Sustainability Intern: Establishing a CSA Program at Skidmore College

Location: Skidmore College
Dates: Spring Semester 2013, approximately 5-8 hours/week

Description:
The internship requires 5-8 hours per week, mainly based at Skidmore College. The primary responsibility of the intern will be partner with Sustainable Skidmore, Dining Services, and local food producers in order to develop a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program for implementation on campus in Fall 2012. The basic idea is that students, faculty, and staff could sign up for a subscription for a weekly share of local produce throughout the semester, or potentially just purchase a share each week as they have interest. They would be able to pick up the produce from the Dining Hall each week. The intern will coordinate with the various groups who are involved in implementation in order to educate the campus community about the CSA, help to identify pricing and financial structures that will allow this to work for all parties, develop a process by which the food can be delivered and distributed to CSA members weekly, and help to create a student labor structure that will assist with the implementation in Fall 2013.

The intern will report directly to the Skidmore College Sustainability Coordinator, Riley Neugebauer. The intern will also work with Dining Services management and several local farms in order to coordinate the CSA efforts. The local farms that are currently involved are 9 Miles East, Denison Farm, and Kilpatrick Family Farm. Scheduled meetings with the Sustainability Coordinator and with faculty sponsor Monica Raveret Richter will also be set up early in the semester to maintain communication. The intern will work closely with the other sustainability interns.

Duties:
– Review previous research and data about the feasibility of and recommendations for a CSA at Skidmore College
o Read Will Dowling’s Capstone from 2011-2012 which focused on this topic and look at his survey data and questions to understand if we should utilize some of his data or conduct a similar survey of our own early on in the semester
– Educate the campus community & potential participants about the CSA Project
o After learning about what has already been done via Will Dowling’s Capstone project and through the Sustainable Skidmore Office, conduct outreach to the campus community, or potentially to the list of those with interest in a CSA if that has already been completed.
o Learn more about the potential participants expectations and questions, and help provide information to them based on additional conversations with the farmers, Sustainable Skidmore, and Dining Services.
o Create materials that could be used to educate students, staff, and faculty about this opportunity that we could have out at the CSA table, and that could be used beforehand if we need to try and recruit additional participants.
– Identify pricing and financial structures
o After identifying the level of interest on campus for the CSA, work with the local farms to set the pricing for the CSA so that it can be incorporated into our education and outreach strategy.
– Develop a food delivery and distribution process
o Through conversations with local farmers, Dining Services, and Sustainable Skidmore, understand the best process by which the food can be delivered, on which week day, and when student workers can pick it up to be distributed.
o Recommend the best way for the distribution to take place. Should it be all available in bins by vegetable and people have to come and fill up their own bag with the different options, or should there be bags/boxes already sorted by student workers and ready to be distributed?
– Assist Sustainable Skidmore in creating a student labor force to carry out the implementation of the program in Fall 2013
o Write a student job description for CSA Coordinator
o Recruit students that have interest in this position for Fall 2013

Requirements:
o Intern must be committed and enthusiastic.
o Must have strong communication skills and be comfortable speaking with administrative staff, farmers, and faculty.
o Must be willing to be on email consistently and able to respond to emails promptly.
o Must demonstrate an interest and knowledge in sustainable agriculture and local food systems.

Please send material to Riley Neugebauer at rneugeba@skidmore.edu

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