Thursday, November 14, 2013

New York Field Representative - American Farmland Trust

See the original job post here.

American Farmland Trust (AFT) is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting sound conservation practices and keeping farmers on the land.  Since our founding in 1980, the organization has helped protect more than 5 million acres of our country’s working lands.

Over 30 years ago, a small group of people from across America committed to farming and conservation came together to establish American Farmland Trust - the first and only national organization dedicated to saving America’s farmland.  American Farmland Trust’s mission is to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land. 
American Farmland Trust has acted as a bridge-builder by working with farmers and environmental groups to develop practical solutions to save farmland and protect the environment.  We work from the ‘kitchen table to the Congress’ – tailoring solutions that are effective for farmers and communities and can be magnified to have bigger impact.  Since our founding, American Farmland Trust has helped save over five million acres of farmland and led the way for adoption of conservation practices on millions more. 
American Farmland Trust’s national office is in Washington, D.C. with a network of field offices across America where farmland is at risk.  American Farmland Trust established its New York Field Office in 1990 as the state was home to some of the most threatened farming regions in the country. 
Growing from a single-person office in 1990, American Farmland Trust now has a team of experienced staff and consultants working across New York.  Our New York State Office is led by David Haight, New York State Director, and works closely with American Farmland Trust’s New York Council, led by Robert Morgenthau and Julia Widdowson. 

Duties and Responsibilities
The New York Field Representative will manage projects and assist in delivering AFT’s programs in New York, with an emphasis on programs targeting beginning and expanding farmers seeking land, senior farmers facing the transfer of their farms to the next generation and nonfarming landowners looking to have their land in active agricultural use.  Activities will include coordinating and delivering education programs for farmers, landowners, and agricultural service providers and developing and advancing programs and public policies to aid farmers in securing productive land and facilitating farm transfers.   The New York Field Representative will be based in the organization’s New York State Office in Saratoga Springs. 
The New York Field Representative will work closely with the New York State Director and other American Farmland Trust staff to advance workplanning, budgeting, fundraising and programs.  This individual will be responsible for achieving effective working relationships with AFT’s New York staff as well as other AFT staff in Washington, D.C. and across the country.  The New York Field Representative will be expected to travel throughout New York State, as needed, with modest travel outside the state for organizational meetings and programs.
Specific duties include:
  • Coordinate projects to educate farmers, landowners, agricultural service providers and the public, with an emphasis on farm transfers and farmland access for the next generation of farmers in New York. 
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with local, state and federal officials, agricultural, conservation, food and community organizations and others. 
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization on specific projects and effectively communicate with farmers, elected leaders and the public about American Farmland Trust’s work in New York.
  • Assist with research regarding issues of importance to the advancement of AFT’s mission, such as trends in farm demographics and farmland ownership, and assist in developing programs and policy recommendations to address identified challenges.
  • Coordinate the participation of AFT staff and outside partners in the effective and efficient achievement of stated project objectives.
  • Assist the New York State Director and other New York staff in other areas as necessary to advance AFT’s mission.
The New York Field Representative will work with the New York State Director and other staff to develop annual program and budget goals.  Annual evaluations will be based on achievement of specific performance benchmarks.

The New York Field Representative 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, including beginning and senior farmers, nonfarming landowners, public officials, agricultural and conservation organizations, academic institutions and land trusts is preferred.  Previous on-farm experience or related agricultural sectors is also preferred.   Previous experience or willingness to learn farmland conservation, farmland access and transfer planning issues and techniques is required.  Other desired qualifications include:
  • A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 3 years of related work experience in public policy, agriculture, 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.
  • Project and budget management experience as well as fundraising experience is valuable. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience with managing coalitions and training events for farmers and landowners is preferred. 
  • Facility with the Microsoft Office Suite is required.
  • Skills with managing websites and social media are beneficial. 
This is a full-time position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience and background. Full benefits package. EOE.

Interested Applicants
Please send a cover letter and resume via email to or mail to American Farmland Trust, Attn: New York Field Representative Search, 112 Spring Street Suite 207, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.  No phone calls please.