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28 Jun 2022

Full-Time Livestock Viability Manager

Practical Farmers of Iowa – Posted by practical farmers Ames, Iowa, United States

Job Description

Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking a diligent, respectful and passionate person to serve as a livestock viability manager for the farm viability department. For 35 years, Practical Farmers has worked to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities.

This work has always been rooted in our value of welcoming everyone and creating a culture of mutual respect. We believe that a diversity of people, ideas and perspectives strengthens our ability to find creative solutions, enriches our understanding and broadens our impact.

At Practical Farmers, we celebrate this diversity and are committed to ensuring that our policies and practices create an equitable and inclusive workplace. We take equal opportunity seriously, and seek to empower and support all applicants and teammates.

The farm viability department provides innovative, personalized support to help farmers achieve their goals. We partner with farmers to implement new on-farm practices, develop markets and create robust farm business plans. We make key connections across the food and agriculture supply chain, develop strategic partnerships and shape the policies that encourage resilient farms to thrive.

We’re seeking a livestock viability manager to lead our efforts to grow regenerative livestock systems and help diverse, independent livestock farmers thrive. You will play a pivotal role in shaping our livestock programming – building, testing and scaling creative solutions that respond to the needs of PFI farmers as they implement new practices and seek markets.

As the livestock viability manager, you work on the cutting edge of sustainable agricultural development in the Midwest, impacting thousands of acres and influencing the systems and value chains that drive livestock production. If you’re passionate about bringing livestock back to the land, advancing the adoption of grazing systems and ensuring fair farm livelihoods for regenerative producers, this role is for you. You’ll support the farm viability team by:

  • Leading and developing PFI’s partnerships with organizations in the regenerative livestock space and representing PFI in regional and national livestock working groups and on collaborative projects
  • Developing new livestock viability programs by engaging with livestock farmers to identify needs; scoping feasible project plans; and seeking out and applying for funding to implement program ideas
  • Leading PFI’s grazing infrastructure cost-share program, including managing and promoting the program, reviewing and approving applications and conducting one-on–one grazing consultations with program participants
  • Developing strategic relationships with Natural Resources Conservation Service staff, economic development groups and others to leverage potential opportunities and provide education on livestock farmer issues
  • Work one-on-one with livestock farmers and providing coaching and support to help them be successful in adopting new practices and finding resources

Practical Farmers offers a flexible, fast-paced work environment with opportunities for independent initiative and professional development.


  • Develop and manage partner relationships related to livestock production that harness both organizations’ work toward PFI’s farm viability goals:
    • Represent Practical Farmers in regional and national livestock working groups
    • Lead PFI’s involvement in collaborative livestock projects with partner organizations
    • Develop partnerships with NRCS and share technical grazing information
    • Develop relationships with state and local agencies, processors, supply chain partners and others to strategically address the needs of livestock producers
  • Manage projects that provide financial or technical assistance to farmers and landowners implementing practices in livestock production and projects that develop markets and businesses for livestock products:
    • Lead the grazing infrastructure cost-share program
    • Oversee the Midwest Grazing Exchange to connect graziers with available pasture and cover crops
  • Write grant and fee-for-service funding proposals:
    • Generate project and program ideas that develop opportunities for livestock farmers
    • Identify funding opportunities
    • Write narratives, draft budgets and engage partners
  • Provide technical assistance to farmers and landowners implementing practices in livestock production:
    • Consult with perennial and annual graziers on production practices, fencing and watering systems
  • Manage internal budgets, processes and collaborations to ensure successful completion of livestock viability projects and deliverables:
    • Oversee contractors, volunteers and partners who implement viability projects in livestock production
    • Manage capacity and budget efficiently to complete work
    • Facilitate collaboration between departments and teams to achieve project deliverables
    • Implement viability projects related to livestock production as needed
  • Other duties as assigned or volunteered to support department or team projects

Required Qualifications and Characteristics

  • Highly capable relationship-builder who enjoys making social connections
  • Highly collaborative; strong ability to identify common goals and work with others
  • Creative and innovative in developing new projects
  • Excellent listener
  • Strong ability to troubleshoot problems and anticipate needs
  • Continuous learner
  • Diligent and attentive to detail
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, including public speaking
  • Strong one-on-one consultation and coaching skills
  • Strong project management and project design skills
  • Strong grant-writing skills
  • Strong organization and planning skills
  • Strong training and teaching skills
  • Knowledge of cattle grazing in annual and perennial systems

Desired Qualifications and Characteristics

  • Highly motivated, with the ability to take initiative
  • Ability to design solutions for systems change
  • Skills in negotiating agreements and facilitating organizational alignment
  • Skills in managing budgets
  • Skills in managing staff and contractors
  • Skills in coaching and mentoring with ability to empower others
  • Knowledge of sheep, goat, poultry and hog production
  • Knowledge of seeding, feed and forage for livestock
  • Knowledge of livestock value chains, incentives and barriers
  • Knowledge of livestock breeding and care
  • Knowledge of NRCS and FSA programs for graziers and livestock farmers
  • 3-5 years of professional experience preferred

This is a full-time position based in our Ames, Iowa, office with remote work potential. Due to the need to engage with farmers, partners and decision-makers around Iowa, this position requires some travel (mostly in Iowa) and a valid driver’s license; a central Iowa location is preferred. Annual salary range for this position is $53,000-$62,000, based on experience and qualifications.

The position reports to Kayla Koether, senior farm viability manager. Practical Farmers is a family-friendly employer. The position includes full health care benefits, a flex plan, short- and long-term disability, life insurance and generous paid time off. Employer contribution to a 401k retirement plan is offered after one year of employment.

How to Apply

Please apply by completing an application form (including contact information, cover letter, resume and references) on PFI’s employment page Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a final deadline for submission of July 22, 2022. The start date for the position is flexible, but anticipated as Aug. 29.

Job Categories: Sustainable Agriculture / Food. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: farming, grant-writing, Grazing, livestock, project management, and strategic partnerships. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

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