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Requisition ID:  23835

Food Systems Coordinator

Job Summary

The Food Systems (FS) Coordinator leads a state extension program with the main focus on realizing value-added opportunities for local food systems.  These systems include clusters of producers, processors, distributors, sellers, consumers, and supporting organizations that have proven to enhance the rural and urban economy, the environment, food access and nutrition, and strengthen producers and markets.


The FS Coordinates a multidisciplinary team formed of educators, specialists, students, practitioners, industry and non-profit partners to meet Food Systems' clientele needs.  The main clientele of the FS Coordinator is small farmers in the state of Indiana with a special focus on underserved, resource-limited, socially disadvantaged, military veterans and urban clientele.  The FS Coordinator is a critical part of and an active contributor to the Diversified Farming and Food Systems (DFFS) team.  This position reports to the Agricultural and Natural Resources Program Leader at Purdue University.


The FS coordinator works closely with ANR Educators and Extension Specialists in developing and implementing a strategic path in support of FS clientele and leverage on current Purdue investments such as the Indiana Small Business Development Center Agribusiness Initiative, the Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute (FEMI), and the Purdue Initiative for Family Firms (PIFF).  The FS coordinator generates funding from external sources, develops and facilitates a network of local food producers, and provides training and mentoring opportunities to new extension staff.


  • Provide ongoing engagement, outreach and visibility with the FS audiences in Indiana by visiting producers, processors, distributors, sellers, and consumers to ensure that Purdue Cooperative Extension retains its role as the leader in meeting the education needs of local food systems' consumers
  • Implement, conduct and evaluate the Food Systems Signature Program across the state while looking for opportunities to expand the signature program to include additional levels and or content to better serve new and current farmers in Indiana
  • Participate in state, regional and national, professional activities to strengthen the position as a leader in food systems.  Work collaboratively to publish peer-reviewed and extension pubs on topics related to Food Systems
  • Work very closely with the DFFS team in support of signature programs like Beginning Farmer, Livestock 101, Urban Agriculture, Grass to Gardens, Junior Master Gardener, and the new Food Systems Signature Program
  • Develop and strengthen networks of local producers, processors, distributors, sellers, consumers, and supporting organizations
  • Mentor and guide new extension staff on how to connect and work with producers.  The coordinator will also work with researchers/extension specialists on projects which involve local and regional food systems including farmer markets


  • Master's Degree in Agriculture, Natural Resources or a related field
  • Five or more years of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating statewide extension programming with focus on small farmers
  • Demonstrated experience in fostering collaborations between local and statewide organizations and experience in grant writing, project development, and project management with a focus on FS clientele
  • Leadership and coordination of multi-disciplinary educational programs
  • Ability to manage budgets and financial records related to extension projects
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with attention to detail
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously that require high quantity and quality outputs
  • Advanced ability to develop and nurture relationships with diverse audiences


  • PhD in Agriculture, Natural Resources or a related field
  • Enthusiasm for supporting diversified farming practices
  • Appreciation for the diversity of agricultural pursuits/enterprises and combinations thereof and appreciate opportunities for all regardless of crop, production system, species, geography or rural or scale

Additional Information:

  • Purdue will not sponsor employment authorization for this position
  • A background check is required for employment in this position
  • Travel using personal vehicle (mileage reimbursement provided) is an integral part of this position
  • FLSA:  Exempt (Not Eligible for Overtime)
  • Retirement Eligibility:  Defined Contributions Waiting Period
  • Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer.  All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Nearest Major Market: Lafayette

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