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University of Minnesota
Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP)
Posted: 09/20/2022
Program Coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems NW Region
Salary: $55,000 - $65,000

Working Title: Program Coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems NW Region

Appointment: Annually renewable, Full-time, Academic Administrative, (Job code 9745S1 – Education Program Specialist 1)

Office Location: Northwest RSDP region, U of M, Crookston Extension Office preferred.

Reports to: Executive Director, Extension Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership

Application Deadline: October 10, 2022



The U of M Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) is a program of the University of Minnesota Extension. Citizen-driven University Partnerships based in five regions throughout greater Minnesota work to foster active citizenship, achieve sustainable development (focusing on natural resources, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and food systems and resilient communities) and create a vital relationship between the citizens of the State and their land grant university. For over 25 years, the Regional Partnerships have been working with communities to build sustainable local food systems, with a portfolio of projects numbering over 500. For more information about the Regional Partnerships, go to 


This position focuses on the Northwest (NW) Regional Partnership sustainable agriculture and food system project area. This person will serve as a point person for community-driven NW food system projects, including working with partners, coordinating NW food system work group meetings, and leading NW food system planning and program efforts. This position will also work with the statewide RSDP sustainable agriculture and food systems team by providing work and leadership on the U of M Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships sustainable agriculture and food systems rural grocery store project portfolio. This position also provides long term leadership and program development for statewide sustainable agriculture and food systems suite of projects guided by multi-regional priorities and by harnessing relevant trends in sustainable agriculture and food systems.


  • Provide field leadership for two grant-funded projects (achieving project deliverables, tracking and reporting on project outcomes, initiating and coordinating backhaul arrangements involving local farms, rural grocery stores, and wholesale warehouses; and building rural grocery store owner and managers capacity to access resources and other issues impacting the sector)
  • Support the NW RSDP Executive Director by leading the NW sustainable agriculture and food system program area.
  • Manage the portfolio of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) projects in the NW Region
  • Work with RSDP Director of SAFS to develop, write, and lead sustainable agriculture and food system grants and projects
  • Provide staffing to the NW RSDP Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems work group, manage incoming ideas and requests for support, support community partners in submitting proposals, support the work group and board in vetting projects and making decisions on which projects to support
  • Provide support to other RSDP Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems regional work groups as needed
  • Conduct ‘inreach’ to the University to identify, engage and work with University of Minnesota faculty and staff to support community projects
  • Build relationships with a wide range of community members and organizations in the area of SAFS
  • Work with statewide sustainable agriculture and food system staff to coordinate and implement regional priorities in the Northwest Region as they relate to statewide efforts
  • Serve on a statewide sustainable agriculture and food system team representing the Northwest Region and grant funded efforts



Required Qualifications:

  • Four-year degree in disciplines including, but not limited to, agricultural sciences, business and economics, community development, regional planning, design and public health.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of agricultural production and food systems, community engagement, and research, planning and/or design skills to proposed and ongoing efforts
  • Three years of professional experience working on integrated projects with diverse stakeholders in a participatory process on topics like food systems, environment, community development, natural resources, or related disciplines
  • Professional experience in local foods and sustainable agriculture initiatives, for example Extension, supply chain, production, wholesale distribution, and retail management.
  • Ability to build and maintain professional networks with diverse stakeholders associated with agriculture and local foods networks
  • Project management skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to effectively work with undergraduate, graduate students, and faculty from a variety of disciplines

Additional Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and access to vehicle with required insurance.
  • Ability to travel throughout Minnesota and neighboring states to include evenings and overnight stay.
  • Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office locations
  • Ability to sit for prolonged periods of time working on computer with frequent keyboarding
  • Attendance at evening or weekend meetings/events
  • Personal cell phone to be used, as needed, for work purposes and published in the Extension public staff directory.
  • This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship
  • Must be able to submit proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit a completed religious/medical exemption and agree to comply with the University’s testing requirement.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters degree, including from fields listed above
  • Experience with meeting facilitation
  • Program design skills
  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills
  • Leadership development skills
  • Experience with interdisciplinary and community-engaged scholarship
  • Grant writing experience



This is an annually-renewable academic professional (P/A) appointment. Renewal each year is contingent on funding, program needs, performance and results.


Estimated $55,000-65,000 salary range; commensurate with qualifications and experience. University of Minnesota benefits apply, complete information is at


Travel throughout Minnesota and neighboring states is required to perform the responsibilities of this position. Personal means for traveling is required with reimbursement made in accordance with University policy.



University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. Our mission is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Extension strives to attract and retain high-quality, passionate employees, and weave diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of Extension’s programming and employee engagement



Please apply at:, Job Opening ID: 351687

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. Please include the following attachments with your online application:

  • Cover letter- Summarize the strengths you will bring to this position.
  • Resume or Vitae
  • A Diversity Statement- A diversity statement should be a one-page document that highlights your unique strengths, experiences, and perspectives, and shows how you value equity, diversity, and inclusion. Tips for writing your statement include:

              o Personalize it through your own views, experiences, and specific examples

              o Write about topics through the lens of your own knowledge or experience

              o If you don’t have personal experience on a topic, reflect on why

              o Your demonstrated learning and growth in these areas

Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required during the interview process.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions,

To request an accommodation during the application process, please email or call 612-624-UOHR (8647).


For questions about this position, contact:

Constance Carlson, Assistant Statewide Director and Search Chair,

For questions about applying online, contact:

Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources,



Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University’s Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit:



The University of Minnesota and Extension recognize and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U: