American Farmland Trust is the only national nonprofit 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 nearly 7 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.
American Farmland Trust’s Farms Under Threat research has shown that Texas has the highest concentration of threatened agricultural land in America – with a potential 2.7 million acres projected to be converted to real estate development by 2040. 8 of the 12 counties in the nation projected to lose the most agricultural land to real estate development are in Texas including Bexar, Harris, Tarrant, Fort Bend, Collin, Travis, Denton and Hidalgo.
It is also urgent that more be done in the region to promote Smart Solar principles and support Texas agricultural producers in adopting soil health and conservation practices to protect water and wildlife and increase resilience to climate change. And, Texas faces major challenges with families grappling with successfully transferring their farms and ranches and beginning and underserved producers struggling to access land.
The Texas Regional Director (Director) position offers an exciting opportunity to help shape and carry out the strategic agenda of a growing, forward-looking conservation organization in addressing these major challenges, including a major partnership with USDA NRCS. The Director will report to the Vice President for Programs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Primary responsibilities for the Director will include:
- Develop and lead programs to advance AFT’s mission to save the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.
- Work closely with the Vice President for Programs, National Initiative Leaders, and other staff to expand AFT’s impact across Texas.
- Build and manage relationships with USDA NRCS and other external stakeholders including agriculture, food and public health, environment, economic development, and other constituencies.
- Create programs that support the needs of underserved communities of farmers and landowners in achieving AFT’s mission.
- Play a leadership role in fundraising for AFT in Texas.
- Coordinate with AFT’s Development staff regarding individual and institutional fundraising strategy, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
- Develop funding proposals/reports & complete other activities within identified deadlines.
- Work with communications staff to develop and implement strategies to raise the visibility of the organization’s programs and mission in Texas.
Management and Administration
- Oversee overall management of the Texas Regional Program.
- Create an inclusive work environment for AFT staff and partners.
- Develop and implement annual workplans and budgets for Texas.
- Supervise and support a team of AFT staff and consultants.
- Manage project budgets, financial statements and reports.
- Complete other duties as assigned.
The Director must be outgoing and energetic and have direct professional experience working with primary constituencies, such as agricultural producers, landowners, USDA NRCS and other public officials, agricultural and conservation organizations and land trusts. The individual must have knowledge of farmland protection, farmland access and farm transfer planning or agricultural stewardship, preferably in Texas. It is also strongly preferred that the Director have direct experience working with underserved communities of farmers and landowners.
The Director must be entrepreneurial, self-motivated, and willing to work in a fast-paced work environment. The successful candidate will have work experience in developing programs as well as creating and executing effective fundraising strategies. Excellent communication skills (public presentation, phone, writing, partner relations) and creativity are essential. Facility with the Microsoft Office is required – additional computer skills preferred.
- A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 10 years of related work experience in public policy, planning, agriculture, land conservation or natural resource planning. Or, 5 years of related management experience with an advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted.
- Experience with individual and institutional fundraising including with funding requests for more than $250,000.
- Previous experience with supervising staff and consultants, including from remote locations, is required.
- Demonstrated experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs and annual budgets of at least $500,000 is necessary.
- Direct experience with creating an inclusive work environment and developing programs for diverse communities of farmers and landowners is beneficial.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Willingness to work independently and travel regularly across the Texas Region.
An annual salary of $100,000 to $105,000 is anticipated for the Texas Regional Director position. Additionally, American Farmland Trust offers meaningful vacation, medical, retirement, and other benefits commensurate with a nonprofit organization of our size.
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.