About American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land, 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. 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 California Regional Director, the California Agricultural Land Protection Policy and Program Manager (Manager) will play a leadership role in accelerating efforts to protect agricultural land in California. The Manager will serve as a key American Farmland Trust (AFT) representative to legislative and administrative leaders in advancing AFT's state policy agenda to protect agricultural land. The Manager will coordinate the newly formed Alliance for California Agricultural Land, supports AFT’s National Agricultural Land Network (NALN) and help build the capacity of agricultural land trusts in the state.
The Manager is responsible for coordinating policy research, education, advocacy, and legislative and administrative policy development, and related coalition building to advance AFT’s agricultural land protection policy agenda. In addition, the Manager will coordinate trainings, peer networking and direct support for agricultural land trusts to build capacity to accelerate the pace of agricultural land protection and spur innovation in responding to new challenges and opportunities, such as promoting regenerative practices on protected agricultural land, fostering opportunities to promote equitable land access, and ensuring the affordability of protected agricultural land for a new generation of farmers.
Duties and responsibilities
Legislative and Administrative Policy:
- Conduct research and help develop AFT’s agricultural land protection policy agenda for California
- Cultivate relationships with policymakers and their staff
- Advocate on relevant state legislation, budgets, and administrative or regulatory policies with state agencies, legislators and other public officials
- Collaborate and contribute to AFT’s national policy policies as appropriate and leverage these efforts to support California’s policy agenda
Strategic Partnerships and Coalition Building:
- Organize and lead lobby days, briefings, workshops and meetings to advance AFT’s policy agenda
- Represent AFT at policy conferences, hearings, and other forums as appropriate
- Coordinate the Alliance for California Agricultural Land including the development and execution of a coalition policy strategy.
Land Trust Capacity Building
- Coordinate and facilitate agricultural land protection trainings, peer networking and direct assistance for the agricultural land trust community including developing training programs with the National Agricultural Land Network
- Help produce communications materials, white papers and policy briefs relevant to AFT’s policy agenda and land trust capacity building
- As needed, communicate with the media, AFT members, and the public, on policy initiatives, including through social media
- Contribute to federal policy briefs, white papers, and policy recommendations
- Provide input on fundraising materials, and attend key funder meetings
- Pursue funding opportunities identified by AFT to support ongoing policy work
- Develop and manage the annual state policy budget and workplan related deliverables process and other project budgets as needed
- Provide regular comprehensive state policy updates and recommendations to relevant AFT staff, as appropriate
This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of job-related responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions. While this is intended to be a reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.
All job requirements are subject to possible revision to reflect changes in the position requirements or to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a threat or risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees. This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to which will be required in this position. Employees will be required to follow other job-related duties as requested by their supervisor/manager (within guidelines and compliance with Federal and State Laws). Continued employment remains on an “at-will” basis.
- Knowledge of California land use policy, farmland access, agriculture, and resource conservation issues
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Direct experience with farming and ranching and/or agricultural conservation easements and land protection desirable but not necessary
- Creativity and open-minded willingness to grow professionally
- Ability to think critically and strategically
- Confident self-starter and team player
- Well-organized and disciplined
- Ability to understand and communicate complex issues quickly
- Sound judgment, discretion and ability to maintain confidentiality
- Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor
- Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
- Competency in Office 365, including Microsoft Teams and other web-based applications to ensure maximization of team connectivity.
Education & Experience
A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 years of related work experience in law, public policy, political science, city and regional planning, land protection or other field relevant to policy advocacy.
The position is remote to be located in or nearby the Greater Sacramento Region, California. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers and phones. Occasional work in the evenings or on weekends may be required to meet deadlines.
The position requires travel to attend conferences and events, conduct partner and community outreach, and host technical assistance workshops, approximately 20% of the time. In addition, infrequent travel to other national locations may be determined when directly connected to AFT outcomes.
- Ability to safely and successfully perform the essential job functions consistent with the ADA, FMLA and other federal, state and local standards, including meeting qualitative and/or quantitative productivity standards.
- Ability to maintain regular, punctual attendance consistent with the ADA, FMLA and other federal, state, and local standards.
- Must be able to remain in a stationary position 80% of the time.
- The person in this position frequently communicates with partners, stakeholders and staff who have inquiries and must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.