New York Policy 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 New York Regional Director, the New York Policy Manager manages  staff, consultants, and interns and works closely with the New York staff, the AFT Policy  team, consultants, and external partners to advocate for policies and programs that save  the land that sustains us.  

 As an integral part of the AFT NY regional programs team,  the New York Policy Manager supports  broader efforts to develop and grow these programs. They will have the opportunity to  work across teams throughout AFT, as well as with external partners including state and  local government officials, farmers, landowners, agricultural professionals, and  institutional leaders. 

What You’ll Be Working On

  •  Cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with state and federal officials,  leaders of agricultural and conservation organizations, food and community groups  and others;  
  • Analyzing state and federal legislation, budgets and administrative rules as well as  conducting research to develop and advance AFT’s policy positions; 
  •  Organizing coalitions to advance policy priorities and coordinating grassroots  advocacy among local governments, land trusts, farm and food organizations and  others;  
  • Developing workplans and budgets and assisting with fundraising strategies for  projects in the New York region;  
  • Reporting regularly to the New York Regional Director on progress and  opportunities within the region; 
  •  Advocating for policies and programs which permanently protect farmland in New  York, help farmers mitigate and adapt to climate change and protect water quality,  incentivize institutional purchasing of New York grown products, encourage smart  solar siting, and advocating for programs to support a new generation of farmers in  accessing and transferring farmland in NY; 
  •  Leading advocacy meetings and testifying before committees including preparing  reports, one-pagers, testimony, coalition letters and other communications materials  to support policy priorities and advocacy; developing meeting agendas and  presentations; and conducting follow-up communications; 
  •  Representing the organization before public agencies, policy makers, and community stakeholders in public meetings, the media, conferences and other events;
  •  Drafting and refining press statements and being interviewed by members of the media on behalf of AFT and coalitions; 
  • Organizing outreach among partner organizations and coalitions to state and federal leaders in of support for key policies and programs; 
  • Developing events and other activities to engage key state leaders and lawmakers; 
  • Assisting with policy research and development of publications to advance policy goals, including farm to institution, farmland protection, farmland access, renewable energy siting, and soil health initiatives that help farmers combat climate change;
  •  Helping to coordinate programs for a diversity of stakeholders across multiple formats, such as webinars, networking events, and educational workshops; 
  • Coordinating and leading internal meetings and communications to ensure timely completion of program activities;
  •  Assisting with content development and delivery for social media campaigns, virtual lobby days, regular email updates, and other digital communications; 
  • Working with AFT staff, consultants, and the Development Division to develop proposals and secure funds for initiatives and projects; 
  • Coordinating with Federal and State Agency Staff to facilitate discussions centered around strengthening NY’s commitment to expanding the role of agriculture in achieving the state’s climate goals;
  •  Providing technical assistance to local governments on farmland protection and smart solar siting; 
  • Representing AFT on committees and in coalitions such as state agency workgroup appointments, and EPF coalition, Clean Water and Jobs Coalition, and others; and 
  • Managing staff, interns, and consultants to achieve the above. 

The ideal candidate is outgoing and energetic, organized, a thorough and proven researcher, is capable of working independently and as part of a team, comfortable regularly interacting with a diverse audience - including elected  officials and their staff; state leaders; farmers; organizations in the agricultural,  environmental, education, public health, and renewable energy sectors; and others,  and possesses:  

  •  Excellent research skills and ability to summarize difficult concepts succinctly;  
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;  
  • Proven experience in collaborating with diverse partners to advance policy goals is  valuable, along with the ability to lead and support policy coalitions;  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple tasks, stay organized and ability to work  independently;  
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, Teams and SharePoint; experience with web  design, Salsa, and social media are preferred;  
  • Familiarity with federal, state and/or local policy making process; and 
  • Willingness to attend meetings and conferences both regionally and statewide;  and  
  • Ability to work independently and remotely.  

 Education & Experience 

  •  BA or BS degree and 5+ years of related work experience in political science,  public policy, agriculture, environment, land conservation or natural resource  planning. An advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted may  substitute for one year of work 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

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

Salary Description
65,000 - 70,000