We recognize that looking for volunteer opportunities is quite different from looking for long term employment. We’ve grouped volunteering, internships, and jobs together because volunteering and interning can be a good way to get involved in an organization.
The world of food-related employment is enormous –begin by refining your search by your interest and the time of year.
By interest and work style: Often internships on the farm do not require significant experience but are physically demanding. Additionally, the work structure of a farm job is determined by the farmer owner and varies greatly by farm; because of this, it’s wise to talk with your future employer about expectations, compensation, housing, etc. Other internships, like those in food justice or food policy areas, suggest or require background in the area and have a more predictable work structure.
By season: More than other fields, many food opportunities are seasonal. In much of the northern hemisphere, spring to fall is a good time to look for agricultural opportunities; farms are in full swing and many are looking for extra hands. When talking with potential employers, be realistic and vocal about how much time you have to commit- some farms prefer that you stay for longer stints. During the growing season, farmers’ markets need volunteers and managers. (Increasingly, winter farmers’ markets are appearing – and they need staff help, too.)
General food job databases and listservs
Good Food Jobs: Good Food Jobs posts food-related jobs, with a useful search tool that allows you to search for jobs by category (ie, “Culinary,” “Agriculture”), job type, and location
Idealist: Idealist focuses on solutions to social and environmental problems. Find food and agriculture job postings by refining your search with terms like food, agriculture, food justice, etc.
COMFOODJOBS is a listserv based out of Tufts University that specializes in food system employment opportunities.