Farmland Easement Support Specialist
Fully Remote • MA
- Conduct outreach, educate, and direct support to Massachusetts conservation partners about farm protection funding opportunities and tools.
- Provide direct one-on-one assistance to land trusts, municipalities, and other partners in navigating the ACEP-ALE application process, from start to finish.
- Work with AFT, NRCS and MDAR staff on improved farm protection program alignment and communication to maximize federal and state funding opportunities.
- Design, launch, and support a land trust peer cohort to rapidly increase the applicant pool and number of successful applications for federal farmland protection funding.
- Participate in and provide organizational capacity, as needed, to the MA Land Trust Coalition’s Ag Conservation Working Group, the Easement Sub-Committee of the NRCS-MA State Technical Committee, and other statewide initiatives.
- Help to promote and advance the adoption of a Farmland of Local Importance (FLI) designation in Massachusetts towns, to increase the number of farm properties eligible for federal funding.
- Work with AFT’s New England and National communications teams to promote the use of ACEP-ALE and other easement programs through storytelling that highlights partnerships, land protection success stories, and issues tied to land such as farm viability, food security, and soil health.
- Engage with other AFT staff in similar roles across the organization to share strategies and lessons learned.
- Support broader efforts to build capacity among agricultural land protection partners in New England and spur innovation in agricultural land protection in the region.
- You have direct experience with agriculture, natural resources, and land protection. Prior experience with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) processes and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) Program is preferred.
- You have direct experience and have demonstrated success undertaking and completing farm protection projects on behalf of a land trust, town, or agency.
- You have proven experience organizing diverse stakeholders toward a common objective, including in-person and virtual settings.
- You have proven experience offering one-on-one support to individuals and teams on a complex topic.
- You have navigated a complex system or process and have demonstrated skill in improving efficiency and accessibility of information.
- You have led and inspired groups around a common goal and you have strong inter-personal skills.
- If you have at least 10 years of directly relevant experience supporting farmland protection with at least 5 years of experience providing direct technical assistance relative to federally funded easements or at least 2 years of experience as an NRCS employee working within the ACEP or FRPP programs, you may qualify for this role as at the Senior Technical Specialist level.
- Experienced farmland conservation practitioner with a track record of success.
- Proficient community organizer with the passion, energy, and collaborative mindset to substantially increase the pace of farmland protection in Massachusetts.
- Strong listening, problem-solving, and communication skills, capable of embracing diverse perspectives and facilitating the implementation of new and innovative ideas.
- Highly motivated, resourceful, and demonstrated leadership abilities.
- Excellent public speaking and facilitation skills.
- Adept at building and nurturing relationships with others.
- A bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in a relevant field and a minimum of 4 years of related work experience in natural resources, conservation, land protection, agriculture, and/or project management.
- While this is primarily a remote position based in Massachusetts, some regular, in-person work and travel across the state will be required. Some limited, in-person work at the NRCS MA state office in Amherst may be required, especially during on-boarding. Occasional out-of-state travel may also be required for events such as all-staff meetings or regional convenings.
- Completion of a federal background check during the initial months of employment is required for this role. Continued employment is contingent on successful completion of this background check.
- This is a remote position based in Massachusetts.
- You care deeply about farmers and land.
- You have a deep working knowledge of New England agriculture and conservation, and an understanding of the culture of farmers and farming. Ideally, you are familiar with Massachusetts agricultural and conservation stakeholders and communities.
- You understand town government and how things work at the local level.
- You are excited about this big challenge, and you’re a big thinker who can stay grounded in practical and actionable solutions. You get excited about goal-setting and systematically setting the stage for success through thoughtful planning.
- Medical & Prescription Coverage
- Dental Coverage
- Vision Coverage
- Company Paid Life Insurance & Long-Term Disability (LTD)
- Voluntary Life Insurance
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – Healthcare & Dependent Care
- Health Savings Account (HSA)
- 401(k) 10% match after six months of employment
- Sick Leave: Regular full-time employees accrue 3.5 hours per pay period (13 “sick days” per year).
- Vacation Leave: Accrue 15 days during the first year increasing by one day per year to 20 days per year.
- Holidays: The Company observes fixed eleven holidays during the year (all offices closed): plus, the week off between Christmas and New Years and a choice of 3 other floating holidays depending on hiring date.