LOCAL FIELD ORGANIZER
WASHINGTON DC METRO AREA
Duration: 3-6 months
Application deadline: August 20, 2012
We will be reviewing applications and interviewing on a rolling basis. We would prefer applicants to start very soon/immediately.
The campaign to Save Nick’s Organic Farm and Brickyard Educational Farm started a year and half ago, when the County Executive of Montgomery County proposed bulldozing the 32-year-old organic farm, to build private soccer fields and parking lots.
The community has been fighting ever since. Nick’s Organic Farm is Montgomery County’s only organic seed farm (one of a few in the entire Chesapeake region). It’s also strategically isolated on the urban fringe so that it is protected from cross-pollination by the GMO crops grown on conventional farms located miles away. This seed operation and its soil, under continuous organic management for last three decades, cannot be easily moved elsewhere.
We have pushed to save the land and use it for education through Brickyard Educational Farm. Our proposal includes farm-to-school field trips, a farm incubator (farmer training) program, and programs that both promote sustainable farming practices benefiting the Chesapeake Bay and preserve our food security through the preservation of biodiverse locally adapted organic seed.
We have received overwhelming public and political support for saving the land for educational purposes through Brickyard Educational Farm, but still need to leverage that support into a win. We are looking for a motivated, organized, persistent individual who can take us across that finish line.
Job description: The position wears two hats: Campaign Organizer for our community campaign, and Program Coordinator to manage the outreach and political support of our educational program, Brickyard Educational Farm.
Campaign Organizer (70%): The campaign organizer would manage ongoing activities, work with coalitions, community leaders and elected officials, coordinate volunteers, and develop new strategies to win this campaign. Activities to manage/coordinate include: attending political meetings, giving presentations and building new contacts and allies, coalition building and management, grassroots organizing, press outreach, event planning, managing Web and social media presence, managing databases, and raising funds. Volunteer team currently includes many highly skilled and experienced professionals in the areas of political action and organizing, political strategy, grassroots organizing, media relations, social media and legal action. We are looking for a motivated, creative individual who is comfortable with developing and implementing strategy with a very skilled volunteer base and can work well with a large diverse group of committed individuals.
Program Coordinator (30%): The Program Coordinator will work with our Educational Director to recruit groups, promote Brickyard Educational Farm’s mission and vision, represent Brickyard Educational Farm in the public arena, and promote and attend events. The Program Coordinator should have an interest in and be somewhat knowledgeable about farm-based education and/or school-based gardening projects.
Montgomery County borders on Washington DC, has approximately 1 million residents and a $4 billion budget.
Qualifications and experience: 1-2 years organizing or working on political and/or advocacy campaigns. Experience with local food and agriculture, environmental or political campaigns is highly desirable. Seeking a strategic, well-organized, energetic self-starter with great communication skills. Candidate should be able to work from home (ideally in the DC or Baltimore metro area) and attend regular meetings and events, as needed, in Montgomery County.
Brickyard Educational Farm (www.brickyardeducationalfarm.org) is a farm education program in Potomac, located on Montgomery Co. school land, that gives children the opportunity for a hands-on approach to learning about local and sustainable food and farming, and the soil, water, environment and biodiversity that sustains us. In its first year, Brickyard Educational Farm has already served more than 1,500 Montgomery County children, and hopes to serve thousands more in the years to come. The farm also has plans to develop farmer training programs. Crops this year include kale, chard, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, zuchinni, squash, tomatoes, corn which are given back to the school children who visit the farm. Organic seed-saving and production is also ongoing and would continue as a learning tool.
Save Nick’s Organic Farm (www.savenicksorganicfarm.org) is a non-profit organization founded by Marylanders aiming to save the organic farm that has been safeguarding the school land along Brickyard Road in Potomac for more than 30 years. Save Nick’s Organic Farm seeks a down-County educational anchor at the site, which would provide opportunities for school children and adults to learn about local and sustainable food and agriculture.
Nick’s Organic Farm LLC (www.nicksorganicfarm.com) has certified organic operations in Potomac and Buckeystown, MD, producing row crops, grass-based livestock, vegetables, seed, and animal feeds. Farming organically since 1979, Nick Maravell, its owner, is nationally recognized and has been called on to testify at federal and state levels. He has been active in national and state development of organic legislation and standards, organic research priorities, and organic marketing issues. In 2011, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Maravell to serve on the National Organic Standards Board, a panel of unpaid experts established by Congress to set organic industry policy.