Full-Time Farming for Cleaner Water Project Manager
Location: Worthington, Ohio
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 agricultures most pressing needs and opportunities.
Duties & Responsibilities
The Farming for Cleaner Water Project Manager position offers an exciting opportunity to help build AFTs programs in Ohio in the Upper Scioto River watershed. This mid-level professional will work with the Agriculture Conservation Innovations Director and the Water Initiative Director, along with a growing team of professionals across America focused on emerging market-based strategies that engage farmers in adopting sound farming practices to protect water quality, respond to the growing impact of climate change, and achieve other ecosystem services from well-managed farmland.
The Manager will provide daily, on-the-ground leadership and coordination of the Farming for Cleaner Water project and work closely with the project partners and consultants. The Manager will bring an eye for creative solutions to help develop and refine project strategies as well as develop and manage project workplans and budgets. The Manager will also assist in additional fundraising for the Farming for Cleaner Water project as well as coordinating staff, consultants, and/or interns. Specific position responsibilities include:
- Coordinate activities for the Farming for Cleaner Water project under the direction of the Ohio-based Agriculture Conservation Innovations Director.
- Develop and manage project activities to accelerate agricultural stewardship including, but not limited to soil health, water quality, water quantity, soil conservation, climate change resiliency, nutrient management, drainage water management, and conservation planning.
- Work directly with farmers and farmland owners, including women landowners, to provide education and technical assistance to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices on owned and rented farmland.
- Build, facilitate, motivate, and coordinate partnerships with a diverse network of agricultural and conservation professionals including AFT regional and national staff, Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Environment, City of Columbus water agencies, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-Ohio, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio farm trade associations, farmers, crop consultants and others.
- Identify and interview farmers that have successfully adopted soil health practice to quantify their economic and environmental benefits and publish multiple case studies communicating the benefits of the practices.
- Assist in the development of watershed modeling and monitoring efforts to support the implementation of a new market-based incentive system program.
- Engage corporate and municipal stakeholders as project partners and help develop compelling proposals to secure funding for a new Payments for Environmental Services fund for priority farm conservation practices
- Develop and steward prospective and current project funders to ensure adequate project funding.
- Represent AFT and give project presentations at public meetings, field days, and educational events.
The Manager will be based at AFTs office in Worthington, Ohio. S/he will work with the Agriculture Conservation Innovations Director to develop and track achievement of annual program, workplan and budget goals. Annual evaluations will be based on achievement of specific performance benchmarks.
The Manager must be entrepreneurial and a creative, capable problem-solver. S/he must be highly motivated with strong interpersonal skills. Excellent communication skills (phone, public presentation, writing, partner relations) are essential. Direct professional experience working with farmers, farmland owners including women landowners, state and federal agencies, soil and water conservation districts, conservation organizations and others is strongly preferred.
Previous experience engaging the private sector on environmental or sustainability matters is also preferred.
- A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 5-years of related work experience in agriculture, agronomy, environmental management, 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/grant writing experience necessary.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Ability to foster effective partnerships with Extension educators, soil and water conservation districts, USDA and state agency personnel, farmers, landowners, corporations, municipalities, and others is highly valuable.
- Experience with public outreach, community engagement, fundraising/grant writing, and communications are preferred.
- Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite is required additional experience with Sharepoint is preferred.
- Experience with social media is preferred.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and background. AFT provides a full and generous benefits package.
Please submit a cover letter with resume for consideration.
American Farmland Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, 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 the organization has 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.