New York State Agricultural Stewardship Program Manager
Central or Western, NY Programs
Description

Who We Are

Over 30 years ago, a small group of people from across the country committed to farming and conservation came together to establish American Farmland Trust (AFT) - the first and only national organization dedicated to saving America’s farmland. Now, AFT is working each day to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land.

AFT is a bridge-builder, collaborating with farmers and conservation groups to develop practical solutions to protect farmland and the environment. We work from the ‘kitchen table to the Congress’ – tailoring solutions that impact for farmers and communities and can be magnified to have bigger influence. Since our founding, AFT has helped save more than five million acres of farmland and led the way for adoption of conservation practices on millions more.

AFT’s national office is in Washington, D.C., with a network of field offices across America where farmland is at risk. In 1990, AFT established its New York Field Office, a state that is home to some of the most threatened farming regions in the country.


Duties and Responsibilities

The New York State Agricultural Stewardship Program Manager (Manager) position offers an exciting opportunity to help lead the stewardship program in New York State for a growing, forward-looking conservation organization. This mid-level professional will work with the New York State Director and New York State Deputy Director, along with a growing team of professionals across America focused on emerging strategies that engage farmers in adopting sound farming practices to protect water quality, respond to the growing impact of climate change, and achieve other environmental benefits from well-managed farmland.

The Manager will build and maintain relationships with farmers as well as state and federal agencies, agricultural service providers, conservation leaders, and others to develop and implement strategies to facilitate adoption of conservation practices on farmland. Specific activities will include developing engaging educational programs for farmers and landowners, facilitating and promoting on-farm demonstration projects, fostering partnerships and collaborations, developing public education materials, and supporting media outreach to highlight key activities and stories of impact.


The Manager will bring an eye for creative solutions to help design specific projects as well as develop and manage project workplans and budgets. The Manager will also be involved in obtaining the necessary funds for their projects as well as the hiring and supervising of staff, consultants and/or interns. Specific position responsibilities include:

  • Lead and manage AFT’s Agricultural Stewardship initiatives throughout New York State under the direction of the New York State Director and New York State Deputy Director.
  • Develop and manage projects to accelerate agricultural stewardship including, but not limited to soil health, water quality, soil conservation, climate change resiliency, nutrient management, and conservation planning.
  • Work directly with farmers and farmland owners, including women landowners, to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices on farmland in targeted areas of New York.
  • Build, facilitate, motivate, and coordinate partnerships with a diverse network of agricultural and conservation professionals including AFT state and national staff, NRCS, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Cornell Cooperative Extension, farmers, crop consultants and others.
  • Engage farmers, landowners and other stakeholders in identifying barriers to conservation adoption and develop common sense, economically viable solutions to overcome such barriers.
  • Assist in identifying and/or developing conservation tools for farmers and landowners.
  • Steward prospective and current funders and assist in the development of compelling proposals to secure funding for priority projects and provide input on reporting results.
  • Represent AFT at public meetings, field days, and educational events. 
  • The Manager will work with the New York State Director and New York State Deputy Director to develop annual program and budget goals. Annual evaluations will be based on achievement of specific performance benchmarks. 
  • Have fun in your job!


Requirements

The Manager must be entrepreneurial and a capable problem solver. S/he must be highly motivated with strong interpersonal skills. Excellent communication skills (phone, public presentation, writing, partner relations) and creativity are essential. Direct professional experience working with farmers, farmland owners – including women landowners, state and federal agencies, soil and water conservation districts, conservation organizations and others – is strongly preferred. 


  • Previous on-farm experience or related agricultural sectors is also preferred. Previous experience or willingness to learn agricultural conservation planning and implementation issues and techniques is required. 
  • A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 7 years of related work experience in agriculture, environmental management, or natural resource planning. An advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted may substitute for two years of work experience.
  • Project and budget management experience as well as fundraising experience necessary.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to foster effective partnerships with Extension educators, soil and water conservation districts, USDA and state agency personnel, farmers, landowners – including women landowners, and others is highly valuable.
  • Experience with public outreach, community engagement and communications are preferred.
  • Facility with the Microsoft Office Suite is required – additional experience with social media is preferred. 


American Farmland Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, 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 the organization has 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.


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