Agriculture Education VISTA



Start Date


End Date


Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Long-Term (6 months-1 year)


Appalachian Sustainable Development
United States


Organization Description

Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working to propel our mission to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities, and connecting people to healthy food. In the beginning, ASD focused exclusively on 15 counties in northeast TN and southwest VA. Today, our work has expanded to include partners in WV and eastern KY with the creation of the Central Appalachian Food Corridor. ASD uses 6 strategies to accomplish its work: education, increasing local food production, developing markets, increasing distribution of local agriculture products, engaging strategic partners, and researching/consulting and advising. 

Activity Title:             Agriculture VISTA: Ag Education Focus

Work Location:         ASD is based in Abingdon, VA

Hours:                        Full time (40 hrs/wk) with some weekend events, conferences, etc. required

Type of Position:      This an AmeriCorps VISTA position through the Corporation for National and Community Service. (The VISTA will not technically be employed by ASD.)

Education:                 Bachelor’s degree preferred in Agriculture, Horticulture, Environmental Science or related fields

Experience:                No experience required, but some agricultural experience preferred.

Travel:                       Driver’s license required.

Physical:                    Frequent use of a computer; ability to walk and stand for up to 3 hours; ability to lift up to 50 lbs

Position Description

The Agriculture Education VISTA position will work closely with the Agriculture Education Program Manager to assist in the redesign of ASD’s Agriculture Education Program. The VISTA will also help build the capacity of existing agriculture education programs, positioning them for long-term stability and success. This work will involve:

·      Researching domestic and international agriculture education programs, identifying the metrics and reporting methods demonstrating these programs as effective, and implementing proven strategies and reporting methods

·      Researching successful volunteer management strategies, identifying the metrics and reporting methods demonstrating these strategies as effective, and implementing proven strategies and reporting methods

·      Exploring emerging opportunities in agriculture (e.g. agriculture tech, craft beverage value chain, greenhouse production, and indoor production) and creating written analysis to include regional need, interest, value-chain analysis, market demand, travel logistics, and initial capital requirements

·      Developing promotional materials to increase awareness of current agriculture education programs and VISTA projects, including but not limited to newspaper articles, blog posts, fliers, brochures, fact sheets, press releases, and newsletter articles

·      Assisting with establishing and enhancing local and regional agriculture education partnerships

·      Researching, planning and writing grants to support continued agriculture education programs

·      Developing and maintaining a sustainable volunteer base to support existing programs, manage demonstration gardens, distribute produce to local food banks, and lecture workshops

·      Establishing an advisory committee to guide Agriculture Education Program development, outreach, and support

Required Skills and Expertise

·      Proficiency with basic software and technology including MS Office Suite, Google Drive, smart phones, copier, webinar platforms, etc.

·      Dependable and resilient self-starter with an interest and experience in taking on new challenges and overcoming obstacles with little supervision

·      Leadership skills and ability to work with teams

·      Eagerness to learn and commitment to asking for help when needed

·      Outstanding organizational, record keeping and data management skills

·      Superior listening, verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills

·      Demonstrated ability to network and collaborate with diverse groups

·      Proven ability to conduct research and present findings

Preferred Skills and Expertise

·      Demonstrated success in writing and/or managing grants

·      History of teaching/training in large groups and/or one-on-one settings

·      Knowledge of and comfort with general agriculture production, farms, and farmers

·      Experience facilitating professional meetings and events

·      Familiarity and experience in agriculture, gardening, and education

Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy: Appalachian Sustainable Development and parties associated with ASD will not discriminate in any way against a potential candidate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, mental or physical disability, medical condition, age, physical characteristics or marital status.


  • Stipend Provided
  • Training Provided

How To Apply

To apply, send resume and cover letter to: Please note in your cover letter where you saw the activity announcement.