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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Seeking full-time Michigan Food Systems Collaboration Specialist


The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a full-time academic specialist – details in the posting below. Please share with your networks. Thank you!


Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist | Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd | Rm 302B Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517.432.0310 |




Michigan Food Systems Collaboration Academic Specialist – Position #512757


The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) is seeking a full-time Academic Specialist to lead efforts to build upon and further develop the collaboration underlying the Michigan (MI) Good Food Charter.


This will include ensuring a long-term Good Food movement supported by diverse partner organizations and institutions. This specialist will also work with local food policy councils and Good Food Charter partners to create a statewide food policy voice that is united and responsive to local council and community needs and will inform efforts to shape state food policy.


The Academic Specialist, working with other Center staff, will also identify and build the capacity of local partners in three of Michigan's cities to work more effectively in the areas of farm to Early Childhood Education (ECE), farm to institution procurement, local food-health policy, and measurement of good food progress, with an emphasis in local food-health policy.


This is an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated, resourceful, experienced, and committed candidate to bring creative vision to an existing foundation of relationships and learnings to ensure that the progress made through the framework of the MI Good Food Charter will continue beyond 2020.


Position expectations

Specific to project work

  • Work with a variety of MI Good Food Charter partners to further institutionalize the policy framework and goals of the Charter across organizations, programs, and policies
  • Work with local food councils, Good Food Charter partners and steering committee members to develop a comprehensive, robust statewide food policy voice that is responsive to local community needs and informs statewide efforts to shape Michigan good food policy;
  • Convene and collaborate with MI Good Food Charter partners and steering committee members to plan and conduct the 2020 Good Food Charter Summit and publish the 2020 Good Food Report Cards;
  • Working with other Center staff, identify and build the capacity of local partners in three of Michigan's cities in farm to Early Childhood Education (ECE), farm to institution procurement, local food-health policy, and measurement of good food progress; emphasis will be in local food-health policy.
  • Develop and submit grant proposals, including collaborative projects with CRFS colleagues and/or external partners, and manage projects, personnel and/or budgets to fulfill project objectives;
  • Plan and co-coordinate recurring team meetings with CRFS project staff; and
  • Provide information to project principle investigators on grant deliverables as funding requires


Expected of all CRFS academic specialists

  • Engage with relevant networks led by CRFS and/or partners and appropriate professional organizations;
  • Document and share project work and accomplishments; maintain regular internal and external communication about project activities; write grant reports; develop and report on an annual plan of work;
  • Actively participate in CRFS staff and strategic meetings and stay current on CRFS projects, activities, resources and publications as relevant to this work;
  • Represent projects and CRFS in a professional manner in all forms of engagement and communication; and
  • Help to foster, facilitate, and maintain the CRFS culture of anti-racism, trust, support and accountability.



This is a full-time, annual year, temporary position. Initial appointment will be for one year with reappointment contingent upon funding and performance.



September 1, 2018 or until a suitable candidate is identified.


Application Deadline

July 15, 2018 or until a suitable candidate is identified. 


Starting Salary

Commensurate with education and experience: range is $52,000 to $68,000 annually.



Individual reports to Director, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.



  1. Master's degree required in community food systems, food policy, community development, or a related field.
  2. At least five years of post-graduate experience working with regional food systems, and state and/or local food policy. Knowledge and understanding of the MI Good Food Charter or another state-level food charter is preferred but not required. 
  3. Demonstrated project leadership and management experience.
  4. Demonstrated resourcefulness, self-motivation and ability to problem-solve and think critically.
  5. Ability to self-direct and balance multiple projects simultaneously and to easily shift between working independently and as part of a team.
  6. Demonstrated strong written and verbal communications skills and experience using a broad range of communication tactics.
  7. Ability to effectively and diplomatically engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholder groups (in Michigan and nationally) such as academic faculty and staff, organizational partners, and funders. 
  8. Experience working with multicultural and diverse populations.
  9. High degree of knowledge of and comfort with using technology in completing job requirements including Microsoft Office suite; online search, file-sharing, and collaboration platforms; electronic survey software; and phone/web conferencing systems. 
  10. Available to regularly travel throughout the state and occasionally within the US, including overnight, and possession of a valid, current state driver's license.
  11. Understanding of and committed to a culture of anti-racism and inclusivity. 


Application Procedure

You must apply online to MSU Human Resources.


Visit  look for job posting #512757 under faculty/academic staff.


A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and an updated curriculum Vita or resume needs to be submitted as a part of the application process.


If you have questions about the position or search process, you may contact Rich Pirog,


Please do not send application materials directly to Rich Pirog.


Michigan State University

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found


MSU Center for Regional Food Systems Mission

CRFS works to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems.


MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Michigan State University employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.



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