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. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. 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 supported thousands of farm families. Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities.
Conserving farmland by the acre and soil by the inch is a powerful strategy for sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing farmland and ranchland productivity in the face of a changing climate.
AFT’s Farmers Combat Climate Change initiative has been working to reduce the conversion of agricultural land to development and promote smart growth; increase the use of climate-smart conservation farming systems; and build support for policies that help farmers combat, mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.
AFT’s work in New England builds on our national efforts. We are conducting research and comparative policy analysis around renewable energy generation and farmland; engaging agriculture, the general public, researchers, and policy makers around the role farms can plan in both preventing and mitigating against climate change; and we are working with a variety stakeholder groups to move forward agendas that are mutually beneficial to agriculture and the climate. But we can do more and wish to do so by increasing our capacity to further this work and build additional programming on the topic.
The program manager reports to the New England Director, who oversees AFT’s work in the region and will work closely with national AFT staff including the National Climate Director. The program manager will implement AFT’s climate strategy in New England and actively collaborate and coordinate with AFT staff to help ensure that AFT’s programming is strategic, synergistic, efficiently-delivered, well-received, and impactful.
Preferably the program manager will be based at AFT’s Northampton Office but could possibly work remotely from elsewhere in the region, depending on the location.
Duties & Responsibilities
The primary responsibilities of this position are to implement existing AFT climate related activities in the six New England states; help develop new programming that furthers AFT’s broader mission as it relates to climate change and agriculture; provide leadership and support to other organizations and efforts in the region related to climate change and agriculture. Specific responsibilities include:
Work with regional partners to lead a major regional initiative to encourage renewable siting across New England in ways that sustain farm productivity and protect farmland;
Design, develop, and implement projects relating to climate change that align with AFT’s mission;
Track and engage with state and federal policy initiatives throughout the region related to climate change and agriculture;
Support US Climate Alliance States in their work on natural and working lands as a member of the US Climate Alliance Impact Partnership;
Represent AFT at meetings, conferences, and discussion groups related to climate change and agriculture;
Provide expertise in New England within and outside of AFT regarding climate change and opportunities for farmers to combat climate change;
Build coalitions of agricultural and climate stakeholders where those are lacking in New England;
Conduct policy research relevant to climate change and agriculture;
Work collaboratively with AFT staff to ensure that the work being performed is effectively integrated into national strategies and regional programs;
Work with federal and state policy staff in the region to advance policies;
Work with Development staff to raise funds for projects in the region;
Work with Communications staff to actively communicate about the work;
Provide regional visibility for AFT at climate coalitions, workshops, and conferences;
Supervise interns and consultants working on projects developed in the region; and
Support a strong team culture among AFT staff.
Other duties as assigned.
The program manager must be outgoing and energetic and have direct professional experience working on agriculture and climate issues. The individual must have knowledge of and experience with one or more of the following: agriculture, climate, soil health, conservation, carbon markets, corporate sustainability, and/or farmland protection. The program manager must be able to work closely with farmers and agriculture organizations as well as environmental organizations, universities and other research institutions, and state/federal government agencies.
A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 7 years of related work experience in agriculture, climate, soil health, conservation, carbon markets, corporate sustainability, and/or farmland protection. An advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted may be substituted for up to 5 years of expereince.
Be comfortable interacting with farmers, advocates and policy makers.
Technical knowledge of climate, agriculture, and soil health science and policy a plus.
Work history of developing and implementing effective programs and projects.
Demonstrated project management skill and experience working in diverse teams of individuals, peers, and partners.
Demonstrated experience and success in fundraising a plus.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Must be Highly motivated with strong interpersonal skills.
Must bring a collaborative, outgoing, professional, and innovative approach to tackling these issues.
Ability to deliver high quality work in a dynamic organization under time pressure.
Ability to travel throughout the New England region including occasional overnight trips.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and background. AFT provides a full and generous benefits package.
Application Deadline: While applications will be accepted until the position is filled, we will prioritize those received by April 26th and we will begin our review process then.
If you are eager to join our team, please visit this page to apply.
Please include a cover letter with resume for consideration.