Land Protection Project Manager

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.


Reporting to the Deputy Director of Land Protection Projects, the Land Protection Projects Manager furthers AFT’s strategic acquisition of new agricultural land and interests in land, including easement and fee land acquisitions, within the context of AFT’s mission and broader conservation goals.


As an integral part of the AFT Programs team, the Land Protection Projects Manager coordinates activities related to easement and fee land acquisitions, ranging from prospecting and initial meetings with landowners, identification and selection of properties and funding sources, due diligence, document preparation, site evaluations, project budget management, coordinating real estate closings and serving as AFT’s point of contact with project stakeholders.   


What You’ll Be Working On

  • Managing and vetting AFT’s new land protection projects protecting farms and ranches across the United States. Ensuring all projects are conducted in alignment with AFT’s internal land projects policies and professional best practices 
  • Developing proposals to fund easement and fee land projects, including matching projects with appropriate sources of funding and managing individual project budgets 
  • Working closely with the Director and Deputy Director of Land Protection to grow AFT’s emerging Buy-Protect-Sell plus program
  • Providing oversight and guidance to other AFT program staff (e.g. regional or other project staff) interested in collaborating on land projects
  • Developing key partnerships with land trusts, PACE programs and other entities interested in partnering with AFT on farmland protection projects
  • Working with landowners and other stakeholders to develop and evaluate conservation opportunities on farm and ranch land 
  • Facilitating communications between all parties to easement transactions 
  • Coordinating transactional due diligence, recordkeeping and reporting
  • Assisting with development of AFT’s strategic land protection planning efforts, including annual work planning, budgeting, and internal farmland protection policy development.  
  • Representing AFT at conferences, meetings, workshops and in the community at-large   
  • Developing educational and outreach materials to support AFT’s Land Protection efforts
  • Contributing to special projects on an as-needed basis 

The ideal candidate possesses:

  • Ability and subject matter expertise to conduct and oversee complex farm and ranch land protection transactions. 
  • Expertise with executing real estate and conservation land transactions including agricultural conservation easement acquisitions and Buy-Protect-Sell transactions 
  • Familiarity with federal, state and local sources of funding for farmland protection and Land Trust Standards and Practices.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.  Experience communicating about working lands conservation transactions with farmers and ranchers as well as other conservation professionals. 
  • Experience with conservation due diligence including: surveys, appraisals and environmental assessments, baseline documentation reporting and developing conservation and other land management plans.
  • Familiarity with basic, land use, property law, working lands conservation and estate planning concepts 
  • Ability to conduct field assessments, including outdoors in inclement weather 
  • Facility with GPS, ArcGIS, Google Earth, soil surveys, public land records and maps. 
  • Proficiency with the Microsoft Office 
  • Willingness to travel frequently and spend time in agricultural and rural areas.  Must have a valid driver’s license.  
  • Capability of working on multiple easement projects simultaneously with attention to detail. 
  • Ability to use appropriate discretion with confidential financial and legal information. 
  • Ability to effectively communicates with agricultural landowners, their advisors, and a broad range of other professional collaborators as AFT’s primary contact person on prospective easement projects.  
  • Ability to think broadly with an eye toward guiding AFT’s conservation policies and future approaches to conservation issues. 

Education & Experience 

  • An advanced degree and a minimum of five years of related work experience in farmland protection, land conservation, land use planning, law and/or real estate.
  • Employment experience with an established agricultural land trust or a local, state or federal easement program.

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

Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the ‘apply’ button below. 

Salary Description
$60,000 - $65,000