TITLE: Natural Products Coordinator and Research Assistant
EFFECTIVE DATE of EMPLOYMENT: July 1, 2012
DEPARTMENT: Mississippi Small Farm Development Center
REPORTS TO: Director, Mississippi Small Farm Development Center (MSFDC)
EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full-Time
SALARY RANGE: $46,000-$52,000
JUSTIFICATION OF POSITION:
This position is necessary because the MSFDC wants to respond effectively to an urgent demand for technical assistance by natural products producers, primarily small-scale, limited-resource farmers. The MSFDC receives annually funds from the Mississippi State Legislature to support new and emerging agricultural enterprises that offer viable alternatives to the traditional agricultural enterprises such as cotton, soybean and rice. The Center is charged with assisting small farming operations in enhancing their viability over the long haul. Sustainability of the Center’s clients’ enterprises is dependent on competent broad-based technical assistance in a timely manner.
PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF JOB:
The main purpose for the position Natural Products Coordinator (Specialist) is to fill a staffing void in the Center by having an employee on board to provide broad-based technical assistance to clients engaged in natural products production, processing and marketing in an industry that accounts for over $25 billion in sales per year in the U. S. Having a relatively small market share of this large industry could be lucrative for a substantial number of Mississippi producers. The successful candidate will report directly to the Director of Mississippi Small Farm Development Center. His/her key deliverable will be high quality technical assistance in agribusiness management that enables at least 30 percent of core clients to achieve and/or sustain viability or breakeven and better.
SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY:
The Coordinator/Specialist will co-plan, implement, monitor and continually improve the essential and critical functions of the Natural Products Program. The Coordinator/Specialist will be responsible for ensuring that the MNPA, a producer-marketing cooperative, operates efficiently and productively so that it will attain financial independence, profitability and sustainability. He/she will exert much effort by being detailed to cooperate and collaborate with the MNPA to continually enhance its overall management, productivity and new product development to expand market share.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
• Plan, implement, monitor and continually improve the essential and critical functions of the Natural Products Program.
• Write a brochure and training materials on the Natural Products Program.
• Conduct workshops and training sessions on holistic approaches for successful enterprise development.
• Work closely with the Mississippi Natural Products Association (MNPA), a producer co-op that Alcorn State University co-spawn through its Mississippi Small Farm Development Center.
• Ensure the compatibility of MSFDC goals, the MNPA Board of Directors goals and ASU agricultural research to achieve a profitable agribusiness operation at MNPA
• Co-generate a Memorandum of Agreement between MSFDC and MNPA that will involve detailing the Coordinator/Specialist to cooperate and collaborate with the MNPA at the management level in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in their operation.
• Provide assistance with bookkeeping, accounting and banking functions for MNPA
• Coordinate research activities between Alcorn and the MNPA, grower farms and the ASU Agricultural Experiment Station to improve shiitake production as well as developing additional species of mushrooms suitable for marketing in MNPA distribution network
• Coordinate with MNPA Sales Manager the demand by existing customer base for Buy Local products that can be supplied by area small farmers and develop distribution system for those products
• Research and submit grant applications for funding for mycological researchAttend and participate in conferences and meetings to keep abreast of current trends in the field.
• Effectively use project and team management/leadership skills and experience to develop a team environment with associates that integrates effective planning and priority setting. Ability to manage several complex projects simultaneously and meeting deadlines.
• Assists with special projects such as plan development/reviews and proposal development
Candidate must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in the field of Accounting, Finance or a related field. Candidate must have at least ten years of management experience that encompasses financial planning and reporting, supervision of staff, grant performance and reporting, as well as manufacturing production scheduling, quality control, equipment maintenance and budget establishment and control experience. Eight years of commercial mycological production experience and research is required.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES:
Candidates must have good verbal, written and interpersonal skills; knowledge of Financial Reporting and interpretation of financial data; knowledge of Budgets and Cost Accounting; strong management skills, including experience in team-building; production scheduling within budget constraints and proven ability to work cooperatively with all levels of employees in a manufacturing environment.
1. Ability to sit at a workstation for extended periods Yes
2. Occasional ability to lift, carry, and put away parcels weighing up to 25 pounds Yes
3. Normal physical mobility, which includes movement from place to place on the job taking distance and speed into account Yes
4. Normal physical agility, which includes ability to maneuver body while in place Yes
5. Normal physical strength to handle routine office materials and tools Yes
6. Normal dexterity of hands and fingers Yes
7. Normal coordination, including eye-hand, hand-foot Yes
8. Normal endurance Yes
APPLICATION SUBMISSION DEADLINE: August 22, 2012