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.
Reporting to the Director of Land Protection Projects, the Easement Stewardship Manager monitors, and stewards protected land held by AFT.
The position is based in AFT’s Northampton, Massachusetts office. In addition, this position requires extensive travel throughout country (up to 50%).
What You’ll Be Working On
As an integral part of the AFT Programs team, the Easement Stewardship Manager, monitors AFT’s agricultural conservation easements across the United States and performs related follow-up activities in accordance with AFT policies and Land Trust Standards and Practices. The Easement Stewardship Manager is also a primary point of contact for land AFT owns in fee, and:
- Manages AFT’s stewardship of its easements and protected land. Addresses landowner requests and questions related to conservation easement provisions; implements conservation easement defense standards and practices; addresses potential easement violations.
- Coordinates on-site annual monitoring visits to AFT’s portfolio of more than 100 protected farms and ranches in 25 states.
- Works with the Director of Land Protection to develop, maintain and update internal policies related to AFT’s easement management practices.
- Develops and refines communications plans for easement landowner outreach.
- Serves as point of contact for AFT easement landowners and other related stakeholders (partnering organizations, tenant farmers and ranchers, neighbors).
- Assists the Land Protection Projects team maintain insurance through the Land Trust Alliance’s Terrafirma program.
- Maintains records of AFT’s easements and fee lands in alignment with Standards and Practices and Terrafirma standards.
- Advances and maintains skills, education, and knowledge of best practices related to conservation easement stewardship and fee land management.
- Maintains AFT’s database of conservation property interests and utilizes electronic and hard copy recordkeeping.
- Provides support for AFT’s easement acquisition, Farm Legacy, Buy-Protect-Sell activities.
- Builds peer relationships with agricultural land stewardship counterparts at other farm and ranch land protection organizations.
- Works with the Director of Land Protection to set objectives for land stewardship as part of AFT’s annual budgeting work planning processes.
The ideal candidate is entrepreneurial, well-organized, self-disciplined, and capable problem-solver, who can work independently and as a member of a collaborative team and has:
- Experience monitoring agricultural conservation easements and working knowledge of Land Trust Standards and Practices.
- Experience with agricultural easement stewardship including annual monitoring, assignments, use approvals, easement defense and managing violations.
- Experience working with farmers and agricultural landowners. Basic knowledge of farming and ranching practices, natural resource management and farm and ranch business management.
- Familiarity with the Terrafirma easement insurance program.
- Excellent interpersonal, writing, and organizational skills. Knowledge of best practices for land files and electronic recordkeeping.
- Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining attention to detail.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite.
- Willingness to travel frequently by air.
- Possess a valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation.
- Ability to navigate using maps and/or GPS, walk in rough, rural and wide-open terrain, and be willing to work outdoors in all weather.
Education & Experience
- A bachelor’s degree in a related field.
- A minimum of two to five years’ experience with conservation easement stewardship.
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.