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Food System Planner

Do you want a career that makes a difference in rural communities throughout Northwest & West Central Minnesota? Excited for new opportunities to utilize, establish and advance your talents and skills in new ways? If so, we want YOU to join our innovative and professional team.


The Northwest Regional Development Commission (NWRDC) is looking for a dedicated Food System planner to coordinate and provide technical assistance to small and mid-size food and farm businesses in a 16-county region. The scope of this work would include strengthening the local food systems, capacity building  and grant writing assistance.


Passionate candidates that are willing to create/foster solutions to meet locally identified needs and develop community partnerships are ideal for this position. Be a part of a team that is taking the lead on championing rural communities and the public.


We are committed to meeting local needs with a collaborative approach combined with ingenuity, equity, and inclusion.


Service Area:

Service territory includes Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Roseau, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin counties.

What type of individual are we looking for?



Preferred education includes a degree in planning, urban studies, agribusiness, agricultural economics, project management, geography, or a related field.



  • 2 to 5 years of equivalent experience preferred.

  • Occasional overnight meetings, in-region meetings and regular travel is required.

  • Willing to consider hybrid or remote work after the training period.

  • Grant writing & project coordination  preferred


Salary Range: $54,542 to $72,089


Competitive Benefits Package

Benefits include employer paid health insurance and family coverage cost sharing, dental, health savings account, pre-tax flexible spending account, life insurance, short-term disability, PERA, paid holidays, generous vacation leave, flexible sick leave and more.


What will you be doing?

  • Participate in the planning and coordination of the local Regional Food Business Center USDA Grant.

  • Develop strategic partnerships with local and regional organizations that have expertise in strengthening local food systems.

  • Identify barriers to advancing food producers’ access to local and regional markets.

  • Provide outreach to targeting small and mid-size agricultural and food producers.

  • Value/Supply Chain Coordination

  • Participate in Bi-monthly virtual meetings with Minnesota Technical Assistance providers to share best practices and identify resources.

  • Research, write, and execute grants.

  • Create project proposals, opportunities, and contracts.

  • Work on projects in individual and team environments.

  • Coordinate and facilitate public meetings, leading/supporting a public engagement process when necessary.

  • Demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills, including developing and building relationships, and collaborating through strategic partnerships. Primary responsibilities will include project development and management in the following areas.

    1. Community Planning

    2. Project Coordination & Capacity Building

    3. Grant Writing

    4. Public Speaking


The following additional resources for this position are available at

  • NWRDC employee benefits summary


The NWRDC utilizes a three-part candidate screening process:

  1. Candidates must submit a resume and cover letter highlighting at least three things that personal education and/or experience can contribute to the position.

  2. Select candidates will be asked to provide a list of areas of expertise related to the position (including three references).

  3. Qualified candidates are interviewed.


Please submit cover letter, resume, and references to:

Northwest Regional Development Commission

Attn: Darla Waldner

109 South Minnesota Street

Warren, MN 56762




This position will remain open until filled.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V).

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