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 Farmland Programs Manager will accelerate a wave of innovative agricultural land protection and support a new generation of farmers in the region (Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania), with a focus on Virginia. The Manager will develop and lead new projects that increase capacity for land protection entities to create, execute, and steward innovative farmland protection projects, support AFT’s Land Protection Projects team to develop Buy-Protect-Sell Plus (BPS Plus) projects in Virginia as a tool to facilitate farmland access, advance regenerative practices and systems on protected land, protect more land that is farmed regeneratively, and support farmland transfer and succession.
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 Manager will play a leadership role in developing and managing AFT’s new farmland protection, access, and transfer work in the region, with a focus on Virginia. The Manager will also work closely with other AFT regional and national programs—including but not limited to Land Protection Projects and Farms for a New Generation—and external entities working on farmland protection, access, and transfer in Virginia and beyond.
The Manager will report to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. This is a full-time remote position. The Manager will be based in Virginia.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provide support to land trusts and state and local farmland protection entities to increase their capacity to create, execute, and steward innovative farmland projects and to use farmland protection as a tool for transition and access.
- Provide technical assistance to land trusts and PACE programs to encourage regenerative practices, enhance flexibility for farmers, and consider tools and mechanisms to make protected land more affordable for the next generation of farmers.
- Support local and county governments in prioritizing and documenting farmland protection.
- Train land trust staff to help them understand and act on a wide range of farm-related topics, including land access, succession planning, and heirs’ property issues.
- Provide land trust staff with basic information about soil health and regenerative practices to better inform their work and open opportunities for AFT to provide direct assistance on regenerative practices to interested farmers.
- Engage in public policy advocacy and education, including efforts to increase state or county funding for easement purchases and to enhance state, county, and local planning efforts.
- Collaborate with the Land Protection Projects Team to identify, vet, and support AFT BPS Plus projects in Virginia.
- Work with farmers, landowners, and other stakeholders to develop and evaluate conservation opportunities on farm.
- Represent AFT at conferences, meetings, workshops, and in the community at-large.
- Develop educational and outreach materials to support AFT’s land protection, access, and transfer efforts and provide outreach and training to farmers and farmland owners on succession and transfer planning.
- When needed, support fundraising efforts to advance this work.
- Familiarity with farmland protection, access, transfer, and succession issues in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Familiarity with the state and regional policy landscape for farmland protection across the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Experience working with the land trust community in the Mid-Atlantic, specifically in Virginia.
- Strong relationships with land protection entities in the Mid-Atlantic and Virginia specifically.
- Passion for deep collaboration and solutions to tackle complex issues that include climate change, farmland protection, access, and transition.
- Track record of translating ideas into action and action into impact by developing and implementing 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.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as with cross-functional teams, and success in a position that worked across traditional reporting lines. Manager 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.
- Ability to thrive and deliver high quality outcomes in a dynamic, growing organization often under time pressure.
- Must be based in Virginia.
- Frequent travel throughout Virginia and 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 in furtherance of team goals and objectives. Expected travel is 20-25% of time with most travel happening as day trips. It’s important that the Manager have consistent access to a vehicle and a valid driver’s license.
Education & Experience
A minimum of 7 years of combined related work experience in farmland protection, access, transfer and succession, farmer support services, fundraising, public policy, public administration, and/or 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.