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To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be received by August 14, 2020. 

* Please upload your documents in PDF file format. 

The Small Business Development Center within the UW-System Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship invites applications for a SBDC Farm Business Consultant (legal title: Outreach Specialist).  This is a full-time at 100% time.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Outreach Specialist will provide financial consulting services to small farm business owners, managers, professionals and prospective farmers primarily in Southwest Wisconsin.  The position will report directly to the Director of the Food Finance Institute.  This position requires extensive contact with people outside of the University, including bankers, investors, farmers, managers and professionals; elected officials; economic development organization leaders and staff; media; and the general public.  Occasional travel within the state and occasional evenings are required.  Providing or performing other related services or duties as needed will also be expected.

PRINCIPLE DUTIES

Small Farm Business Consulting (80%)

The Outreach Specialist provides no cost, one-on-one financial consulting services focused on helping small farm clients grow existing farms, obtain financing, increase sales or start new farms.

  • Work in a highly collaborative environment with statewide SBDC and FFI personnel as an integral part of the team focusing on business development.
  • Interview prospective SBDC farm clients to determine their primary needs and establish the services to be provided.
  • Work with qualified small farm business owner/managers and prospective farmers on an ongoing basis to lead to business success and economic impact.
  • Focus on assisting SBDC farm clients in the acquisition of appropriate financing, developing financial projections, financial restructuring, and ongoing financial management.
  • In conjunction with FFI, support SBDC farm clients in the acquisition and deployment of grant financing.
  • Assist SBDC clients wanting to start a new farm business in the areas of venture feasibility analysis, business plan development, financial projections, obtaining grants and other financing and other business start-up issues.
  • Travel statewide to meet with farm clients or SBDC community stakeholders at their place of business. Many client meetings will occur via phone, e-mail, and internet facilitated meetings.
  • Use FFI and SBDC provided financial modeling tools when appropriate. Training is provided.
  • Utilize SBDC best practices when working with clients to ensure quality service.
  • Be an excellent listener and have the ability to provide feedback and suggestions to clients in a timely, professional and organized manner.
  • Work toward meeting established metrics set by the SBDC Associate State Director in conjunction with FFI.
  • Review client cases to ensure that initial and ongoing client needs, and quality standards have been addressed.
  • Comply with all client record keeping and reporting requirements in a timely and thorough fashion.

Regional Service and Economic Development (20%)

The Outreach Specialist works in concert with FFI and other stakeholders to build a referral network and work with farm businesses that meet mutually beneficial goals of the collaborating organizations in Southwest Wisconsin.

  • Work closely with stakeholder partner agencies such as county based economic development corporations, DATCP, and farm organizations.
  • Educate area ag lenders including farm credit and FSA, accounting and legal firms, about SBDC services and build a client referral network.
  • Work with UW-Cooperative Extension agents, regional universities, technical colleges and local governments to serve appropriate business clients and obtain qualified client referrals.
  • Work with other economic and community business development organizations such as chambers of commerce, main street programs, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative and others.
QUALIFICATIONS

Required:  The qualified candidate will be highly customer service oriented, possessing effective oral and written communication skills to proactively work with farm business owners to identify challenges, opportunities, and help craft solutions.  She/he will have a proven track record of achieving results working with people in rural communities across a number of outside organizations in a collaborative environment.  The qualified candidate will have knowledge of farm as well as GAP accounting principles, and experience preparing financial projections for farms, interpreting and analyzing financial statements, and in developing direct marketing, small scale processing, and other high value added farm business models.  Demonstrated farm management experience and/or ownership experience is necessary, along with comfort writing and reviewing business and financial plans and advising on financial restructuring.  Active listening and the ability to put yourself in the clients shoes are important.  The selected candidate must demonstrate the ability and means to meet the travel requirements.  A Bachelor’s degree in business or accounting is preferred.  (An official transcript will be requested after appointment to the position).

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

This is a full-time, temporary, exempt project position. This position is a fixed-term terminal Academic Staff position with an end date of September 30, 2021. However this position may be renewed based on the continuation of funding. The official title is Sr Outreach Specialist (S92BN) with a working title of SBDC Farm Outreach Specialist. The annual salary will be commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience. UW System employees receive an excellent benefits package: Summary – Academic Staff. Please see this link for total compensation information: UW System Total Compensation Estimator. To learn more about your comprehensive benefit package, please access ALEX the UW System’s on-line virtual benefits counselor.

WORK LOCATION

Remote or Madison, WI.

SPECIAL NOTES

Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.  The University of Wisconsin System is engaged in a Title and Total Compensation (TTC) project to redesign job titles and compensation structures.  As a result of the TTC project, official job titles on current job postings may change in Spring 2020.  Job duties and responsibilities will remain the same.  For more information please visit: wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/title-and-total-compensation-study/.

To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be received by August 14, 2020. 

For more information on the University of Wisconsin System, access our site at http://www.wisconsin.edu/.

The University of Wisconsin System Administration is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and actively seeks and encourages applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.