MDC/FWOI Business Plan Developer

Position Description
Position Type

Full Time Exempt 


Donald Green, Executive Director, MDC/FWOI

Work Environment

In office in Clarksdale, MS or Remote

Project Summary

Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Workers Opportunities (MDC), a minority-founded and -run non- profit in Clarksdale, MS, will lead the Delta
RFBC to deliver Grow Delta, Feed Delta, Buy Delta. Serving disadvantaged, minority producers, processors, and intermediaries, we will increase agricultural business knowledge, success, and resilience – from farm gate through retail– serving 5 states – Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Eastern Texas. We will organize producers and processors into ~25 clusters of 4-6 counties each while engaging intermediaries to access urban markets from St. Louis to New Orleans and from Dallas to Atlanta.


We will use the tools provided by the Delta Regional Food Business Center — Coordination, Technical Assistance, and Capacity Building – to build the qualities of a resilient Southern food system through implementing Connectivity, Local Self-organization, Physical Infrastructure, Recruitment, Diversity, Innovation, Climate Smart Integration, and Leader Development. We will improve food traceability and safety, strengthen infrastructure, connect growers with buyers, and drive pricing that works for producers.


The project will be guided by the Delta Regional Food Business Center Partnership Board that will include a member from each of our collaborating partner organizations. These organizations will be a critical component of value chain coordination as well as ensuring success of the Business Builder
awards throughout the targeted value chains.


The project will work collaboratively with the International Fresh Produce Association to create and market Delta Regional Food Business Center UPCs and PLUs that will identify a product with a variety of characteristics, for example: small scale producer, regional producer, limited resource producer, woman producer, historically underserved producer or from a producer implementing climate smart practices.


The Delta Regional Food Business Center will implement the business builder awards throughout the targeted value chains to facilitate producers’ ability to use the identifying UPC and PLUs and getting those UPCs and PLUs into the value chain and tracking them from farm gate to the end consumer.


The targeted service area currently imports 2.7 billion kilograms of food; our goal is to convert 2% of those imports to locally produced food, increasing regional annual income by more than $100 million. (Approximately $20 million per targeted state.) 

Job Overview

As the Business Plan Developer for MDC/FWOI USDA Delta Regional Food Business Center, you will play a pivotal role in our mission to support small startup businesses in the Agricultural Supply Chain. Your primary responsibility will be to vet and assist Biz Builder applicants in developing comprehensive business plans. Additionally, you will evaluate grant applicants, recommend business builder awards, coach or vet business builder awards as well as technical assistance (TA) awards to vetted candidates. Your efforts will contribute to our outreach and coordination strategies aimed at recruiting applicants for technical assistance and business building grants issued by the Delta Regional Food Business Center.

Key Responsibilities

1. Business Plan Development:

    • Collaborate with approved Biz Builder applicants to develop comprehensive business plans tailored to the specific needs and goals of the regional supply chain.
    • Assist in market research, financial projections, and other critical aspects of business plan development.
    • Ensure that business plans are well-structured, realistic, and aligned with the objectives of the Regional Agricultural Supply Chain

2. Vet Biz Builder Applicants:

    • Review and assess applications from entrepreneurs seeking assistance through our Biz Builder program.
    • Conduct interviews and gather additional information as needed to evaluate the suitability of applicants.
    • Provide feedback and guidance to applicants regarding their eligibility and potential for success in the program, particularly those business concepts focused on increasing the integration of regional products in a sustainable way into the regional supply chain.

3. Grant Applicant Evaluation: 

    • Assess grant applications submitted by small startup businesses seeking funding from RFBC grants.
    • Evaluate the feasibility, impact, and alignment with program goals of each grant proposal.
    • Recommend suitable candidates for the Business Builder Awards based on their potential to contribute to the Agricultural Supply Chain.
    • Coach and mentor selected Biz Builder awardees throughout their participation in the program.
    • Monitor and assess the progress of awardees, offering guidance and support as needed.

4. Technical Assistance (TA) Awards: 

    • Identify entrepreneurs who demonstrate a need for technical assistance.
    • Facilitate the application process for TA awards and ensure that recipients receive the necessary resources to enhance their business operations.
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, agriculture, or a related field (Master’s degree preferred).
  • Prior experience in business plan development, grant evaluation, or entrepreneurship support.
  • Strong understanding of the Agricultural Supply Chain and its challenges.
  • Exceptional analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative team.
  • Proficiency in using business planning software and tools.
  • Familiarity with Regional Food Business Center grant programs and agricultural funding mechanisms is a plus.
How to Apply

Please submit resume/CV and examples of previous experience to USDA Delta Regional Food Business Center –