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.
The California Policy Associate (Associate) reports directly to the AFT California Policy Manager and will work in AFT’s Sacramento, California office. Frequent travel in the San Joaquin Valley and the greater Bay Area may be required in order to advance AFT's mission of protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. The Associate will collaborate closely with other AFT staff in California and nationally as appropriate and is broadly responsible for advancing the mission of the organization through policy research and advocacy, public communications, project management, and fundraising.
The successful candidate will oversee and assist in:
Collecting, reviewing and analyzing state and local laws, regulations, policies and plans.
Monitoring local and regional land use planning processes in the San Joaquin Valley and providing comments and advocacy for farmland protections as necessary.
Contributing to the development of policy briefs, professional reports, and fact sheets.
Managing multiple projects that result in achieving desired objectives.
Cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with local and state officials, leaders of agricultural and conservation organizations, food and community organizations and others.
Coordinating meetings with appropriate stakeholders including agricultural land trusts throughout the state to identify priorities and opportunities for collaboration.
Research projects that support ongoing AFT policy priorities.
Coordination with AFT communications staff and others to create high-quality and compelling written products, including contributing content for AFT communications platforms (i.e. blogs, Twitter, Facebook).
The coordination of other AFT staff, consultants and outside partners as appropriate to effectively achieve program and project objectives.
Representing the organization before public agencies, policy makers, community stakeholders in public meetings, media, conferences and other events as necessary.
Providing CA specific resources and information to support AFT's Farmland Information Center and National Ag. Land Network led efforts.
Working with the California Director, Policy Manager, and other staff to develop annual program and budget goals.
Contributing to special projects on an as-needed basis.
Other duties as assigned.
A BA or BS degree, plus five years related work experience in agriculture, farmland protection, land conservation, land use planning or environmental policy. Experience may be replaced with an advanced degree in a related field (Public Policy, Agriculture, Environment).
Must be entrepreneurial and a capable problem solver.
Must be a highly motivated self-starter who can work independently and with a team and who has strong interpersonal skills.
Excellent written and verbal communications skills and creativity are essential.
Knowledge of California agriculture, land use, climate, and water are desirable.
Experience working with one or more of the following constituencies: local planning departments, local government staff, elected officials, advocacy groups, and community-based organizations.
Experience in research and policy analysis.
Experience developing and executing projects and programs from start to finish including program and partnership development, budget development, implementation, and evaluation.
Ability to think critically and strategically.
Well-organized and disciplined.
Sound judgment, discretion and ability to maintain confidentiality.
Familiarity with online meeting and training platforms, video conferencing, and desktop sharing.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Familiarity with Microsoft SharePoint and Teams preferred.
Access to a car and flexible schedule is also required.
California Driver’s License is required.
Please submit a cover letter with resume for consideration.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and background. Full and generous benefits package