New York Agricultural Stewardship Associate
Fully Remote New York, NY
Who We AreAmerican Farmland Trust (AFT) is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and helped thousands of farm families make a go of it (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities.  We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day. Please see AFT’s statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.
What You Will Do American Farmland Trust is seeking a full-time New York Agricultural Stewardship Associate to support and grow programs in New York state that assist farmland owners and farmers transitioning to or increasing adoption of regenerative farming practices on owned or rented land. Join an impactful and historic mission! As a New York Agricultural Stewardship Associate, you'll empower farmers to transition to the adoption of regenerative farming practices and to assist them with accessing funding for climate resilience, water quality protection and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction. You'll guide them through local, state and federal programs including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and support those facing implementation barriers. Your expertise will cover diverse agronomic and engineering practices, from finding funding for landowners to coordinating stakeholders for outreach events. Although all types of farms will be supported, special emphasis will be made for traditionally underserved and beginning producers. Be part of the solution in the farming community, helping farmers meet economic and environmental outcomes. It's a unique opportunity to make a difference! 
Responsibilities Include:
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with farmer owner/operators, farmworkers, and farmland owners. 
  • Collaborate with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Conservationists to identify priority clients for targeted technical assistance. 
  • Coordinate outreach with AFT Agricultural Stewardship Team, NRCS field staff, and partner planners for efficiency. 
  • Assist in practice interpretation, layout, and inspection, maintaining extensive farmer/landowner interaction documentation. 
  • Support the maintenance of program contract files. 
  • Aid NRCS field office staff in contacting program applicants and data collection. 
  • Maintain workload registers and perform follow-up tasks. 
  • Maintain mailing and contact lists for program delivery. 
  • Coordinate climate-related practice workshops for farmers and technical service providers in collaboration with NRCS and AFT staff. 
  • Contribute to outreach materials for farmers regarding climate change, conservation practice implementation, and NRCS programs. 
  • Assist with planning and implementing on-farm demonstrations, field days and workshops.
  • Facilitate and coordinate partnerships with a diverse network of agricultural and conservation professionals including AFT state and national staff, USDA NRCS, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Cornell University and Cooperative Extension, farmers, crop consultants and others.
  • Work collaboratively with core project team to manage project implementation and achieve project objectives.
  • Represent AFT at non-AFT public meetings, field days, and educational events.
  • Assist with organizing in-person and virtual training and networking events for farmers and landowners. 
  • Develop and support relationships with farmland owners and farmers, focusing on women, to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices on farmland in targeted areas of New York. 
  • A proven track record of implementing or assisting with implementation of conservation practices.  
  • Ability to travel across central and northern New York, visiting diverse farms and farmers to execute the job functions.
  • Experience and working knowledge of NRCS and SWCD funded conservation practices is especially valuable, but not required.  
  • A deep working knowledge of Northeast agriculture or conservation and an understanding of the culture of farmers and farming.  
  • Ability to foster effective partnerships with Extension educators, soil and water conservation districts, USDA and state agency personnel and other professionals as well as training and supporting farmers and landowners – particularly women landowners - is highly valuable. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, specifically an aptitude for public speaking, meeting facilitation, and developing effective public education materials.
  • Experience designing and facilitating professional development or other educational trainings, specifically with farmers, landowners and related stakeholders.
  • Experience with public outreach, community engagement, and communications (digital and/or traditional).
  • An intellectual curiosity, understanding, and enthusiasm for AFT’s mission.  
  • A minimum of 7 years of professional experience in farming, land stewardship, or land management, or a college degree in a related field can substitute for up to 4 years of work experience.  
  • Access to reliable transportation.
  • Independent and reliable worker; willingness to conduct field-based work in all weather conditions and work effectively from a home-based office location.
  • Applicants should be comfortable working remotely from home. Based on the location of the work, candidates must be in central New York, and willing to drive long distances using their own vehicle (with mileage reimbursement). The Associate will require frequent travel in the central and northern Lake Ontario Watershed and occasional trips to AFT’s New York office in Saratoga Springs, among other possible travel. 
  • 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.

CompensationThe salary range is $60,000-$65,000. The higher end of the range is for those with Certified Crop Advisor credentials.  While we expect the program and this role to continue, employment is subject to available funding. 
American Farmland Trust offers a full benefits package for full time employees:  
  • 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. 

Timeline  While applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled, applicants who apply by November 20th will be reviewed first. Please submit a cover letter with a resume for consideration.
American Farmland Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the organization has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.  
Salary Description