California Sr. Manager
Fully Remote Remote, CA

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.


AFT’s California Senior Manager plays an integral role in setting and implementing AFT’s strategy in California and managing key programs, teams, and partnerships that support AFT’s mission in saving the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting environmentally sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. The California Senior Manager will actively collaborate and coordinate with AFT staff to help ensure that AFT’s programming is strategic, synergistic, efficiently delivered, well-received, impactful, and funded.

As a leader and integral part of the AFT’s program team, the California Senior Manager works closely with the Regional Director and in collaboration with regional and national staff to help chart AFT’s future growth and strategic response at a critical time for California agriculture. The California Senior Manager has both internal and external facing responsibilities, ranging from partner relations, program development and management, staff management, and administration. 

California is the country’s largest agricultural state with over 400 commodities, 77,000 farms and ranches, and 40 million people. Given the opportunities, challenges, and complexities associated with the scale and global significance of California agriculture and related environmental, social, and economic issues, the Senior Manager works closely with the Regional Director to strategically navigate a complex ecosystem of partners, funders, and stakeholders and achieve high impact through interconnected research, policy, and programmatic work supporting farmers and farming communities. The Senior Manager will play a key leadership role with high-impact programs including AFT’s San Joaquin Valley Land and Water Strategy, Farms for a New Generation , Saving Farmland Growing Cities, and Soil Health Bottom Line.

What You’ll Be Working On

Strategic Planning & Program Development

  • Develop and implement programs in California that align with AFT’s goals and strategies. 
  • Assist with strategic decision-making for addressing the most critical challenges in California tied to AFT’s mission. 
  • Cultivate and manage working partnerships with agricultural, environmental, conservation, academic, research, business and other relevant institutions in developing and implementing programs.
  • Assist in building a broad, diverse statewide constituency that will actively support AFT’s mission and program goals in California.
  • Act as a thought leader around various agriculture-related issues
  • Play a supporting role in advancing AFT’s policy agenda in California

Management & Budget

  • In collaboration with the Regional Director, oversee the development of workplans and day-to-day management of AFT’s programs in California, primarily but not exclusively Farms for a New Generation program which provides training, resources, and support to new farmers and historically underserved farmers
  • Oversee internal reporting and monitoring activities, including program metrics, workplan monitoring, and quarterly programmatic reports.
  • Manage and support 3 regional staff in effective project planning and delivery, and budget management and support their effective achievement of annual goals. 
  • Supervise and mentor staff to ensure high quality work and accountability with workplans and budgets. Oversee recruiting, performance reviews, staff deployment/workload balancing, and career progression.
  • Work with the Regional Director, AFT’s national management team and others to create synergy between the California Regional Program and AFT’s other Regional Programs and National Initiatives. 


  • Work with development team and other staff to develop compelling proposals and secure funds for priority programs
  • Work with development team to cultivate relationships with funders and funding prospects, including individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Work with California staff and other AFT divisions to ensure that funders receive complete and timely proposals, reports and other required materials.


  • Support regional and national research efforts affecting social, economic, and environmental outcomes.
  • Develop thought leadership around specific topics/emerging practice areas, collaborate with AFT policy and scientific experts as needed. 
  • Assist where needed in external stakeholder engagement on priority research.


  • Represent AFT in industry-group conferences, professional associations, the state legislature and other public venues. 
  • Contribute to communications and outreach pieces related to California programs and policy work.

The ideal candidate possesses:  

  • A deep working knowledge of California agriculture and an understanding of the cultures of farmers and ranchers.
  • Experience working with diverse agricultural communities and systems and demonstrated understanding of environmental, social, and economic issues facing different populations of farmers, farmworkers, and farming communities. Preferred lived experience and/or cultural competency that enables understanding of a diverse spectrum of stakeholders.
  • Relational & collaborative: excel in building trust and finding common understanding between diverse stakeholders, and working with others to achieve multiple benefits
  • Highly responsible with a strong sense of ethics; trustworthy, dependable, and passionate about the mission of AFT  
  • Proven track record of delivering superior results and assuming leadership roles with well-developed capacity to thoughtfully and effectively manage people and programs
  • Exceptional communicator (written/verbal), listener, facilitator, relationship-builder, and mediator; able to distill complex issues and present them to broad audiences and foster dialogue among diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated track record of successful fundraising with institutional funding partners
  • Experience in creating an inclusive work environment for diverse staff. Previous work history with diverse communities of farmers, landowners, and other constituencies is highly preferred.   
  • Ability to see the big picture while also being detail oriented. 
  • Success in roles requiring simultaneous management of multiple priorities under tight timelines is important. 
  • Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor 
  • A valid US driver’s license and access to reliable transportation. 
  • Passionate about American Farmland Trust’s mission and impact. 

Education & Experience

  • A Bachelor's degree in a field related to AFT’s mission, such as sustainable agriculture, natural sciences, natural resource management or policy, water resources, community development, or related fields. 
  • At least 10 years of professional experience in a senior management position in a nonprofit organization, foundation, government agency or the private sector.   

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:  $90,000.00

Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the ‘apply’ button below.