American Farmland Trust 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.
We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, expression or identity, 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 we have 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.
As an integral part of AFT’s program team, the Senior Program Manager (Sr. Manager) helps to set and then implement AFT’s Climate strategy in New England. The Sr. Manager’s primary focus is on overseeing and building that portion of AFT’s program portfolio focused on combatting climate change and advancing soil conservation. Reporting to the New England Regional Director (Director) the SR. Manager has a strong leadership role in the region, overseeing its exemplary Soil Health Team focused primarily on on-farm trials and demonstration; farmer to farmer education; research; soil health assessments, soil health consulting; and on providing direct financial assistance to farmers through grantmaking.
Despite a strong existing program requiring solid guidance and support, a key focus of the role is maintaining the strong trajectory of program growth. This will be achieved through relationship building, program development and a major focus on developing large funding proposals and consulting projects.
What You’ll Be Working On
Strategic Program Development
- Implementing and continually refining a long-term vision and strategy regarding climate change and soil health in New England that serves the diversity of farmers in the region.
- Cultivating working partnerships with agricultural, environmental, conservation, academic, research, business, and other relevant institutions in developing and implementing programs and in building a constituency that will actively support AFT’s mission in New England.
- Providing thought leadership and expertise within and outside of AFT regarding soil health and climate change, opportunities for farmers to combat climate change.
- Assisting with?other strategic decision-making for addressing the most critical challenges in New England tied to AFT’s mission.
- Leading, with support from Development and Program staff, the creation of significant (at least $250k) and compelling proposals to secure funds for programming within the climate portfolio
- Supporting the cultivation of relationships with funders and funding prospects, including foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
- Leading relationship building and thought leadership with key prospective partners that results in paid consulting projects that advance AFT’s climate strategy.
Management & Budget
- Providing overall program level management for AFT’s climate related portfolio of projects within New England including coordination among all projects; management of reporting and evaluations; and other communications to funders and partners; and overall climate fundraising.
- Under leadership from the Deputy Director, manage budget and annual work planning for projects within the climate portfolio.
- Managing staff directly serving the regional climate related portfolio of projects, including those focused on urban agriculture.
- Working collaboratively with other regional and national staff to ensure that the climate initiative is effectively integrated into other regional and national programs and strategies.
- Supervising and mentoring Climate and Conservation staff to ensure high quality work and accountability, maintaining a supportive and inclusive work environment across AFT.
- Developing and leading research projects that leverage AFT’s unique expertise and relationships
- Assuring the effective management of technical research and extension activities, including on-farm demonstrations, environmental and economic analyses, and case study publications, and supporting regional and national research efforts.
- Facilitating thought leadership around specific topics/emerging practice areas, including collaboration with AFT policy and scientific experts as needed.
- Assisting where needed in external stakeholder engagement on priority research
- Working with communications staff to actively communicate about the region’s climate work.
- Contributing to other communications and outreach pieces related to New England programs and policy work.
- Working with federal and state Policy staff to inform policy recommendations.
The Sr. Manager must be entrepreneurial, self-motivated, outgoing, and energetic and have direct professional experience developing and overseeing projects or programs regarding soil health or climate change. The individual must have a deep and technical understanding of soil health along with a working knowledge of farmland conservation, farming systems, agronomy, or natural resources conservation techniques in a New England context. The individual should have demonstrated success applying for grant funding, should be published in peer reviewed journals, and have experience designing and leading research relevant to New England soils or agricultural conservation. The ideal candidate will find fast-growth and complex proposals exciting and invigorating, not overwhelming and intimidating, and possesses:
- Deep technical knowledge and research experience directly in agriculture, soil health, climate change science, and their interactions.
- Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, the scientific community, corporations, and government agencies.
- Understanding of social/cultural barriers to behavior change/practice adoption.
- Demonstrated project management skills and experience managing diverse teams of individuals, peers, and partners with flexibility and creativity.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including delivering presentations and publishing reports or manuscripts
- Supervisory experience, including setting goals and managing performance of employees.
- Ability to deliver high quality work in a dynamic organization under time pressure.
- While not required, experience working in diverse agricultural systems; multi-lingual skills and cross-cultural experiences; working knowledge of key climate models and tools relevant to agriculture; experience working with carbon or other environmental service-based markets; and knowledge of current policies and programs supported at state and national levels as related to agriculture, soil health, and climate mitigation will be relevant and highly beneficial in this role.
Education & Experience
- Master’s degree, PhD preferred, in agronomy, soil science, environmental science, natural resources, environmental policy, or related field, and at least 8 years work experience in associated field. Difference combinations of a similar experience and education level will be considered for candidates with exceptional academic credentials and professional experience.
- Experience directing a major program or set of projects, including management/supervision of teams, contracts, and budgets.
American Farmland Trust offers excellent vacation, medical, retirement and other benefits. Salary range for this position is from $75,000 to $80,000, based upon experience.
Why you should apply
- Be a part of a purpose-driven, committed, knowledgeable, high-performing, experienced and fun team
- A diverse and inclusive work environment
- A cause and mission you can be proud of
- Competitive compensation & Benefits
- Remote work opportunities
- Flexible scheduling
While applications will be accepted until the position is filled, applicants who apply with a resume and cover letter by May 31st will be reviewed first.
Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the ‘apply’ button below.