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.
The Georgia Farmland Protection Associate will play an important role in accelerating the pace of permanent agricultural land protection in Georgia. This role is an exciting opportunity to work with innovative agricultural and conservation groups across the state to facilitate key programming to protect working lands, strengthen farm businesses, and support a new generation of farmers in accessing land. AFT’s Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future report identifies that Georgia has some of the most threatened farmland in America, ranking 4th in projected acres to be converted by 2040. This is a pivotal time for agricultural land protection in the state as program funding increases and there is more opportunity to protect critical working lands statewide. The position is initially funded through a cooperative agreement with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and will work closely with AFT’s Georgia Program Manager and Georgia NRCS Easement Program staff to support the promotion and administration of Georgia NRCS easement programs such as Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP-ALE).
The Georgia Farmland Protection Associate is responsible for facilitating NRCS conservation easement projects from application to closing. The Associate will also play a role in supporting AFT’s Georgia outreach and programmatic efforts. The Associate will have onboarding with both NRCS and AFT to become familiar with NRCS policies and guidance related conservation easement program implementation and will provide guidance, feedback, and support to entities (such as land trusts) and NRCS staff on projects.
The Georgia Farmland Protection Associate will work within AFT’s Southeast Regional Program and will have a unique opportunity to participate and learn from AFT ‘s national programs while working closely and learning from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This position provides an excellent opportunity to grow expertise in land protection, and work closely with a host of state and national partners.
What You’ll Be Working On
- Provide support to Georgia NRCS in the delivery and implementation of entity-held easement programs across the state.
- Support AFT’s Georgia Program Manager and other staff with NRCS Farm Bill and easement program outreach.
- Identify support needs from eligible entities and assist with capacity building to efficiently develop and complete agricultural conservation easement projects. This will include providing direct application and program assistance.
- Work with AFT’s National Agricultural Land Network (NALN) to provide content and assist with programs that support agricultural land protection professionals.
- Develop and maintain systems for tracking and evaluating proposed land protection projects and regularly communicate the status of each task associated with a project to NRCS and appropriate entity.
- Utilize tracking systems to ensure that easement projects stay on track with expected timeline for completion. This includes uploading relevant project documents to NRCS systems.
- Coordinate communications between NRCS, entity, and any necessary contractors working on a given project if needed (such as facilitating a discussion between a land surveyor and NRCS technical reviewer to resolve an issue).
This person will also be required to complete other duties as assigned that contribute to the successful outreach and administration acquisition of agricultural conservation easement programs and projects in Georgia.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; experience and/or comfort interacting with diverse stakeholders including farmers, agricultural landowners, agency staff, land trusts, elected officials, and professional service providers.
- Direct experience with agriculture and/or natural resources and land protection desirable but not necessary.
- Dedication to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within AFT and across agriculture and the food system.
- Highly motivated with strong interpersonal skills and willingness to grow professionally.
- Well-organized and disciplined.
- Ability to understand and communicate complex issues quickly.
- Sound judgment, discretion, and ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Excellent project management skills and experience working in diverse teams of colleagues, peers, and external partners.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as with cross-functional teams, and success in a position that worked across traditional reporting lines.
- Demonstrated ability to work remotely.
- Hiring for this position is contingent upon a background check
Education & Experience
A master’s degree in a relevant field and or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and a minimum of 2 years of related work experience in natural resources, conservation, land protection, agriculture, and/or project management.
This position requires some travel throughout the state to visit land protection sites and meet with partners. Occasional out-of-state travel may also be required for events such as all-staff meetings. Expected travel is 20% of time with most travel happening as day trips.
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.