Virginia, Maryland, or Pennsylvania
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.
The Mid-Atlantic Farmer Outreach Associate (Associate) works directly with farmers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region to help develop and support peer-to-peer networks of producers aimed at advancing regenerative practice implementation and farm business viability. In addition, the position both leads existing farmer support initiatives and helps develop new programming in the Mid-Atlantic region (Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania) with an emphasis on Virginia. The Associate will collaborate closely with AFT’s Mid-Atlantic regional staff, climate and communications experts, and partner organizations to ensure that AFT’s programming is strategic, synergistic, and impactful.
What You’ll Be Working On
This is a pivotal time for AFT in the Mid-Atlantic as we embark on several new holistic and interconnected projects that seek to promote the widespread adoption of regenerative farm systems, catalyze a new wave of agricultural land protection, access, and transfer, and strengthen farm viability. For the right candidate, this is an exciting opportunity to shape and grow AFT’s expanding work in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Associate will play a leadership role in developing and managing farmer network initiatives and farmer support services, collaborating closely with key partners to support regenerative agriculture and farm viability programming in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Associate will work directly with existing farmer networks and develop new ones focused on soil health, climate adaptation, regenerative systems adoption, and farm viability. In addition, the Associate will help create new, high-impact farm viability and farmer support programming in the region, with significant focus on farmer-to-farmer mentoring and networking strategies.
The Associate will work within AFT’s Mid-Atlantic Region and collaborate with external partners as well as other AFT regional staff engaged in direct-to-farmer programming.
The Associate will report to the Mid-Atlantic Program Manager. This is a full-time remote position based in Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Maryland.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Engage directly with producers and partners to support advancement of regenerative farming systems and farm business viability in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Lead Pennsylvania and Maryland farmer networks focused on implementation and evaluation of soil health management systems, in collaboration with partner organizations in both states.
- Lead development of networks for row crop farmers and non-operating landowners focused on adoption of climate-smart practices in coordination with AFT’s climate team and partners.
- Support advanced soil health training for producers and service providers in the region led by AFT’s soil and climate team.
- Coordinate with AFT’s Soil Health Economic Case Study accelerator team to develop and disseminate case studies of soil health successful and soil health curious farmers in the region to support farmer and service provider decision making around soil health management systems implementation.
- Support the creation of the Virginia Farm Vitality Program, including stakeholder engagement, research and feasibility study development, program design, and outreach to farmers.
- Support the development of additional farmer-focused financial and technical assistance programming in Virginia and the region in collaboration with external partners and AFT’s Mid-Atlantic team.
- Experience organizing workshops, field days, and other training for farmers and landowners.
- Proven ability to coordinate peer-to-peer learning among farmers and helping farmers access technical and financial assistance.
- Familiarity with farming and grazing practices, agricultural systems, landscapes, and farm viability issues in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Strong relationship with agricultural community.
- Experience and comfort interacting with diverse stakeholders including farmers, agricultural landowners, advocates, agency staff, and extension educators.
- Passion for collaboration and farmer-focused solutions to tackle complex issues that include climate change, farm viability, and land access and succession issues.
- Track record of translating ideas into action and action into impact by developing, implementing, and evaluating effective strategies, projects, and programs.
- Excellent project management skills and experience working in diverse teams of colleagues, peers, and external partners.
- Lived experience with and/or demonstrated commitment to advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.
- Associate should possess high levels of self-motivation with a demonstrated ability to work remotely.
- Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills with demonstrated public speaking and presentation skills.
- A collaborative, professional, and innovative approach to tackling complex issues.
- Demonstrated strong organizational and time management skills.
- Ability to thrive, be flexible and humble, and deliver high quality outcomes in a dynamic, growing organization often under time pressure.
- Frequent travel throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region is expected as the programming and services are developed, with some additional travel possible to attend national conferences, forums, and meetings. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license.
Education & Experience
A minimum of 5 years of combined education and/or related work experience in agriculture, farmer support services, and/or agricultural program management.
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.