Seeking Michigan Good Food Academic Specialist

This position will support outreach and business assistance efforts that will allow Michigan food production, processing and distribution businesses to build capacity and increase healthy food access in low-income urban and rural communities.

January 16, 2018

Michigan Good Food Academic Specialist – Position #485535
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems & MSU Product Center

 

The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) in partnership with the MSU Product Center is seeking an Academic Specialist to support outreach and business assistance efforts that will allow Michigan food production, processing and distribution businesses to build capacity and increase healthy food access in low-income urban and rural communities. The position will provide leadership for MSU’s contribution as a Michigan Good Food Fund core partner and contribute directly toward the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter, particularly on healthy food access and economic impact for food businesses and Michigan communities.

Status
This is a full-time, annual year, temporary position. Initial appointment will be for one year with reappointment contingent upon funding and performance.  

 
Available
March 1, 2018 or when suitable candidate is identified.

Application Deadline
February 5, 2018 or until suitable candidate is identified. 

Starting Salary
Commensurate with education and experience up to $66,000 annually.

Reporting and location
Reports to Director, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.  Annual review conducted with leadership of the Center for Regional Food Systems and MSU Product Center. Housed at the Center for Regional Food Systems offices in Natural Resources Building, MSU campus

 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or agribusiness with significant experience in financial management and business planning required. Master of business administration degree and emphasis in agribusiness and/or the food industry preferred
  • Knowledge of Michigan agribusiness, food production, distribution and/or processing is required
  • Ability to write, read, and analyze food business plans and financial statements
  • Familiarity with business lending procedures and various forms of food business financing
  • Ability to effectively engage with and facilitate meetings with diverse stakeholder groups (in Michigan and nationally), especially food businesses, nonprofit organizations, and financial institutions
  • Demonstrated project leadership, report-writing skills, and consistency in being on-time in meeting deadlines
  • Ability to self-direct and balance multiple simultaneous projects and to shift easily between working independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to think and act creatively in providing business development and technical assistance to businesses so they may become loan-ready
  • Thorough understanding of healthy food access and poverty challenges affecting Michigan communities
  • Experience and willingness to work with food businesses in Michigan’s underserved communities
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills and experience using a broad range of communications tactics.
  • Ability to use and communicate the use of business analytic tools
  • High degree of knowledge of and comfort with using technology in completing job requirements including Microsoft Office suite, web-based search and information systems, electronic survey software and phone/web conferencing systems
  • High level of organization and ability to manage small contracts and budgets
  • Available to travel occasionally throughout the state and within the U.S. Possession of a valid, current state driver’s license required
  • Understanding of and commitment to equal opportunity/affirmative action and diversity/pluralism
     

Job Summary

  • Provide and/or coordinate appropriate business and technical assistance to Michigan food production, processing, and distribution businesses that seek assistance through the Michigan Good Food Fund;
  • Work with local and state partners to recruit and develop a pipeline of viable candidates for loans and business assistance through the Michigan Good Food Fund;
  • Manage professional service contracts with consultants and other service providers delivering assistance to Michigan food businesses;
  • Convene and/or seek creative collaborations with statewide project partners virtually and in person to enhance collective understanding and accelerate Michigan’s healthy food financing efforts. This will include core-partners of the Michigan Good Food Fund and partners from organizations working towards a good food system in Michigan;
  • Develop tools and resources that support efforts for education and business assistance for the Michigan Good Food Fund loan participants. Such tools and resources may include reports, factsheets, business management spreadsheets, videos, webinars, and presentations;
  • Contribute, as needed and where appropriate, to completion to other goals and objectives of the Michigan Good Food Charter initiative;
  • Document and share project work and accomplishments; maintain regular internal and external communication about project activities; facilitate regular meetings with stakeholders; develop and report on an annual plan of work;
  • Develop and submit funding proposals and fulfill project objectives, manage project budgets, assist with developing evaluation plans and tools, and write grant reports of grants awarded;
  • Actively participate in CRFS staff meetings and stay current on CRFS projects, activities, resources and publications;
  • Participate in required MSU Product Center meetings and professional development and technical training as offered by Center for Regional Food Systems and MSU Product Center;
  • Professionally represent CRFS and MSU Product Center in various forms of engagement and communication as related to healthy food financing and healthy food business assistance;
  • Report to and collaborate with project principal investigators as funding requires; and
  • Help to foster, facilitate and maintain culture of anti-racism, trust, support and accountability.

 

 Application Procedure
You must apply online to MSU Human Resources.

Visit http://careers.msu.edu and look for job posting #485535 under faculty/academic staff.

A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and an updated Curriculum Vita or resume needs to be submitted as a part of the application process.

 

If you have questions about the application process, contact:
Jessica Dunkel, Search Committee Chair:  dunkelje@anr.msu.edu 

If you have questions about the position, contact:
Rich Pirog, Director – MSU Center for Regional Food Systems:  rspirog@msu.edu

Please do not send application materials directly to Jessica Dunkel or Rich Pirog.

 

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems Mission
CRFS works to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems.

 

 

MSU Product Center Mission
The Product Center stimulates and develops business innovation and economic growth through business counseling, in-depth market analysis and technical assistance for new entrepreneurs and existing businesses. The use of best practices, knowledge and experience along with collaboration from internal MSU and external partners supports clients in the creation of successful ventures.

 

MSU
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Michigan State University employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status. 

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