Cooperative Development Institute - Rural Cooperative Development Intern

Co-op / Organization: 
Cooperative Development Institute
Arundel, ME
Type of Organization: 
Agricultural; Worker; Cooperative Development
Brief Description of Organization: 
CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and New York.
Our vision of a cooperative economy is of: an inter-dependent dense network of enterprises and institutions that allow us to meet our needs through principled democratic ownership, and that care for community, combat injustice and inequity, and promote conscious self-governance. The cooperative economy is embedded with in and helps create a cooperative society aware of its place in a cooperative ecology.
Cooperative Development Institute has three primary programs: Business Ownership Solutions, which works with business owners to convert their business to worker co-ops; New England Resident Owned Communities, which assists residents of mobile home parks to purchase their land as a cooperative; and our Rural Cooperative Development program which works with a wide range of cooperative ventures in rural areas throughout New England with a particular focus on food system cooperatives. 
Our organization provides education, training and technical assistance to cooperatively-structured enterprises in all business sectors: food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, housing, energy, arts, retail, service, health, and more.
Number of Members: 
Number of Staff: 
Dress Code: 
Position Title: 
Rural Cooperative Development Intern
Position Duties: 
Work with CDI:
  • Work on Rural Cooperative Projects with Somali Bantu Refugee Farmers in Maine particularly Cultivating Community Farmers and Sustainable Living Relief Organization and with members of the Penobscot Nation.
    • Intern will
      • help develop and deliver trainings, 
      • will do research, 
      • will write a report on the project (that could be used for a blog post or other media), 
      • will assist on other parts of the project as needed.
  • Work on developing a possible Farm-to-Institution multi-stakeholder cooperative
    • Intern will
      • work on outreach plan to students, 
      • will help develop the concept for the cooperative, 
      • will help to provide experience in student cooperatives to develop student-consumer membership program
  • Attend the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy
Work with Neverdun Farm:
  • Work on Farm and at Homestead
    • Intern will
      • work 4-6 hours in the shared garden each week
      • help cook community meals once a week
      • assist with wild gathering of mushrooms and blueberries
      • help with food preservation and fermentation
  •  Help orient summer WWOOFers to cooperative living
    • Intern will:
      • Work with WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farmers who live and volunteer at the farm for about a month) to acclimate them to cooperative living
      • Will share about NASCO and Student Cooperatives with WWOOFers (the majority of whom are college students)
Position Training: 
The training will be primarily provided one-on-one by the intern supervisor, Jonah Fertig. The intern will also attend the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy and will participate in many workshops there. Additional training opportunities will be available through attending CDI staff calls, attending local workshops and through hands-on work. At Neverdun Farm, the intern will be mentored by Jonah and by Garden Manager, Marylyn Wentworth, who is also the founder of a local democratic high school.
Skills Development & Learning: 
The intern will learn about:
  • How to facilitate participatory workshops
  • Providing workshops for non-english speaking participants
  • Working with diverse populations
  • Providing technical assistance
  • Working in cooperative development organization
  • Living in a rural housing co-op
  • Developing cooperative structures for rural business
  • Cooperative farming
  • Multi-stakeholder co-ops
  • Developing Farm-to-Institution cooperatives
  • Local Food Systems
  • Developing outreach plans
  • Food preservation, wild harvesting, and mushroom
  • Democratic education
Other details of working conditions: 
We will work at our farm, in the community, and at sites of our cooperatives
Compensation ($): 
$100 / month
is Room Included for members?: 
Working Hours: 
Variable and flexible
Total Hours of Work Per Week: