A Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia Blog

Job Opportunity: Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of NS Coop

Position: Executive Director
Organization: Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative
Location: Nova Scotia, work from home
Report to: Board of Directors

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative, a not for profit, is seeking an Executive Director, a dynamic, focused and self-motivated individual who is passionate about our local economy, local food, local producers and farmers’ markets.

This position is based in Nova Scotia with the ability to work from home on a flexible schedule. We are looking for someone with a sound knowledge and strong background in not-for-profits, project management, marketing, fundraising, finance and grant writing. The ideal candidate is someone who understands how to drive a not-for-profit cooperative forward.

The Executive Director is the lead of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative and is responsible for the management and operations of our cooperative. Working with our Board of Directors they are responsible for the success and growth of our cooperative. They will help ensure our relevance to our community and members, accomplish our vision and mission and the continued financial sustainability of our cooperative.

The Executive Director provides support to the Board as it carries out its governance functions. The Executive Director conveys a positive, professional image and attitude regarding Farmers’ Market of Nova Scotia Cooperative, our sector, and demonstrates commitment to continued professional growth and development. The Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative is a movement by markets for markets, seeding growth and prosperity for farmers’ markets and their communities. Our not-for-profit cooperative is made up of more than 20 Nova Scotia farmers’ markets. Together, we’re working to create a dynamic farmers’ market sector cultivating healthy local economies, communities, and people across Nova Scotia. Since 2004, our cooperative has been building support and fostering success for farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia, as well as providing training and assistance to our member markets. Job Summary The executive director is the face of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative and the main point of contact. They are responsible for all general operations, management, and report to our elected board of directors.

Key Responsibilities
• Management of staff, volunteers and contractors as needed
• Administration
• Coordinate trainings, workshops, networking sessions
• Support our member markets, managers and their vendors
• Research
• Marketing/Promotions/Public Outreach
• Maintain relations with partners
• Cultivate new relationships with like minded organizations
• Grant writing/funding support/Fundraising
• Growing our membership
• Budgeting/Finance
• Coordinate AGM
• Website Maintenance
• Maintain a home office
• Be available Monday-Thursday for communications (emails, phone calls)
• Access to a vehicle and possess a valid drivers license

• $35,000 annually
• Additional salary is available if funding secured

The ideal candidate for this position will have the following:
• 3-5 years experience as executive director in NFP or equivalent knowledge and
experience in a related field
• Project management
• Grant writing
• Fundraising
• Marketing/Social media
• Working with Government
• Budgeting/Finance
• Knowledge and involvement in local food and farmers’ markets
• Bachelor’s Degree in environmental studies/science, business, marketing
• Equivalent combination of education and experience will be accepted

Commencement Date
• October 15, 2018

Closing Date for Applications
• September 7, 2018

To apply
E-mail your resume, cover letter, and three references merged into one document to our Board president, Ashley Marlin, at, stating in the subject line the position you are applying for. We wish to thank all applicants for their interest and effort in applying for this position. However, only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

FMNS Executive Director leaving to pursue her farmers’ market-based business.

August 7th, 2018

Dear FMNS Membership

Our wonderful Executive Director, Keltie Butler, has decided to pursue her farm and market business full time.  She will be officially leaving FMNS on October 31st, 2018.

The board of directors would like to thank Keltie for helping us grow FMNS to where it is today and all her fantastic work. We wish her the best of luck in her in own business and hope to see her at many FMNS events in the future.

In the interim, the board of directors has formed a hiring committee made up of three directors, Ashley Marlin, Margaret  Ells Congdon and Steve Hopper. Final selection of a new Executive Director will be decided upon by the entire board.

The Executive Director job posting will be shared with the FMNS membership by Aug 15, 2018, and then posted online. The board of directors would welcome any recommendations by the end of August.

Thank you, Ashley Marlin
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative

Come Work With Us! Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Term Position (Parental Leave)

Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Term Position (Parental Leave)
September 3rd, 2018 – February 28th, 2019, with intent to extend to August 31st, 2019
Nova Scotia

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative is seeking a skilled individual for the term position of Marketing & Communications Coordinator. We are looking for an individual who is talented in marketing strategy and social media management as well as content creation and copy writing. The individual must hold strong organizational skills, be self-motivated and have a passion for farmers’ market and the buy local movement. The position will begin as a six-month term, with intent to extend to August 31st, 2019. This position is made possible through an employment grant program and, as such, is subject to specific eligibility criteria as outlined below.

The Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative (FMNS) aims to build the capacity of farmers’ markets and their member businesses through professional development, innovation, research, province wide marketing, and advocacy.
Since 2004, FMNS has been working on behalf of farmers’ markets and their vendors, producers and artisans. Created by markets for markets, we serve the needs of our member markets and their vendors while also acting to inform, inspire, and advocate for the farmers’ markets movement to the Nova Scotian public.

The primary responsibilities of this position are:

  1. Marketing Strategy
  2. Social Media Management
    – on-going management of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts including content creation and content curation
  3. Communications & E-Newsletter
    – management of Farmers’ Market Sector E-Newsletter from monthly writing to audience segmenting and building, sale of resources, etc
  4. Copy Writing
    – marketing content such as member recruitment brochures, website text, etc.
    – social media and print media printing
  5. Media Relations & Communication
    – liaison between vendor businesses and local media to facilitate “good news coverage”
  6. Management of Friends Of Sponsorship Program
    – onboarding local business sponsors
    – engaging local business sponsors in our public-facing marketing
  7. Website Management

The Marketing & Communications Coordinator will report to, and work closely with, the Executive Director. The Marketing & Communications Coordinator will also collaborate with and support contractors hired to complete related projects as well as partners/sponsors.

The qualities, skills and experience required for this position are:

  • social media strategy and management
  • copywriting and content creation across a range of media (eNewsletter, social media, press release);
  • basic website/Wordpress familiarity and skills;
  • media experience and/or contacts are an asset;
  • self-motivated, able to work independently;
  • experience in working collaboratively as a small team and/or in the non-profit sector;
  • an interest in local production and the buy local movement.

Photography and videography, including video editing, are an asset.

The skills and experience to be gained in this position are:

  • a deepening of marketing skills and experience including strategy, social media management, copywriting, videography and photography, and media relations;
  • project management;
  • e-newsletter strategy, writing and management;
  • non-profit sector and membership/cooperative mandate.

This position is made possible through an employment initiative. As such, to be eligible for this position, you must be

  • a Canadian post-secondary graduate, and
  • 30 years or younger as of September 3rd, 2018, and
  • Must not have participated in any other Youth Employment Strategy programs (ie. Career Focus), and
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Location: Our Executive Director works from a home office in rural Pictou County and while proximity to the Executive Director is an asset, it is not required. This hired individual will work remotely from their own home office or other workspace available to them in their community. An online coworking system will be used to maintain regular communication between the Executive Director and Market & Communications Coordinator.

Start Date: Monday, September 3rd, 2018. This position is a six-month term ending February 28th 2019, with intent to renew at that time for an additional six months.

Wage: $16/hr

Hours: 20hr/wk. Occasional weekend hours will be required (i.e. farmers’ market visits).

Travel: Expect to travel within the province occasionally. Overnight travel will be rare. Access to a vehicle will be required with mileage reimbursed at $.40/km.

TO APPLY Please email a cover letter and resume, including 2 references, to Keltie Butler at Please submit your application in the form of a single pdf document with all required elements included and in the following order: cover letter, resume, references. Supporting documents to illustrate technical skills and/or experience in relevant areas such as photography, videography, graphic design, social media, etc. are required.

DUE DATE: Applications will be reviewed as submitted. Applications will be accepted until July 22nd, 2018 (midnight).

Thank you to all applicants for their time and interest. Short-listed applicants will be contacted, with interviews scheduled for late July.

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, visible minorities, First Nations, and persons with disabilities. Diversity is a value of FMNS and, moreover, diversity in the farmers’ market community is a strength that must be cultivated.

An Open Letter to Our Minister of Agriculture, April 2018

April 19th, 2018

Honourable Minister Colwell,

The average age of a Canadian farm operator in 2016 was 55, an increase over the recorded average in 2011, which was itself an increase over the recorded average in 2006. Our province is not immune to this national trend with the average Nova Scotian farm operator aged 55.4 (2011). With our farming population aging, and fewer young people choosing a career in agriculture, supporting and investing in new entrants is more important than ever

The programs announced Monday, April 16th by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture (NSDA), under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, exclude farms earning under $30,000 in gross sales. We have heard, informally, that a separate program for farms earning under $30,000 is to be created and offered come fall 2018 – some six months later than the program designed to serve larger farms and established farms.

As a former Deputy Minister of Business once said to our Executive Director, “Clearwater Seafoods started with two men selling fish off the back of a truck.” Every business starts somewhere and, more often than not, a business starts small. Thanks to our Farmers’ Market Sector, new entrants have a viable marketplace for launching and incubating their farm business, whether they are a primary producer or a value-add agricultural business.

We share your vision for financially successful farm businesses. We are however very concerned that new entrant producers have been overlooked to the detriment of our agricultural sector and our provincial economy.

Minister Colwell, we request a seat at your table to assist in shaping programs which will serve our shared mandate to foster a strong agricultural sector in our province – an agricultural sector which is sustainable, diverse, accessible to new entrants and an economic driver for our province.

We wanted to share with you one of many pertinent stories of new entrant success – that of Bramble Hill Farm in Pictou County and owner/operator Cathy Monroe.

In 2017, thanks to an incentive of NSDA’s Homegrown Success Program, along with a loan from FarmWorks Investment Cooperative, a successful crowd funding campaign and personal savings, Bramble Hill Farm put up a heated greenhouse to significantly extend their season and their production. They now sell fresh greens year round at two farmers’ markets and are weekly suppliers to three retailers around the province.

Bramble Hill Farm owner and operator Cathy Monroe has seen exponential growth in her business since accessing this funding from NSDA. “My business has experienced a 140% sales growth in the first quarter of 2018, in comparison with the 1st quarter of 2017. This large growth has meant we are currently advertising for hired help, and looking to further develop our wholesale business.”

The story of Bramble Hill raises a second key concern of ours – the complete lack of season extension incentives included in NSDA’s programs. Given our short growing season and increasingly unpredictable weather, access to funding for season extension is an essential component of growing our provincial agriculture industry, increasing market share and replacing imports with Nova Scotia grown.

Minister Colwell, we are ready to participate in a conversation with you and with NSDA’s experienced senior Programs staff.

Sincerely, Keltie Butler

Executive Director
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative
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