Location: Northampton, MA

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 Farmland Information and Policy Specialist will be responsible for conducting state and local policy research and expanding and maintaining an online collection of relevant laws, regulations and policies for AFT’s Farmland Information Center website.The Policy Specialist also will contribute to AFT’s state policy scorecard—a component of AFT’s Farms Under Threat initiative that ranks states’ efforts to protect agricultural land and support agricultural viability. The successful candidate will oversee surveys of state and local farmland protection activity and help respond to requests for information received through the FIC’s answer service. While the Policy Specialist may contribute to policy development the position does not involve direct advocacy. The Farmland Information and Policy Specialist will report to the Director of AFT’s Farmland Information Center and work in AFT’s office in Northampton, Massachusetts. 

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Managing the collections of laws, regulations, polices and sample documents on the FIC website. This will involve developing protocols for adding content, a schedule for checking and refreshing content, and plan for expanding collections with input from national and field directors to reflect all three parts of AFT’s mission;
  • Reviewing and analyzing federal, state and local laws, regulations, policies and plans; 
  • Identifying factors across policies and programs that can highlight best practices and/or measure the effectiveness of the approach to support AFT’s state policy scorecard;
  • Synthesizing complex information into clear summaries, policy briefs, professional reports and blogs; 
  • Assisting AFT’s national initiative and field directors in the development of policy recommendations;
  • Responding to technical requests from external audiences and AFT staff; 
  • Tracking relevant state legislative activity; 
  • Developing a range of educational resources including fact sheets and technical memos; 
  • Managing consultants and/or interns hired to support the responsibilities listed above including maintenance of the FIC’s collection of laws, regulations, policies and sample documents; 
  • Assisting with fundraising; and
  • Contributing to special projects on an as-needed basis.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Requirements

  • A law degree or advanced degree in public policy; 
  • Minimum of three years of related work experience in agriculture, farmland protection, land conservation, land use planning or environmental policy; 
  • Proven ability to perform legal and policy research and a thorough understanding of the legislative process as demonstrated by experience working with lawmakers, public agency staff, advocacy groups or similar entity for at least two years;
  • Ability to analyze data;
  • Ability to use proper legal citation;
  • Project and budget management skills;
  • Experience fundraising;
  • Verbal, written and multi-media communication skills; 
  • Familiarity with online meeting and training platforms, video conferencing, desktop sharing;
  • Familiarity with website content management systems, WordPress preferred; and 
  • Proficiency with Office Suite, including Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Passion for AFT’s mission;
  • Strong work ethic;
  • Good team player and willingness to forge new relationships;
  • Ability to think strategically; and
  • Attention to detail.

Compensation

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and background.  AFT provides a full and generous benefits package.

Application Deadline: May 3, 2019

If you are eager to join our team, please visit this page to apply.

Please include 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.