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.
This position is initially funded through a contract with the GCERT. Our hope is that following completion of this contract, this person will be absorbed into a new AFT Texas team that will be working closely with Texas NRCS and be located in a mutually agreed upon location. If this happens, the roles and responsibilities of the position will remain fairly constant, while the geography covered and tie to a specific watershed will change and most likely broaden significantly to include a larger part of the state.
This AFT position, located in Robstown, TX (a suburb of Corpus Christi) reports to AFT’s new TX State Director and works closely with both the TX NRCS resource team leader and Assistant State Conservationist - Partnerships & Initiatives. This position will support the Petronila Creek Watershed Nutrient Reduction project funded by the RESTORE Council in response to the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil spill. The project is focused on driving nutrient reduction in the Petronila Creek Watershed in Nueces County, TX via outreach and financial and technical assistance to voluntary participants to develop and implement conservation practices on agricultural land that is vulnerable to nutrient and sediment runoff. The Outreach and Education (O&E) Coordinator takes the lead in shaping and carrying out strategic outreach and education efforts on available technical and financial assistance opportunities in this project area with the goal of driving sign up and participation in this project and for ginning up interest in farm and ranchland protection efforts while carrying out these outreach and education efforts.
The Texas Gulf Coast Outreach and Education Coordinator develops and executes outreach and education strategies, foster partnerships, develops public education and marketing materials, supports and promotes on-farm demonstration field days, and builds and maintains relationships with farmers, ranchers, non-operating agricultural landowners as well as state and federal agencies, agricultural service providers, conservation leaders, and others to develop and implement outreach and education strategies to drive participation among current and potential customers for the Petronila Creek Watershed project. This will include a focus on conducting outreach, delivering educational programming, providing one-on-one support services, and developing new resources, trainings, and online tools to support historically underserved and marginalized farmers and address social, economic, and environmental challenges. Background project details can be found at this link.
Duties and responsibilities
- Coordinate the outreach component of the Petronila Creek (TX) Watershed Nutrient Reduction program, including but not limited to conducting outreach, delivering educational programming, and developing new resources, trainings, and tools for all farmers, ranchers and ag landowners including diverse, small-scale, historically underserved and marginalized farmers.
- Strengthen outreach efforts to underrepresented and underserved communities and serve as a liaison for NRCS and AFT programs to these communities in the watershed. This includes engaging directly with farmers, landowners, and relevant partners to build relationships and understand the needs and opportunities of historically/currently underserved and socially disadvantaged farming communities in Petronila Creek Watershed in Nueces County, Texas to advance the project; and broader geographies after completion of the Petronila Creek Watershed project contract.
- Work with NRCS local technical staff as well as public affairs staff in the Zone and State offices to develop high quality compelling outreach and education content including project marketing materials.
- Includes capturing and editing videos, photos, and interviews to convey project opportunities and impacts and inform the targeted audiences.
- Organizing and coordinating in-person and virtual workshops, radio broadcasts, and community resource fairs to drive project participation.
- Support project tracking and report-writing activities including establishing and tracking a full set of outcome measures.
- Ability to cultivate and maintain strong relationships, build trust and work well with a diverse set of players (farmers, ranchers, landowners, local leaders, partner organizations, subject area experts, etc.).
- Experience performing community outreach and implementing in-field community-based educational programs including experience developing and extending socially, culturally, and linguistically relevant resources and services to farming communities.
- Experience working with diverse agricultural communities and systems and demonstrated understanding of environmental, social, and economic issues facing different populations of farmers, farmworkers, and farming communities. Preferred lived experience and/or cultural competency that enables understanding of a diverse spectrum of stakeholders.
- Professional experience working directly with farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural and environmental organizations and stakeholders is strongly preferred as is a working knowledge of farmer experiences, challenges and needs with working knowledge of farming and related agricultural issues in Texas. A general understanding of regenerative agricultural practices, natural resource management is highly valued.
- Ability to work independently without onsite supervision.
- Quick learner with high emotional intelligence with the ability to understand and adapt to diverse and dynamic environments and situations. In addition, the right candidate will be highly responsible with a strong sense of ethics; trustworthy, dependable, and passionate about the missions of both AFT and NRCS.
- Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills with exceptional communicator (written and verbal) and listener among diverse audiences and communication styles.
- A valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation with the ability to travel within agricultural regions throughout TX but primarily within the project watershed and occasionally to/from the NRCS state office in Temple, TX.
- Working knowledge of Spanish is advantageous.
- Willingness to make a 14 month to multi-year commitment to be located in the target region.
Education & Experience
Bachelor's degree (ideally in a natural resources, conservation and/or agriculture field or another relevant field) or sufficient comparable experience.
This job operates in a teleworking environment and routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, and phones. Work in the evenings or on weekends will be required to meet with outreach and education target audiences and meet deadlines. Because of this there may be some ability to flex work hours.
Frequent car travel throughout the Petronila Creek Watershed region of Texas with occasional travel to the state office to conduct community outreach, put on and attend demonstration events, provide one to one direct farmer/rancher/landowner support, and host workshops and program events. This could change over time after completion of this Petronila Creek Watershed project contract in which case the region of travel would be likely to shift or expand while the amount of travel is likely to remain fairly constant because of the nature of the position.
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 answer the screener questions and be sure to include a cover letter and resume to be considered. Applications received by March 31, 2023 will be given first consideration!