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New Farm Institute VISTA

OneStar Foundation
No listings recruiting at this time

New Farm Institute (NFI), a nonprofit created in 2012, provides farm-based education to engage people of all ages and abilities in healthy foods and sustainable farming. NFI’s initiatives build upon the education and outreach efforts begun in 2006 by the founders of Green Gate Farms, a community-based, certified organic family farm with locations in Austin and Bastrop, Texas. Each year, thousands of people visit, volunteer and learn on Green Gate’s 5-acre urban farm and 35-acre rural farm. NFI's goal is to take our existing farm-based education curriculum -- cooking, gardening, canning, marketing, natural building, carpentry, etc.-- and expand it. The community adjacent to the urban farm is Hidden Valley, High Meadows, a low income neighborhood of about 600 manufactured homes established in the 1970s. NFI wishes to expand our programming to meet the needs of all our neighbors, especially these children ages 8-15 and their parents.

Service Activities

Community and Economic Development , Environment , Hunger , Education , Children/Youth .
Leadership , Education , Environment , Communications , Community Organization , Recruitment .

Community Need Addressed

NFI serves a diverse community, including: low-income Hispanic and African American
neighbors who have lived near the farm in manufactured homes and trailers for 30+ years,
residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina, as well as a wide range of Austinites seeking
local food and health.

In our neighborhood (ZIP:78724), 62% of residents are Hispanic and 28% are African
American, with a median household income of $37,736. A majority of households are
living in rental properties occupied by four or more people, (2010 census data).

Our farm-based education programs are designed for children and adults and are open to
all. We utilize a mix of farmers, health experts, teachers, chefs and other area experts to
lead instruction. In addition to the farm’s charitable donations of food and programming,
we are working with local businesses to increase scholarship funding to ensure increased
access to our education services.

Position Outcomes

We expect the VISTA to build NFI’s capacity to grow our farm-based education programs and to document systems for future employees and other farms/agrifoods.Though we
have created manuals for Farm Camp, classes and special events, the methodology and
curriculums need to be tweaked and tailored to underserved populations. Having
appropriate documentation to support our classes, camps, and afterschool programs is an
essential step in building our capacity to further our community outreach goals.


Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training

Skills you will gain

Leadership , Education , Environment , Communications , Community Organization , Recruitment .

Competencies You Will Develop

Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
  • Activity Types Office Activities, Professional Activities
  • Focus Areas Community & Nonprofit Development, Education & Youth, Environment, Health & Nutrition
  • Length of Service 12 Months
  • Education Requirements Some College
  • Placement Individual Placement
  • Service Setting Community-based Nonprofit
  • Weekly Training Hours 1

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