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 directly to the Vice President of Programs, the Farms for a New Generation (New Gen) Director provides strategic leadership for AFT’s FNG national initiative, actively collaborating with national and regional staff to fulfill the organization’s mission to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land while overseeing programming to usher in a diverse new generation of farmers and ranchers to transform agriculture for resiliency. The position advances integration across the organization to ensure New Gen programming is strategic, synergistic, and impactful.
What You’ll Be Working On
As an integral part of the AFT programs team, the New Gen Director oversees a complex portfolio of mostly federally funded projects aimed at supporting a diverse new generation of young, beginning and historically disenfranchised farmers and ranchers by helping them gain access to land, steward it well, and succeed in agriculture.
The New Gen Director works closely with AFT regional directors and national initiative directors to collaborate on developing materials and partnerships that can be used to seed or scale new generation projects and workstreams in the regions and acts as an advisor providing insights to these directors during this growth process. In addition, the New Gen Director cultivates and sustains external partnerships with diverse stakeholders, expands relationships with funders, and fosters personnel development within their team. The Director will chart the initiative’s future growth and strategic response by scaling up activities to meet an ever-increasing demand for information, education, and services to support New Gen producers. Other duties include:
Program Development and Strategic Direction
- Execute and expand upon existing Farms for a New Generation strategy
- Develop and implement innovative and collaborative FNG projects consistent with AFT’s mission and in alignment with regional programs and other national initiatives while staying within budget and meeting timelines.
- Cultivate and sustain lasting partnerships with diverse agricultural, conservation, planning/policy, academic, business, and other relevant individuals, organizations/institutions to advance AFT’s mission and goals.
- Work closely and collaboratively with both Vice Presidents of Programs, regional and national directors as thought partners to develop FNG projects and expand programming, while ensuring the initiative advances AFT’s mission, and is synergistic, well integrated and impactful across regions, national initiatives, and other program areas.
- Deliver performance-based curricula to farmers/ranchers, landowners and agricultural service providers.
- Provide expertise on New Gen issues within and outside of AFT while engaging with regional and national initiative staff to elevate other expertise and ensure integration across multiple projects both within and outside of the division.
- Work with federal and state policy staff to research, develop and advance policies that affect New Gen producers.
Staff and Budget Management
- Develop annual budgets and work plans for FNG projects.
- Ensure that FNG projects are delivered within budget and meet funder deadlines.
- Manage staff within, and support staff outside, the division in effective FNG project planning and delivery to support achievement of annual goals.
- Complete staff reviews annually and oversee the hiring of new staff and development of staffing plans, as needed.
- Support a collaborative culture of shared learning, innovation and problem solving.
Fundraising and Communications:
- Work with development team to create compelling proposals and secure funds for priority programs.
- Cultivate relationships with funders and funding prospects, including foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
- Ensure that funders receive complete and timely proposals, reports and other required materials.
- Coordinate with communications team to advance AFT and provide visibility for FNG programming.
- Serve as the primary media contact for the FNG initiative.
- Provides national visibility for AFT at workshops, conferences and exhibits.
This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of job-related responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.
- Ability to effectively navigate AFT’s internal processes and structures to deliver impactful programs and support sound financial health.
- Ability to see the big picture and be visionary while also being strategic and detail oriented.
- Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills to navigate a diverse ecosystem of internal and external partners, collaborators, and stakeholders.
- Proven track record of successful fundraising with USDA and other institutional partners; fundraising experience with individual donors and/or corporations preferred.
- Demonstrated success in developing and implementing effective programs and projects with a strategic vision and measurable outcomes and impacts.
- Deep knowledge of farmland protection, land access/tenure and retention policies, programs, and strategies.
- Proven track record delivering and evaluating performance (or skills) based curricula to diverse audiences. Familiarity with AFT’s land access training pedagogy and curriculum a plus.
- Experience directing a complex program including leadership of multi-disciplinary teams and multi-year contracts, as well as internal budgeting and project management systems.
- Hands-on experience working with young, beginning and historically underserved farmers and ranchers, individual and institutional agricultural landowners, and the professionals and organizations that serve them.
- Superior written, verbal, and multi-media communication skills. Background working closely with videographers, audiographers and the arts community a plus.
- Experience managing multiple staff and contractors both in person and remotely.
- Support a strong team culture of shared learning, innovation and problem solving among AFT staff.
- Ability to deliver high quality work for multiple projects and deadlines with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor while under time pressure.
- Passion for American Farmland Trust’s mission and impact.
Education & Experience
- A Master’s degree in a field related to AFT’s mission.
- At least 10 years of professional experience in a related field and three years of senior management experience.
- On-farm agricultural experience preferred.
- On-the-ground experience and working knowledge of issues related to new generation farmers, especially those related to farm transfer and succession, and communication skills including mediation and negotiation.
- Significant experience fundraising for, managing, and reporting on complex multi-year contracts.
- Fluency in additional language(s) spoken by significant cohorts in US agriculture (ie, Spanish, a dialect of Hmong, Somali) beyond English an added benefit.
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
Compensation: AFT offers a competitive salary and benefits package. The salary range for this position is $95,000 - $105,000, depending on qualifications/experience level.
Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the ‘apply’ button below (please submit a resume and cover letter. In the cover letter, in addition to addressing your interest in and fit for the position based on required qualifications, please include a description of your expertise on new generation issues, farmland protection, and your policy experience).