Join Our Team – Paid Internship Positions Open

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is HIRING! We have two openings for the following paid internship position to start this May – Marketing & Communications, and starting this August 2023- Local Food Procurement.

Summer – Marketing and Communications Internship has been filled.


Fall – Local Food Procurement Internship

Intern Job Description

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network Local Food Procurement Intern, starts August 2023 – December 2023, and will serve in this capacity to complete at least 135 hours of service. The intern will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of this internship. This is a grant funded position paid for through the USDA Farm to School Implementation Grant.

Purpose of Internship

This position will foster a deeper understanding of how local food systems work, hone the following skill sets: organizing, research, & writing skills, team building, and project management. The intern will report to the LFN Executive Director while supporting the following programs and initiatives within the following areas:

  • Harvest of the Month: Share HOTM Calendar with Farmers to start connecting their products with local schools, early childcare centers and hunger relief organizations
  • Local Food Procurement Education & Access: Continual support virtual local food procurement training and sourcing opportunities related to #FarmtoSchool activities, promote the Local Food Procurement Manual Publication, connect schools with local foods
    • Encouraging increased consumption of local grown foods through promotional activities, taste tests, and other activities featuring local products in collaboration with the Harvest of the Month Program, School Nutrition Programs and local farms.
  • Press Releases: draft press releases and support monthly e-newsletter content creation
  • Nourishing Connection: support Fall Nourishing Connection Grow Kit assemblies and distribution
  • General program support: responsibilities may include administrative tasks, survey dissemination, assisting with general organizational operations, and attending Local Food Network team, Board meetings and tabling events.

Qualifications of Applicant:

  • Remote capable – have access to the internet from your place of residence
  • Self-Motivated, Detail oriented, organized, dependable
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency in using Microsoft Programs, Google Drive, and WordPress
  • Interest in and dedication to promoting local food and agriculture

STEPS TO APPLY FOR INTERNSHIP POSITIONS
This position is open until filled.

Send a cover letter and your resume to Samantha Goyret, Executive Director, Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network at nwtnfoodguide at gmail.com.

Applications are due by Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

Interviews conducted the second week of August.

Internship positions begins on Monday, August 14, 2023 through December 15, 2023.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network serves as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network does not discriminate against any qualified applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status, physical or mental disability.

Red Sand Project: Human Trafficking and Agriculture

On Wednesday, July 26th at 3pm via Facebook live stream, the Martin Farmer’s Market will shine a light on human trafficking in the agriculture industry. This year, the Tennessee Department of Health and communities around the state are bringing awareness to the issue by participating in Human Trafficking Awareness Week and the Red Sand Project, July 24 through July 29.

According to the U.S. Department of State, at any given time, there are an estimated 24.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. The agricultural industry, unfortunately, is an industry that predisposes certain worker demographics to becoming victims of human trafficking.

Agriculture in the United States is defined largely by its seasonal nature, irregular income, and locations in rural or isolated areas. Farms are not highly-regulated workplaces, and farm labor is typically a low-income job. Many farm workers are undocumented immigrants or hold H-2A visas, which allow foreign-born persons to work seasonally and temporarily on an American farm for up to 10 months. On its website, the National Human Trafficking Hotline explains that the line between agricultural employment and trafficking is often blurred in the United States. When an employer uses force, fraud, or coercion to maintain control over workers, employees become victims. 

The Red Sand Project aims to raise awareness about human trafficking through public art installments. Red Sand activists most commonly spread natural red sand into public sidewalk cracks to represent trafficking survivors who have “fallen through the cracks of society.” A large portion of the world has already fallen victim to human trafficking, and many people are in industries and areas predisposed to becoming victims. By highlighting the Red Sand Project and the issue of human trafficking, the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network hopes to raise awareness and promote safety and health in the agriculture industry. 

To report suspected human trafficking activity, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security encourages the public to contact federal law enforcement. You may call their hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips

Additional Resources: 

Red Sand Project

TDH, Communities Participating In Red Sand Project to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking

Farm Labor Report by USDA Economic Research Service

About Human Trafficking by U.S. Department of State 

Human Trafficking in Agriculture by National Human Trafficking Hotline 

NPR: A Human-Trafficking Case Exposed Farmworker Abuses. The Government is Promising Change. 

~ Written by Laura Myhan
~Infographic design by Sydney Grant
Marketing and Communications Interns 2022
Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network

Grow Food Challenge Winner Announced and Hunger Relief Guide Published

Beginning on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 through July 1, 2023, the #GrowFoodChallenge partnered with 14 Seed Distribution Partners in 9 northwest Tennessee counties to distribute 2,700 seed packets donated by the Society of St. Andrews, Sow True Seed, Community Gardens Commission, Barefoot Gardens, and Ferry Morris. 

The #GrowFoodChallenge is a yearly call to action for individuals, families, schools, & community groups in Northwest Tennessee to grow food (#NWTNEssentialGardens) & build soil (#ComePostYourCompost). Local growers are encouraged to donate their extra produce to food pantries throughout the region by visiting the NWTN LFN’s webpage: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry.

Doubling the amount last year, this year 105 participants registered, impacting a total of 609 individuals, families, and childcare centers, including 338 children from five (9) Northwest Tennessee Counties: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley, TN. 

#Grow Food Challenge participants could participate in three themed photo entry opportunities to win prizes: START. GROW. HARVEST. Participants entered up to a total of 6 photos showcasing their growing food and food waste projects. There were several prizes associated with each theme including the grand prize to fill a chest freezer with a quarter processed beef from NB Beef Company.

On Saturday, July 1st, at the Martin Farmer’s Market Celebration Event, Samantha Goyret and Caroline Ideus, Local Food Network Team Members and Co-Managers of the Market, with the help of musician Alex Sadler, announced the winner of this year’s #Grow Food Challenge. 

The McKenzie Senior Center from Carroll County, TN was announced as the grand prize winner! They won a chest freezer to include a quarter processed beef from NB Beef Company out of Sharon, TN. 

“We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with NWTN Local Food Network to provide this type of offering. Eat local and Eat beef!” – Justin Burlison

These gifts keep on giving because, as a collective decision, the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center will be donating their freezer full of beef to United Neighbors, a local food pantry in Carroll County, TN.

“We have been serving our community’s seniors since 1963 with a total 82 active annual members today,” stated Carol Armpriest, President of the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center.  “We decided to donate our grand prize to United Neighbors because they could use a freezer full of local beef for their clientele in our community. It aligns with the activities the Local Food Network is promoting in the #GrowFoodChallenge – provide your extra food to others who are in need.”

Photo: (Left to Right) Carol Armpriest, Samantha and Sofia Goyret, and Karen Ibarra pose with the Hunger Relief Guide and their #GrowFoodChallenge Winner Certificate in front of the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center square-foot garden that is located behind their building, near the EW James Grocery Store parking lot in McKenzie, TN. They will be donating their prize to United Neighbors, a local food pantry.

Karen Ibarra, also pictured, partnered with Carol in creating the garden with the goal of benefiting the McKenzie Senior Center members and local community with vegetables and knowledge about growing your own food. As a UT Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, Mrs. Ibarra stated, “sharing the garden experience and the beef also aligns with the mission of the Tennessee Master Gardener Program to improve the lives of Tennesseeans by promoting individual and community health and environmental stewardship.”

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Martin, TN with a mission to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL in Northwest Tennessee.

We hope you can join us for next year’s Northwest Tennessee #GrowFoodChallenge. Learn more at nwtnlfn.org/grow-food-challenge.

The #GrowFoodChallenge is paid for through a #SeedMoney Grant with the following generous seed donors; Society of St. Andrews, Sow True Seed, Ferry Morse Company, Cooperative Gardens Commission; and the following prize donors: Discovery Park of America, Greenway Nursery, Tractor Supply Company, Walmart, Bamboozle, the TN Environmental Council, Rural King and NB Beef Company.

Pictured here, left Samantha Goyret and Right Caroline Ideus present a sign of gratitude to NB Beef Company owners – Cody Nanney and Justin Burlison, who donated a quarter of their locally raised and processed beef to the #GrowFoodChallenge Grand Prize Winner: McKenzie Senior Center who will be donating their prize to United Neighbors, a food pantry in Carroll County.

Kailyn Bates out of Huntington, TN won the #GrowfoodChallenge gift basket!

The NWTN Local Food Network recently published a Hunger Relief Guide. Local growers are encouraged to donate their extra produce to food pantries throughout the region by downloading the guide from NWTN LFN’s webpage: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry.

Owen Wenz, is the #GrowFoodChallenge winner of a family pass for four from Discovery Park of America! Owen is very knowledgeable about plants and loves to grow food! It’s little guys like him that inspire big kids like us to grow more food and reduce food waste!

Margaret Perry Childcare Center inWeakley County, Tennessee won theBamboozle compost pail prize from this year’s#GrowFoodChallenge. The staff and children not only grow healthy food, they serve healthy food in their daycare meals, too!#farmtoECE

Bethany Overington from Carroll County won the START prize for the #GrowFoodChallenge donated by Tractor Supply out of Milan, TN.

“Bringing the Farm to School” Producer and School Nutrition Gathering

Join us on Friday, July 28, 2023, 8:30am -2:30pm at Cowen Blackberry Pond Farm Special Event Barn on 17 Skyler Lane, Bradford, TN 38316 for a day filled with farm-to-school education and fun!

This in-person event will bring together farmers, school nutrition staff, coordinated school health advocates, and community members to learn about the benefits of bringing fresh, local produce into school meals. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with local farmers, participate in hands-on workshops, work with Chef Cale Meador from the Four Seasons out of Atlanta, GA, and enjoy delicious farm-fresh food.

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to connect with your community and learn about the importance of supporting local agriculture. Register today!

Who is invited?

We are seeking farmers interested in selling their products to schools along with District School Nutrition Directors and 1 School Cafeteria Manager from each school working in Northwest Tennessee are encouraged to attend. We are also extending the invitation to Coordinated School Health Directors and Community Advocates to join the fun!

8:30 – 2:30pm – NWTN School Nutrition Staff

12 – 2:30pm – Farmers

Training Goals:

  1. To connect school nutrition directors with agricultural producers through training and tools to build capacity through the “Bringing the Farm to School” training.
  2. Plan Local Food Taste Tests for the upcoming school year.
  3. Connect local products to schools and how to prepare them.
  4. Increase the sales to schools for farmers while expanding farm to school local food taste test activities for students in schools and communities across the Northwest Tennessee Region.

Activities Include:

  • Northwest Tennessee School Nutrition Directors, Cafeteria Managers and Advocates to train with Four Seasons Chef, Cale Meador. (9:30 – 11:45am)
  • Local Food Taste test training and sampling for all attendees 12 – 1pm
  • Networking with farmers and school nutrition staff (12 – 2:30pm)
  • “Bringing the Farm to School” training overview and resources for farmers & school nutrition staff (1 – 2:30pm)

REGISTRATION IS FREE.

SEATING IS LIMITED.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT THE TABLE TODAY!

More about “Bringing the Farm to School Training”

The goal of the “Bringing the Farm to School” program is to provide agricultural producers training and tools to build capacity to launch or grow efforts to market to schools. The training will last from 8:30 – 2:30 pm with a complimentary Local Food Taste Test Menu Lunch.

More about Chef Cale Meador

While catering to NBA teams, such as the Memphis grizzlies, Chef Cale began to understand the importance of accessing all-inclusive nutrition, from the picky eaters, to differences in taste and serving the best food to fuel these athletes.

Spending his summers on the family farm in Gleason, Tennessee and growing up in his Nana’s kitchen, taught him the most about putting care and love into the food one creates.

Chef Cale comes to us from the Four Seasons out of Atlanta, GA. He is excited to be a part this opportunity to teach others how to cultivate a thriving farm to school to plate initiative to benefit the children eating in Northwest Tennessee public schools.

Resources to be provided to participants:

Bringing the Farm to School Producer Training Manual

Local Food Procurement Resources

New School Cuisine: Nutritious seasonal recipes for school cooks by school cooks

This Training is paid for through a USDA Farm to School Implementation Grant and funding provided by the National Farm to School Network.