Hiring a Full Time Vista!

We are hiring a full-time Americorps VISTA through the Montana Economic Opportunity Project at RDI! This is an exciting opportunity to work with organizations around the state to support beginning farmers and ranchers by improving financial literacy, workforce training, and capacity building. The project provides services to limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran populations and the successful Vista will serve all of these populations through your work.

Key projects include:

  • Research and writing to enhance existing resources and create new resources for beginning farmers (see FarmLinkMontana.org for examples)
  • Event planning and hosting for a wide array of events, including hands-on workshops for farmers, farm financing events for community members, statewide network meetings to build capacity in other organizations, and statewide meetings on community financing
  • Research, writing, and development of promotional/outreach materials on community financing
  • Research and technical support for partners offering entrepreneurship training for veteran and tribal beginning farmers and ranchers across the state
  • Grantwriting and fundraising to support and expand the programs

We are committed to making your Vista experience a positive one that will benefit our programs as well as your long-term goals!

Information on pay and benefits is available on the RDI website. We are also happy to help with applying for SNAP benefits and finding housing locally.

Click here to apply via the Americorps web portal! The position will start on July 24th and we hope to complete the hiring process ASAP. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so early applications are recommended.

Questions? Email Annie at annie@missoulacfac.org.

Seeking Bids for Film Project

We are considering a project to make short videos detailing sustainable farm production practices and would like to hear from interested videographers about the time, resources, and funds a project like this would take. If you are interested or know of any videographers who might be interested, please get in touch!

Some additional project details include:

  • 5-7 minute average on each video
  • Project would include no less than 8 farms and no more than 19
  • Farms range from Missoula to Billings, but the contract could be constrained to focus on farms in the Bitterroot, Mission, and Missoula valleys if necessary
  • One farm might require multiple videos but most would likely focus on one video
  • It’s possible that some practices might require multiple trips to the farm to capture the practice in different stages but we will try to get all the content in one visit and likely make multiple visits in one day
  • Videos are intended to be educational resources that can provide key information to farmers considering applying these practices/tools on their own farms
  • Videos will be uploaded to youtube and promoted widely. We encourage the videographer to include an endcap with their business name.
  • We will be responsible for identifying the key elements of the practice to be documented and will plan interview questions, etc. and will rely on your expertise to let us know what is needed from a visual perspective (plus will welcome any other ideas you have about how to improve)

Some examples of similar videos include:

Please email Annie directly at annie@farmlinkmontana.org with any questions and your bid.

Farmer’s Aid Day

Saturday, May 20th.  CFAC is pleased to announce a collaboration with local farmers, which will result in 4 workshops that will provide practical learning and hands on experience in targeted areas.  
 
Mark your calendars for May 20, 2017. While most farmers are slammed with work in May, several local growers are open to hosting workshops to teach practical aspects of their crops and to help with work on their farms. Volunteers can get back to their roots, commune with nature learn something useful and enjoy giving aid to some fine Montana farmers.  This is a learning opportunity for the whole family.   If you are interested, please contact your chosen farmer(s) and explore this adventure for a fun Saturday.  Kids are welcome with parental supervision. Please no pets, as many of the farms have livestock and poultry.  A $10 donation for each adult is recommended.
 
Flowers, Greenhouses
Harts Garden and Nursery        Phone: 396-8245
Address: 4405 North Ave West, Missoula          Time: 2:00 pm- when finished
Harts
Harts Garden and Nursery grows flowers, herbs, and (new this year), bedding plants.  Marcia and George Hart grow commercial quantities of dahlias, ranunculus, tulips, delphiniums, peonies, lilies, daffodils, echinacae, iris, baptista, and some annual crops such as zinnias, celosia, pumpkin on a stick; along with a variety of non GMO produce and culinary herbs. See them at the Clark Fork River Market, stop by their farm, or call them to learn about their flower CSA program and other available flowers, herbs and produce.
Your time will be spent planting, transplanting, weeding, cultivating, general clean-up and eating pizza. Marcia and George will provide information about greenhouses, hoophouses, flower farming, marketing, and farm management. Call ahead or e-mail mghart@bresnan.net  to reserve a place for you and your family to enjoy an afternoon on the farm.
 
Organic Crops, Vegetables & Animal Husbandry
Turner Farms                                   Phone: 544-6600
Address: 606 Stallion Ln, Missoula                        Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Turner Farms
Turner Farms is a local organic vegetable farm in the Orchard Homes’ neighborhood.  With the diminishment of farms in Missoula, the Turners have made it their mission to open their farm to the community so kids know what local food tastes like, and what a farm looks (and smells) like!  During the growing season, they offer CSA programs, sell at the Orchard Homes’ Farmers’ Market and also directly from the farm. Along with their vegetables, they also raise chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, goats, pigs, cows and sheep. 
Erin and Jon Turner will provide information on raising chickens, weed management, small acreage farming and much more.  Projects on May 20th will include prepping gardens, planting crops, animal pen maintenance, general farm chores, weeding and maybe chasing a goat or two! Participants are welcome to sign up for a block of time, or the whole day! And there will be food at noon. Please call or email turnerfarms406@gmail.com . Learn more about the farm from our website:  www.turnerfarms406.com  .
                                   
Apples & Raspberries
 Green Bench Orchard                       Phone: 549-9017
Address: 4701 South Ave. West, Missoula               Time: 10 am to 2 pm 
Green Bench
Green Bench Orchard produces apples and raspberries using organic practices for U-PICK sales in the Missoula area. Fred Stewart will offer observations and insights into their selection of varieties and methods for apples and raspberries in their orchard.  There are up to 6 slots for participants to help prepare and plant several areas in the orchard for native plants for pollinator insects. A pizza snack will be provided.  Call ahead and reserve a slot for an outing at the orchard. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, have sun protection and bring work gloves if you have them.
 
Berries, Fruit Trees, Vegetable Crops & Chickens
Red Hen Farm and Orchard                 Phone: 240-3813
Address: 3803 Spurgin Road, Missoula                        Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Red Hen Farm
Red Hen Farm and Orchard is currently producing U-Pick strawberries, raspberries, peaches, apples, sweet corn, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and cut flowers. They offer a fruit, vegetable and egg CSA, as well as, Friday Farmer’s Market at their farm every Friday. No chemicals are used on their crops, so what you see is what you get, fresh and healthy fruit and vegetables that can be eaten right away. Find them online at redhenfarm.net or on Facebook @MontanaRedHenFarm.  
Greg and Julie Peters will instruct participants about holistic orchard practices, raising strawberries and raspberries, and will answer questions about other crops as well.  The work on May 20th will include planting out newly grafted apple trees, thinning raspberry rows, seeding flats in the greenhouse, and mulching orchard trees.  Food and beverages will be served at noon. 
We hope to see you there support our local farmers and learning new things. To sign up for one of these workshops, use the contact information listed in each section to do so. Happy Farming!

Protect one of Missoula’s last remaining agricultural lots.

Please act today – Help CFAC Protect one of Missoula’s last remaining agricultural lots.

This week, Missoula County is once again faced with the decision between protecting our most precious soils or continuing to create sprawl across our valley.   The Spurgin Ranch Subdivision proposal will have a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, April 27 at 2:00 in the BCC Hearing room (200 W. Broadway, Room 151 Annex).

SpurginRanch Speak Up for Farms – once again our best farmland is on the chopping block! We need your voice this week to help save this vital ag soil.

The Spurgin Ranch Subdivision proposes to put 19 lots on 20.01 acres of prime if irrigated soil (our very best soils!) in the Target Range neighborhood. These lots average .75 acres – too big to mow and too small to farm.  This is unacceptable urban sprawl!

Please contact our County Commissioners by Thursday of this week and let them know that Missoula values our agricultural heritage and we must protect these last few acres of prime agricultural soils.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Send your comment in support of agricultural soils to the County Commissioners at: mailto:bcc@co.missoula.mt.us.  They need to hear from you before they make their decision on Thursday!
  • Attend the public hearing Thursday, April 27 at 2pm and come ready to speak up in support of farmland! See the box below for possible talking points.

The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition works hard to preserve Missoula’s agricultural heritage and expand our vibrant local food economy.  We need your help to ensure our success!

SaveIt

CFAC is seeking an intern to conduct evaluation of its food access program

Food Access Program Evaluation Intern

Position Description

The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) is searching for a qualified intern to design, implement, and report on an evaluation of its USDA Community Food Project: “Food Security and Strong Communities.”

Job details:

  • Compensation: $4,500 stipend
  • Hours per week: varies according to task; see timeline below
  • Work schedule: flexible; must attend a check-in meeting once per week with Food Access Program Manager and must be available some Saturday mornings
  • Start Date: June 1, 2017
  • End Date: December 31, 2017

 Job Description:

The Food Access Program Evaluation Intern will be responsible for designing and implementing various evaluation methodology to assess the effectiveness of the Project in reaching its desired goals (see below). The Project involves a variety of stakeholders, including local farmers, Double SNAP retailers and customers, and community organizations, and will require a mixed methods evaluation. The intern will work closely with the Program Manager to develop effective tools and implement the project.

Goals to be assessed include: increased self-reliance among low-income community members; increased local food purchasing among low-income consumers; connection between local farmers and low-income consumers; increased affordability of local foods; increased profits for local farmers.

This is a great opportunity to exercise academic learning, take part in real community initiatives, network with local food professionals, and publish a report that will be reviewed by the USDA. Work will also be used for future fundraising, communications, outreach, and other endeavors to improve and further develop CFAC’s food access program.

Intern must be enrolled for internship credit or receive a TARA waiver. This project can also be tailored to meet graduate portfolio, thesis, or professional paper needs if being used for a graduate project.

The intern will have the opportunity to travel to partner sites in Polson and Whitefish to conduct interviews if s/he wishes. CFAC will reimburse the incurred mileage expenses.

Main responsibilities:

  • Design evaluation methodology
  • Design non-biased, non-leading survey and interview guides
  • Implement evaluation methodology, including surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups
  • Transcribe any interviews and/or focus groups conducted
  • Analyze survey and interview responses
  • Develop evaluation report

 Approximate Project Timeline:

Estimated hours; Subject to change upon final workplan, intern experience and efficiency

2017 Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Become familiar with the grant program and relevant research 15 hrs
Design methodology and assessment instruments 20 hrs 20 hrs
Conduct assessment (surveys, interviews, etc) 40 hrs 20 hrs
Transcribe interviews 20 hrs 20 hrs
Conduct analysis 40 hrs
Create reports 20 hrs

 Qualifications:

  • Pursuing a graduate degree in social work, community development, community health, food systems, or related field, plus related professional and/or academic experience
  • Experience developing surveys, conducting interviews, and writing reports
  • Experience with both qualitative and quantitative research and analysis
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to connect well with others
  • Works well in a team environment
  • Highly detail-oriented and organized
  • Must be able to work independently
  • Availability for occasional work on weekends
  • Working knowledge of analytical software such as SPSS, R, Nvivo, helpful but not required

Position open until filled. Early applications appreciated.

To apply, email a copy of your resume, a cover letter detailing your interest in the position and experience conducting research, and three references to Kim Gilchrist: kim@missoulacfac.org

Contact Information:

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