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 New York Regional Director, the New York Policy Manager leads the region’s efforts to advance bold policies and programs that support AFT’s comprehensive mission to save the land that sustains us through a progressive agenda to combat climate change, protect farmland, enable a new generation of farmers to gain access to farmland, and support the health of New Yorkers through farm to institution. The position manages staff, consultants, and interns and works closely with the New York staff, serves as a thought partner and collaborator with other regional and federal policy staff, and maintains a strong public presence with external partners, policy makers and others advance.
What You’ll Be Working On
As an integral part of the AFT Programs team, the New York Policy Manager supports broader efforts to develop and grow these programs in New York and New Jersey. They will have the opportunity to work across teams throughout AFT, as well as with external partners including state and local government officials, farmers, landowners, agricultural professionals, and institutional leaders, and:
- Develop and lead the implementation of a regional policy strategy and collaborate with other state and national staff to advance broader policy objectives.
- Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with state and federal officials, leaders of agricultural and conservation organizations, food and community groups and others.
- Analyze state and federal legislation, budgets and administrative rules as well as conduct or assist in research and publications to develop and advance AFT’s policy positions.
- Organize coalitions of local governments, land trusts, farm and food organizations and others to advance policy priorities, including the Alliance for New York’s Farmland, New York Grown Food for New York Kids, and climate and agriculture groups.
- Lead advocacy meetings and testify before committees including preparing reports, one-pagers, testimony, coalition letters and other communications materials, develop meeting agendas and presentations; and conduct follow-up outreach.
- Represent AFT on committees, coalitions and before public agencies, policy makers, and community stakeholders in public meetings, conferences and other events.
- Draft and review press statements and serve as media contact on behalf of AFT and coalitions, when necessary.
- Collaborate with NY Communications Manager and other staff with content development and delivery for grassroots advocacy through social media campaigns, virtual lobby days, regular email updates, and other digital communications.
- Develop events and other activities, such as webinars, workshops, and site visits, to engage key state leaders and lawmakers and a diversity of stakeholders .
- Assist in cultivating prospective and current funders and developing compelling proposals to secure funding for priority projects and reporting results.
- Providing technical assistance to local governments about planning for agriculture and smart solar siting.
- Working with other staff, including NY Regional Director and NY Regional Deputy Director, to develop annual workplan goals and budgets and manage throughout fiscal year.
- Manage NY Policy Coordinator and interns and consultants, as needed.
The New York Policy Manager must possess be well-organized and disciplined, possess? knowledge of New York and New Jersey agriculture, land use, and conservation policies and issues, and the intersection between these issues and social justice, and/or its impacts BIPOC farmers and communities, as well as :
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of people – junior and senior, for-profit, nonprofit, and public sector – and from diverse backgrounds.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Agricultural background desirable but not necessary.
- Creativity and open-minded willingness to grow professionally.
- Ability to think critically and strategically.
- Confident self-starter and team player.
- Ability to understand and communicate complex issues quickly.
- Sound judgment, discretion and ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Experience leading and supporting policy coalitions.
- Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor.
- Commitment to supporting an inclusive work environment and previous work history with diverse communities of farmers, landowners and other constituencies is valuable.
- Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
- Competency in Office 365, including Microsoft Teams and other web-based applications to ensure maximization of team connectivity .
Education & Experience
- BA or BS degree and 5+ years of related work experience in political science, public policy, agriculture, environment, land conservation or natural resource planning. An advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted may substitute for two years of work experience.
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.