Senior Manager for Smart Solar Outreach and Engagement
Fully Remote Remote, DC

Description of the organization you are joining: 

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. 

Description of the focus area you will work in: 

Agriculture is a rewarding, yet risky business. In this nation’s short history, farmers and ranchers have experienced booms and busts, revolutions and crises, periods of high and low prices. Farming and ranching families ride the ups and downs, for the love of work, the land, the animals, and their community. It is a hard life, but they enjoy it and all to the benefit of we the people. But, they do it for more than just love – they also need to make a living, and achieve a quality of life worthy of their commitment and work. 

AFT’s mission – to save the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, helping to implement environmentally sound practices and keeping farmers on the land – has never been more urgent or relevant. You will join a team who drive forward efforts to support the ability of farmers and ranchers to earn a living from the land and achieve their business, personal, and family goals in agriculture. You will work together with other experts from across AFT to advance Smart Solar

The Department of Energy estimates we need more than 10 million acres to scale up solar energy by 2050, and AFT projects over 80 percent could be sited on agricultural lands. 

This growth will create incredible opportunities, but it also threatens farm and ranch land, and the conflict between using land to grow food and using it to produce energy is already generating public backlash against renewable energy deployment overall. America needs both—renewable energy and productive, resilient farms and ranches. Smart Solar can be the solution. Smart Solar refers to solar projects that meet three main, equally important goals: (1) accelerating solar energy development, (2) strengthening farm viability, and (3) safeguarding land well-suited for farming and ranching. Combining agriculture and solar on the same piece of land is a powerful component of Smart Solar if agrivoltaics can be shown to work for farmers, the solar industry, and communities. 

Building on a solid foundation of on the ground work within other areas of AFT’s mission, and our increasing capacity working with developers, researchers, policy makers and thought leaders, AFT is now scaling up its outreach and engagement on the ground with farmers, ranchers and other landowners within our Smart Solar work. 

The purpose of the job you will be doing: 

The purpose of the Senior Manager for Smart Solar Outreach & Engagement (Sr. Manager) is to significantly increase AFT’s engagement with farmers, ranchers and other landowners on Smart Solar. Additionally, as a foundational hire within our Farm Viability team, the Sr. Manager will help build out and define how AFT across the country as it builds out its’s work in this important mission area. 

A summary of the position: 

The Sr. Manager is an integral part of the AFT’s Programs team, reports to the National Managing Director for Farm Viability and works most closely with the Smart Solar team, communications staff, and various other regional and national program teams. The Sr. Manager will develop, lead and support work that informs and empowers farmers, ranchers, and other landowners relative to renewable energy development within the context of AFT’s Smart Solar Principles (AFT’s SS Principles). 

Duties and responsibilities of the position, by work area: 

  • Act as the primary national spokesperson for AFT to the farming and ranching community relative to Smart Solar. 
  • Maintain a high level of familiarity with the latest advances relative to solar energy development, especially to its impacts on farm and ranch land and viability. 
  • Maintain a high level of familiarity with existing examples of solar development projects that align with AFT’s SS Principles. 
  • Create and gather compelling content in a variety of forms (fact sheets, blogs, articles, speeches, videos, etc.) that build the knowledge of farmers, ranchers, and other landowners relative to AFT’s SS Principles. 
  • Working closely with AFT’s national and regional communications staff and other program staff, support the direct delivery and broad dissemination of the content through a variety of established and nascent AFT communications channels (social media, earned media, newsletters, existing networks, and websites etc.) 
  • Lead the creation of a new periodic newsletter directed to farmers, ranchers and landowners, or other communications channels, relative to AFT’s SS Principles. 
  • Be a spokesperson for AFT to farmers, ranchers, and other landowners, delivering content relative to AFT’s SS Principles. 
  • Working with AFT’s development team and other colleagues, both lead & support funding proposals that advance agrivoltaics demonstration and education. 
  • Support AFT’s policy staff in advancing national and state Smart Solar policies.

General qualifications for the position: 

  • Must be an ambitious self-starter who can take a set of goals or objectives and run with it, developing a plan to complete the work, check in at appropriate intervals, and deliver a high-quality work product at the end. 
  • Must be a strong team player who can lead in their focus area, but also act together within a close-knit team to advance the aggregate work. 
  • Must have strong written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Must be able to articulate complex and sometimes controversial ideas with nuance, accuracy, and clarity. 
  • Must be able to work in an environment with both long-term and short-term objectives, be able to handle multiple tasks with sometimes shifting deadlines, meet tight deadlines and work without significant supervision once tasks are defined. 
  • Must be able to work with a diverse mix of farmers, ranchers, and landowners. 

Education & Experience necessary for the position: 

  • 10+ years of related work experience in writing and development of educational materials and programs, communications, or policy is desired, however more limited (5+ years) but focused experience in these areas that is directly engaged with farmers and ranchers, or in solar energy development or a combination thereof may be substituted. 
  • While an advanced degree in a related field, or with a related concentration such as renewable energy, environmental science, policy, communications, or agriculture is preferred, consideration will be given to candidates who instead, or additionally, have lived experience that is highly aligned with the job purpose and duties and qualifications stated above. 

Working conditions for the position 

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 is the ability to flex work hours where required to meet program objectives. 

Anticipated travel for the position: 

Overnight travel may be required (8-15 times/year) to engage with desired audiences (up to 15%) 

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 

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 that clearly demonstrate you have the general qualifications and meet the education and experience framework laid out above if you wish to be considered for this position. Complete Applications with cover letters and resumes received by June 12th will be given first consideration.

Salary range for the position:

$80,000-$90000 per year, depending on qualifications.

Salary Description
$80,000 - $90,000