits and vegetables at participating locations throughout Western Montana. The marketing campaign is meant to generate greater awareness of and participation in the DSD program. The project involves conducting market research, developing a campaign strategy, and designing relevant marketing materials.  It is important that the campaign strategy is directly informed by SNAP users and low-income community members. The marketing firm will work closely with CFAC’s Food Access Program Manager and marketing committee throughout the process. Implementation date of the marketing campaign will ideally be May 2016.

This project is funded by the Community Food Projects (CFP) USDA grant. We are seeking proposals from a marketing firm to lead the development of this marketing and communications campaign that addresses the scope outlined in this RFP.

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW
CFAC works to create a thriving local food system for Montana by pursuing solutions through collaboration, policy advocacy, and innovative projects.  A core part of our organizational mission is to assure that everyone, regardless of social status or income, has equal access to nutritious and affordable foods.  CFAC has worked towards this mission with our Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program, which enables farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture programs to accept SNAP, and is now expanding upon this work with the DSD program. This exciting new program directly addresses the needs of SNAP users by making healthy and local produce more affordable, while supporting local farmers, businesses and the economy. More information about the DSD Program can be found at: www.missoulacfac.org/double-snap.html

CFAC’S MISSION AND VISION
CFAC envisions a future where houses, farms, and ranches thrive; people are well-fed and food secure; family farms are sustainable, successful, and supported within a community food system; and farmers and ranchers can access the land they need.

PROJECT SCOPE

  • Conduct research on target audience (SNAP users). This phase should include a number of opportunities to gather input from a variety of low-income consumers, including the facilitation of at least one focus group
  • Develop a brand for Double SNAP Dollars and train staff on its use
  • Develop brand messaging and train staff on its use
  • Develop a regional marketing campaign that provides consistent messaging and branding across all participating Double SNAP Dollars retailers
  • Design relevant print collateral, per recommendations informed by market research
  • Provide guidance on campaign implementation
  • Provide input on a marketing how-to toolkit for Double SNAP Dollars retailers

REQUIRED DELIVERABLES

  • Key messages
  • Marketing/Communications Plan
  • Print collateral and templates
  • Logo or relevant images saved in EPS format
  • Evaluation plan, including recommended metrics and how to collect them
  • Staff training on brand and message use and campaign implementation

BUDGET
$8,000, plus $2,000 in printing costs. Applicant must be eligible to receive federal funds.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS
Please submit proposal via email in a PDF format that includes the following:

  • Description of your firm or business, including a summary of your firms’ experience, short bios of staff committed to this project, and examples of similar work. References and contact information are appreciated
  • Summary of your project approach for conducting market research and developing the marketing and communications campaign
  • Proposed work schedule
  • Estimated cost for all work related to tasks and deliverables

We are open to suggestions about ways to accomplish these plans and hope that you can be flexible as we navigate the marketing process. If the project budget limits your firm’s ability to complete the full scope outlined above, please propose an alternate scope of work and provide an explanation of how the reduced scope will still result in an effective campaign.

RFP AND PROJECT TIMELINE

RFP released January 4, 2016
Proposals due February 8, 2016, 5pm MST
Expected hire date February 19, 2016
Campaign launch May 16, 2016

QUESTIONS AND PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS                                                  Questions may be directed to Kim Gilchrist, CFAC Food Access Program Manager and Project Lead, at (856) 912-1080 or kim@missoulacfac.org. Please submit proposals to kim@missoulacfac.org by 5:00 pm MST on Monday, February 8, 2016.

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