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. Please see AFT’s statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.
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.
The Midwest Program Associate (PA) provides support to implement the mission and vision of American Farmland Trust, with the goal of increasing the adoption of soil health and conservation cropping systems into Midwest agriculture. The PA works under the supervision of the Midwest Deputy Director and will work across teams within AFT’s Midwest Region, as well as with external partners, to advance the following programs and initiatives:
- Illinois Cover Crop Initiative
- Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (S.T.A.R.) Initiative
- Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership (ISAP)
This a permanent position and while it is based remotely, the selected candidate must reside in Illinois.
What You’ll Be Working On
- Assist with outreach to farmers and landowners, ag retailers, Illinois SWCD’s and project partners to promote and incentivize conservation practice adoption.
- Support and track practice implementation and coordinate practice incentive payments to farmers.
- Assist in the development and distribution of educational materials on cover crops and soil health practices.
- Assist in program planning and coordination of activities for a diversity of stakeholders across multiple formats, such as webinars, networking events, educational workshops and field days.
- Manage event logistics, including scheduling, registration, minutes, and following up on action items.
- Assist in program promotion via a variety of communication channels such as blogs, newsletters, press releases, social media, etc.
- Track project activities and outcomes and contribute to project-related reports.
- Support program growth and development.
- Represent AFT at public meetings, field days, and educational events.
The Midwest Program Associate must be entrepreneurial and a self-starter, outgoing and energetic, organized, and a capable problem solver. S/he must be able to work well independently and as part of a team, be highly motivated, and possess excellent communication skills (phone, public presentation, writing, partner relations).
- Experience with public outreach and community engagement, including experience building networks and organizing events for farmers, landowners, and agricultural professionals.
- Direct experience working with a diversity of agricultural and conservation professionals, e.g. state and federal agencies, farmers and farmland owners, soil and water conservation districts, commodity organizations and conservation organizations is strongly preferred.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and competent use of Microsoft Excel to organize and manage data and information, with demonstrated commitment to high-quality work.
- Experience managing multiple projects and tasks while adhering to deadlines.
- Knowledge of the Midwest agricultural landscape, natural resource concerns and key stakeholders.
- Demonstrated commitment to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and justice and knowledgeable about how those principles can be effectively applied in practice.
- Selected candidate must reside in Illinois and have the ability to travel within the Midwest Region.
Education & Experience
- BA or BS degree and a minimum of 2 years of related work experience in agriculture, environmental management, natural resource planning or related fields. An advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted may substitute for 1 year of work experience.
American Farmland Trust pays salaries that are competitive with nonprofits of our budget size, and offers meaningful vacation, medical, retirement and other benefits. Salary range is from $45,000 to $55,000. Salary is negotiable 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
Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the ‘apply’ button below. Please include a cover letter and resume with the application to be considered.