The Farmer Relationship Manager is responsible for recruiting and managing organic dairy producers in the Northeast to ship milk to Stonyfield’s production facility in Londonderry, New Hampshire, as part of Stonyfield’s focus to grow organic dairy production in the region. This position is primarily responsible for recruiting farmers, managing relationships with farmers and coordinating implementation of a technical assistance program focused on improving farmer profitability and sustainability.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.
- Responsible for all aspects of food safety and quality as defined in plant and department procedures.
- Identify and cultivate relationships with prospective farmers who fit Stonyfield’s direct milk supply sourcing criteria. Meet in-person with producers to review Stonyfield’s offering and make contract decisions in partnership with the milk sourcing team.
- Serve as primary point of contact for farmers and act as liaison with other involved parties to ensure clear communication and quick resolution of any concerns.
- Lead implementation of and overall management of the technical assistance (TA) program that offers participating farmers access to individualized TA services to improve farmer profitability and sustainability. Refine program goals, structure, and expectations for farmer participation. Evaluate efficacy of technical assistance program and recommend improvements as needed.
- Develop and maintain comprehensive network of TA providers inside and outside the region that can be called upon to work with farmers based on needs of participating farms. Manage delivery of technical assistance to farmers using team-based approach in which farmer meet regularly with customized team of specialists to conduct assessment of the farm operation, and develop and execute action plans for improving performance.
- Participate in TA delivery as subject matter expert in at least one area.
- Manage TA program budget.
- Provide regular progress updates to the milk sourcing team and leadership on recruitment efforts, TA program development and implementation, and overall direct milk sourcing program.
- Periodically participate in employee organic education trainings.
- Contribute to delivery of overall organic milk supply strategy as an active participant on internal milk sourcing team dedicated to milk quality, on-farm sustainability, cost performance, and service level.
- Actively seek opportunities to preserve existing organic dairies and spur growth of organic dairy in the Northeast.
- Represent Stonyfield at local and regional events with dairy farmers and processors, relevant trade shows, conferences, and workshops. Participate as needed in development of collaborative industry efforts focused on organic feed supply development in the Northeast.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Minimum BS in related field (animal science, agronomy, dairy nutrition, etc.)
- Minimum 5 years work experience directly with farmers, or direct experience working on or operating dairy farm
- Strong knowledge of organic dairy production systems, including National Organic Program standards, pasture-based management, forage quality, soil health, cow comfort, costs of production, and effective business management practices
- Knowledgeable about keys to successful transition from conventional to organic dairy
- Deep understanding of Northeast agricultural landscape, or ability to translate relevant experience from outside the region and quickly develop regional understanding and network of contacts
- Subject matter expert in key area(s) of dairy technical assistance program strongly preferred (ex. animal health, grazing, soil health, business planning, conservation practices, etc)
- Strong networking skills and credibility among peers
- Strong project management and project leadership skills
- Enthusiasm for frequent travel throughout the Northeast (New England plus NY and PA )
- Strong advocate for benefits of organic
- Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines within specified time constraints
- Ability to operate in a team environment
- Ability to adapt in a changing work environment
For more background about Stonyfield’s Northeast organic dairy supply development work, please see here:http://www.stonyfield.com/blog/organic-close-to-home-update/
As the leading organic yogurt maker, we obsess over everything we put into our yogurts and everything we keep out. By saying no to toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, Stonyfield has been saying yes to delicious, healthy food for more than 30 years. And we’re no less obsessed with the planet’s health. We’re always looking for ways to lighten the impact of everything we do—from our packaging to our manufacturing to transportation and beyond.
Want to know more? Visit Stonyfield.com, follow us on Twitter.com/stonyfield or find us on Facebook.com/StonyfieldFarm.
Stonyfield Farm, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.