Food System Professional Employment Opportunities

NAFSN regularly searches for food systems–related job opportunities from a dozen green job sites as well as COMFOODJOBS email list. Please note that this list is for professional or managerial positions only that pay at least a LIVING WAGE in your locale. Farm apprenticeships and internships are not included. Other farm management positions are welcome.

If you would like us to post a job opportunity, send details with links and contacts to NAFSN Jobs Listing Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Job Detail: Program Director

About Backyard Growers:

Backyard Growers is a grassroots community-based organization in Gloucester, MA. We are a small but mighty group of committed people who love what we do, and have fun while we work hard. Our mission is to cultivate healthy, connected, environmentally sustainable communities and to fight for food justice by teaching people how to grow their own food. We provide resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools, and offer learning opportunities in growing and preparing fresh produce. BYG serves low- to moderate-income residents and public school children in Gloucester, and shares our program models regionally through a consulting practice to increase our impact. Our goals are to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, help support attitude and behavior changes in making healthy food choices, reactivate neglected urban spaces through food production, and to build community and self-sufficiency within diverse populations. We believe that by growing some of our own food, we are empowered, connected, and strengthened.


Position Summary:

The Program Director oversees the development, implementation, and strategic growth of Backyard Growers’ city-wide backyard, community, and school gardens and programs, and our regional consulting practice. As a crucial member of the leadership team, the Program Director works closely with the Executive Director. The Program Director supervises program staff, interns, and volunteers. A day in the life of the Backyard Growers Program Director might include training a new school on how to implement our Salad Days school garden model, leading a group of volunteers in building a new community garden, training seasonal interns and mentors in how to support our program participants, meeting with middle school teachers to integrate the 7thgrade wheat garden into science and social studies curricula, tabulating program data for a grant final report, connecting with the School Food Service Director to promote fresh and local produce in the cafeteria, or recruiting new participants for our Backyard Garden Program


Position Responsibilities:

Leadership & Implementation:

  • Ensure the quality and success of our local programs, services, and events
  • Lead the development and implementation of our school and community consulting practice
  • Oversee the operations and technical aspects of garden builds and maintenance
  • Provide garden trainings and other learning opportunities for a range of audiences, including seniors and children
  • Work with program participants and community partners to be independent and self-sufficient growers
  • Visit program sites to observe, support, and evaluate program implementation
  • Ensure that program participants are successfully growing food and meeting program goals
  • Develop our annual calendar of programs and events based on our learning objectives and core competencies
  • Use resources economically, monitor program budgets, and oversee grant and contract compliance
  • Create program measurement tools, oversee data collection, and evaluate outcomes
  • Take on a staff leadership role in communicating and working with Board committees
  • Work with Executive Director and Development Director on events, fundraising strategies, and strategic program expansion goals and budgets

Management & Relationships:

  • Hire/onboard, train, supervise, motivate, and evaluate program staff, service members, and volunteers
  • Establish program goals and timelines with program staff, keep staff accountable to accomplishing objectives, and meet with program staff on a weekly basis to ensure smooth running of programs
  • Work with program staff to develop our volunteer program, promote our initiatives, and conduct community outreach
  • Attend relevant partnership meetings to connect with key stakeholders
  • Maintain and cultivate partnerships with city, school, and community partners, and identify future potential partners, funding opportunities, and consulting clients
  • Represent the organization at conferences and other public events; leading activities, trainings, and presentations


Position Qualifications:

  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 3 to 5 years of work experience in a Program Director role
  • At least 2 years of experience working on a vegetable production farm and/or garden
  • Knowledge of national and regional food system issues and policies
  • Cultural competency to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Experience cultivating and managing private, municipal, and non-profit partnerships
  • Ability to play a public front-facing role for a range of activities including community relations and organizing, meeting facilitation, public presentations, consulting pitches, and school and community outreach and trainings
  • Ability to work independently, be flexible, and manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced, non-profit environment
  • Ability to work well in a team-oriented environment, and motivate, develop, and direct people as they work, identifying the best people for the job
  • Detail-oriented with excellent communication, organizational, interpersonal, and writing skills
  • Proficient computer skills, especially using Microsoft Suite and Google Suite of applications
  • Must be able to safely lift and carry 50 pounds repeatedly, and be willing to pitch in on garden builds and other outdoor activities
  • Must have reliable transportation, be able to drive a car, have appropriate auto insurance coverage, and a valid Massachusetts’ driver’s license
  • Must be comfortable driving a large work van
  • Must submit to a CORI/SORI check
  • English/Spanish bilingual a plus
  • Knowledge of Gloucester neighborhoods and communities a plus
  • Strong commitment to social change through community empowerment and engagement
  • Personal values align with the vision and values of Backyard Growers


Compensation and Benefits:

  • $50,000 - $52,000 annually, commensuratewith experience
  • Exempt position, 40 hours per week
  • PTO benefits package and QSEHRAhealth benefits
  • Candidate must be open to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends


To Apply:

  • Apply by Monday, April 29. Position start date is Monday, June 3.
  • Send resume, cover letter, and contact information for two references to Include “Program Director” in the subject line.
  • We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates and contact only those individuals selected to continue in the search process. No calls please.

About the job

Location Gloucester, Massachusetts
Field Administrative
Time Full-time
Date 19 April 2019

About the company

Company name Backyard Growers
Logo logo


Form Company
Employees 0-10


Phone 978-281-0480

Contact address

Street 265 Main Street
City Gloucester
District Massachusetts
Zip 01930
Country United States