Apprenticeship Descriptions

Farmer Foodshare (Durham, NC)

Farmer Foodshare is a non-profit organization located in Durham, NC., with a mission to make fresh, local food available to everyone in our community, and ensure the farmers growing it make a healthy living. The apprentice will work to develop a plan for Farmer Foodshare to become Good Handling Practices (GHP) certified. The person would need to research the procedures, protocols and documentation that Farmer Foodshare needs to follow to pass the USDA audit. In addition, the intern would develop procedures and protocols for Farmer Foodshare employees to follow to maintain proper handling practices once the GHP certification is obtained. Any experience or knowledge of GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) and/or GHP rules and regulations would be highly beneficial. The apprentice will gain the skills to do consulting work for an individual or organization interested in developing a GAP/GHP plan.

Learn more about Farmer Foodshare at http://www.farmerfoodshare.org/

Feast Down East (Burgaw, NC)

Feast Down East (FDE) is a non-profit that works with limited-resource local farmers to help them build and sustain their farms and connect them with retail and wholesale buyers. The Feast Down East Food Hub, located in Burgaw, serves as an intermediary between retailers’ and wholesalers demand for local food and individual growers. Feast Down East manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products. The apprentice’s primary duties will be to:

  • Researching potential high profit specialty crops not currently grown in southeastern NC, but that could be based on production success in similar climates and current culinary trends.
  • Farmer outreach (updating contact info, identifying new farms, providing info about FDE programs/services) through phone calls and/or farm visits. Seeking new producers to work with the FDE food hub.
  • Updating marketing materials that promote local farms (farmer profiles on FDE website, materials for display at restaurants, etc.).
  • Learning about and helping with day-to-day food hub operations.

The ideal candidate has general research and reporting skills, excellent verbal and written communication, and basic graphic design capabilities (simple handouts, flyers, etc.). The apprentice will gain inside knowledge of food hub operations, keys to building relationships with producers, and existing and potential specialty crops for this region.

Learn more about Feast Down East at http://www.feastdowneast.org/

Firsthand Foods (Durham)

Firsthand Foods is a LLC that connects North Carolina’s pasture-based livestock producers with local food lovers, restaurants, and retailers.  We source from a network of remarkable farmers who raise their animals humanely, on pasture, without using sub-therapeutic antibiotics, animal by-products, or added hormones. We do the legwork necessary to get a consistent selection of quality local meats into local markets.  We trace our products back to the farm of origin, so our customers know exactly where their meat comes from and how it was raised. Firsthand Foods seeks to build a more sustainable food system for North Carolina.

Firsthand Foods is interested in a sales and marketing intern to assist with our marketing efforts, including social media and community engagement.   This will include developing blog entries and Instagram posts focused on our supply chain partners, especially our chef and retail customers and farmers.  We will also ask the intern to help execute a social media “passport” campaign that supports our customers and highlights how they help Firsthand Foods solve the “whole animal utilization” challenge. The ideal apprentice has strong communication skills, including excellent research and writing skills. They are also adept at social media programs, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. A background in meat and/or livestock production is helpful but not required.

We anticipate that our intern will learn about what is involved in marketing and selling local, pasture-raised meats to restaurants and retailers.  The intern will better understand meat cuts and learn about strategies for utilizing whole animals.  The intern will learn how to craft various stories of interest to our target customers, including chefs and consumers, and will develop project management skills.

Learn more about Firsthand Foods at http://firsthandfoods.com/

Foodbuy (Charlotte)

Foodbuy, North America’s largest foodservice procurement organization, is seeking an apprentice to support the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform initiatives. CSR continues to be a critical competitive advantage for Foodbuy’s customers, including Foodbuy’s parent company Compass Group, and the support Foodbuy provides in terms of CSR reporting and validation is paramount to customer success. The apprentice will support Foodbuy’s CSR Manager on the verification of suppliers in accordance with the specific CSR category goals. Responsibilities include detailed planning and goal setting around the supplier verification project, direct communication with suppliers, management of the captured data from suppliers, weekly report updates, entry and exit evaluation, and a final presentation on accomplishments and skills gained to appropriate Foodbuy associates. The ideal candidate will have a strong working knowledge of data analytics, group purchasing organizations, food business, corporate social responsibility certifications, and overall, strong communication skills.

Learn more about Foodbuy at http://www.foodbuy.com/Pages/Home.aspx

Freshpoint Inc. (Raleigh-Durham, NC)

FreshPoint is the largest wholly-owned produce distributor in the US with its North Carolina office located in the Raleigh-Durham area. The apprentice will work on several projects during the summer, including:

  • Packing a summer CSA toybox for restaurant customers with 5-7 local products and working to find chefs who would be interested in the restaurant CSA. Goal: Allow more customers to try unique local products and buy more specialty products from small farmers.
  • Make contacts with the chefs and buyers at universities we service and set up discussions on food waste prevention in the kitchen and on students’ plates. Goal: promote the Unusual But Usable produce seconds program.
  • Work with chefs and nutritionists at universities to plan monthly or bi-weekly summer farmers markets for summer school students, faculty, and/or the university community.

The apprentice will gain greater understanding of local procurement, food waste, the details of a supply chain and food distribution, and communication strategies in business settings.

Learn more about Freshpoint at http://www.freshpoint.com/

Lowes Foods (Winston-Salem, NC)

Lowes Foods is a regional grocery store chain based in Winston-Salem, NC. Lowes Foods is seeking an apprentice with the skills to build collaborative relationships between local small and mid-scale produce growers in NC and individual NC grocery stores, and with MDI, the wholesale/distributor for Lowes Foods and other grocery chains in the Southeast.  The apprentice will assist with Lowes Foods CSA box called the Carolina Crate.  Responsibilities with the Carolina Crate could include creation of menu planning and recipes, newsletter content, and farmer profiles.  Other day to day work for the apprenticeship will be to work closely with the Locally Grown Account Representative to gain more knowledge on how to integrate local food into a grocery retail setting.  This may include traveling to local vendors with Lowes staff to check available produce supplies and assess food safety and post-harvest handling. This includes fresh produce vendors as well as vendors of packaged products (i.e. barbecue sauces, jams, jellies, eggs, etc.). The ideal candidate has prior knowledge or the ability to learn how to grade and pack produce; post-harvest handling techniques, and experience working with produce in a retail or wholesale setting.  The apprentice will learn all aspects of produce procurement and distribution.  The apprentice will be stationed at Lowes Foods home office in Winston-Salem.

Learn more about Lowes Foods at http://www.lowesfoods.com/locally-grown-carolinas/

Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center (Hillsborough, NC)

Piedmont Food & Agricultural Processing Center (PFAP) is a food incubator located in Orange County, NC.  PFAP helps over 60 food entrepreneurs launch and grow their companies by providing space, equipment, and business support.  An issue of concern to us is:  Why many women-led food companies shut down by year 3 or 4 despite the company’s success. We are working with women entrepreneurs and local business and governmental leaders to develop a series of workshops and seminars designed to empower female entrepreneurs and help them manage their businesses and their home life/family life.  An intern would assist in developing these workshops as well as tools to measure and report the findings. The intern would meet with female entrepreneurs to discuss their needs, participate in reporting findings as well as work on additional issues that may become part of this effort.

In addition to the project above, daily activities may include: creating social media postings, engaging with new and existing clients to assist with developing business plans and/or marketing plans, analyzing costs of products produced, and participating in the ongoing discussions and trainings provided to food entrepreneurs. The skills that we would require are familiarity with social media and the ability to use various tools to increase our social media footprint.  For the project regarding female entrepreneurs, researching and reporting findings to the Executive Director and Manager and working with the Manager to develop a reporting mechanism would be part of the project. The apprentice will gain experience in an entrepreneurial environment with diverse companies.  Other experiences include social media management, organizing seminars, and research and communication skills.

Learn more about Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center at https://www.pfapnc.org/

TRACTOR Food and Farms (Burnsville, NC)

TRACTOR Food and Farms, a local food hub located in Burnsville, NC works to aggregate produce so that multiple individual farmers can collectively meet large orders. TRACTOR also work with farmers to process produce in a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified facility so that they have the infrastructure and support they need to ensure their produce meets the required specifications of retail, restaurant, and wholesale buyers. TRACTOR also provides training to growers on food safety requirements, production planning, pest and disease management, post harvesting handling, grading and packaging standards, and season extension.

TRACTOR is seeking an apprentice with writing, photography, social media, and website skills and who has a passion for small-scale agriculture. The apprentice will interview TRACTOR growers, write articles for the local paper and other media outlets, create and upload training and marketing videos to YouTube, make updates to Facebook and Instagram, take pictures of produce, provide content for our newsletters, and help update the website. The apprentice will also help with daily activities of the food hub, including accepting produce from growers, helping to grade and pack produce, and record keeping. The apprentice will help maintain GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) procedures. TRACTOR is managing a shared piece of farm land in conjunction with multiple partners, which will provide an opportunity for articles and firsthand experience in Good Agricultural Practices implementation, collecting water quality samples, and possible field work. The apprentice will be involved in the planning, staging of produce, and packing of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares as well as helping to coordinate with volunteers and create recipes from each week to share. There is a possibility that the apprentice will be involved with the recruitment of new growers as well. Farming experience is helpful but not required; however, the apprentice should have an appreciation for all types of agriculture including small family farms. The apprentice should be detailed oriented, a quick learner, a self-starter, and get along well with others. The apprentice can expect to gain a solid working experience in the produce business, from the farm to wholesale markets; gain first-hand knowledge of GAP and how to maintain this certification; become knowledgeable of record keeping and accounting software; and develop a portfolio of written work. The apprentice will travel to various farms to meet with existing and prospective TRACTOR growers. The travel time per week varies, and travel to distant farms in the apprentices own vehicle will be reimbursed.

Learn more about TRACTOR Food and Farms at http://tractorfoodandfarms.com/

Working Landscapes (Warrenton, NC)

Working Landscapes is a non-profit organization based in Warren County, NC, with a mission to create more sustainable livelihoods for people in the Warren County region through stewardship of natural and cultural assets. We are seeking a summer apprentice to help our organization market the value-added products made by our food hub, which include: a) chopped, locally grown produce for institutional cafeterias and b) healthy, frozen meals that aim to increase access to healthy food in low income communities.  The apprentice would be involved in supporting the resilience and growth of the regional supply chains that make our products possible, developing new marketing materials that promote our products, and hosting promotion events to help market products to new customers.  We think this will be a great experience for an apprentice because it provides hands on work with our small staff as we engage in problem solving around new products and new supply chains.

The specific outcomes we hope to accomplish by the end of the 8-week period are:

  • development of new marketing materials for new chopped products for cafeterias,
  • development of new marketing materials for healthy, frozen meals,
  • increasing the number of health clinics or corner stores that stock our frozen meals, and
  • hosting taste tests/promotion events in at least 3 locations.

The ideal candidate has experience in wholesale marketing and project management. The apprentice will gain experience with supply chain development from farm to wholesale customer, product development and testing, food safety requirements; and produce and meat supply chains. This position includes approximately 125 miles of weekly travel to meetings in Northeastern North Carolina; the apprentice will be reimbursed for travel costs in their own car.  This position is in a very rural community.  While urban areas (Raleigh, Durham) are about an hour away, the community the apprentice will be living and working in is rural and low-income.  Because of this, it may be socially challenging to some people.

Learn more about Working Landscapes at http://workinglandscapesnc.org/

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