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The deadline to apply for this position has passed.
Certification Specialist ~ Deadline to Apply: March 22nd 10am Eastern

Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) offers peer-review certification to farmers and beekeepers who produce food for their local communities without the use of synthetic chemicals or GMOs. More than 700 farmers and beekeepers throughout North America participate. Farmers appreciate Certified Naturally Grown as a way to verify their ecological farming practices and demonstrate their commitment to the highest ideals of the organic movement. CNG is a private non-profit organization that is not affiliated with the USDA Organic Program. Our approach goes beyond enforcing regulations of prohibited substances and includes promoting best practices and scale-appropriate methods. CNG's participatory approach is recognized by IFOAM - Organics International as an important way to include small-scale producers in the organic movement and to help them succeed.  

The Certification Specialist is the first point of contact with farmers applying to Certified Naturally Grown from across North America. They will review more than 300 applications per year to assess whether producers’ farm management practices are aligned with CNG standards. They follow-up with applicants as necessary to obtain further information or advise on any corrective actions that might be required prior to certification. They will also assist with development and delivery of educational programming. This is an ideal position for a detail oriented person who loves farming and supporting farmers, and has the experience and maturity to be a key part of a small team. The Certification Specialist reports to the Executive Director and frequently coordinates with the Member Services Coordinator. 

This is a part time, remote position with opportunities to expand responsibilities for candidates with relevant skills. The work schedule is quite flexible. The number of hours required range from around 4 per week in the summer, up to 10 or more per week in the winter. Hours vary with the number of applications received and would increase if opportunities are identified for the new hire to take on added responsibility.

Position Responsibilities Include:
  • Review applications for CNG certification (training will be provided)
  • Respond to producers' inquiries about certification standards and allowed/prohibited substances (training will be provided)
  • Assist with development of educational programming
  • Host or co-host online orientations and trainings with farmers 

Required Qualifications
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Familiarity with organic farming practices
  • Experience working on a farm
  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to apply general standards to a particular situation
  • Self-starter and also a team player, responsive to feedback 
  • Strong customer service skills and interest in helping farmers 
  • Ability to work independently and prioritize tasks
  • Ability to give consistent careful attention to details, and to be organized
  • Comfort and facility with online communication and collaboration tools
  • Reliable access to an appropriate physical space for carrying out the work, including a stable internet connection and minimal distractions

Desirable Skills and Qualities 
  • Experience managing a diverse vegetable farming operation
  • Knowledge of livestock, beekeeping, aquaponics and mushroom cultivation
  • Experience offering educational programs to farmers or others
  • Demonstrated commitment to a grassroots initiative 
  • Experience with peer-review programs, in farming or other contexts
  • Experience with strategic communications (blog posts, social media)
  • An entrepreneurial spirit which identifies opportunities and generates new ideas to advance our work
Candidates with particular interests or expertise are likely to find opportunities to expand the position into special projects.

$17/hour or more, based on experience

Email [email protected]. Send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for at least two references. Email these items as a single PDF file attachment to Alice Varon, Executive Director, with the applicant’s first and last name included in the file name. No phone calls please. 

Application deadline is March 22nd at 10am Eastern. Interviews may begin before the application deadline. We intend to fill the position by early April.

We value diversity within our farming operations as well as in the CNG staff and our community of farmers, so we strongly encourage applications from people who are underrepresented within North American agriculture. Certified Naturally Grown is an equal opportunity employer and hires without regard to race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or physical disability.