Location: Rappahannock County, VA
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.
American Farmland Trust’s Rappahannock Regenerative Agriculture Project is a holistic strategy targeting the Rappahannock County, Virginia, and the surrounding region. The project aims to enhance the region’s environment and agricultural viability, through a set of strategies that sequester carbon, improve soil health, support farmers, and promote community well-being and the region’s sense of place.
The project focuses initially on livestock farming which makes sense for the following reasons:
- The region is well-suited to grass-fed meat production (given soils, terrain, and climate).
- The opportunity exists to raise livestock in ways that are both more productive and more environmentally beneficial (in multiple ways, including the goal of sequestering more carbon). There is also the opportunity to quantify those benefits for others to use.
- The region has a critical mass of existing livestock farms and infrastructure.
- The region could support more farms that raise meat (and, in fact, such farms may be one of the only viable alternatives to conventional dairy farms going out of business).
- The relatively small size of local meat producers (compared to other major meat producing regions, notably those in the West) suggests the need for alternative marketing strategies; and the proximately to the Washington DC metropolitan region creates a special opportunity.
AFT seeks a full-time Project Coordinator to oversee a new project targeting Rappahannock County, Virginia and the surrounding region. The onsite Project Coordinator will report to AFT’s Mid-Atlantic Director and will be supported by AFT staff with expertise in relevant areas. The Project Coordinator would be based in Rappahannock County, Virginia.
Duties & Responsibilities
The Project Coordinator’s primary responsibilities are to:
- Develop (in concert with AFT’s Mid-Atlantic Director) specific project goals and activities.
- Implement those activities, with support from AFT staff and project partners, as appropriate.
- Recruit local farmers to participate in the project.
- Secure land for both existing farmers and new farmers entering the area.
- Educate landowners to improve farming practices.
- Recruit and maintain a local Advisory Board to help guide and support the project.
- Communicate about the project to the public.
In addition, the Project Coordinator will be required to:
- Establish and maintain relationships with the local farming community and with local organizations and individuals useful to advance the project.
- Engage and coordinate AFT staff, as needed and appropriate, to support project activities.
- Undertake all the administrative tasks necessary for the position, including overseeing the work of any contractors.
- Establish and track a full set of outcome measures.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor's degree (ideally in an agriculture field or another relevant field) or sufficient comparable experience.
- Understanding of farming and agricultural conservation. (Experience with livestock production, regenerative farming practices, or beginning farmer issues is beneficial.)
- Ability to compile and analyze data and to develop programming addressing local needs.
- Ability to work well with a diverse set of players (farmers, local leaders, partner organizations, subject area experts, etc.).
- Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.
- Ability to work independently without onsite supervision.
- Willingness to make a multi-year commitment to be located in the target region.
- Ability to travel around the target region and to AFT’s DC office, as needed.
AFT provides a full and generous benefits package.
If you are eager to join our team, please visit this page to apply.
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.