Position: Farmland Access Program Manager
Organization: The Land Connection - Champaign, Illinois
Reports to: Executive Director
Employment Status: Full Time, Exempt
Salary: $40,000 - $50,000; based upon experience and qualifications
Benefits: Full time, exempt employees of The Land Connection receive health insurance, vision insurance, dental care reimbursements, and life insurance, as well as vacation, sick, holiday, and paid parental leave. We also provide compensatory time for time worked beyond normal full-time expectations.
Background and History
For more than 20 years, The Land Connection has actively worked to build a more just and equitable food and farming system for Illinois. Beginning with a small farm in central Illinois rented to organic farmers to preserve this land, our organization has since expanded to offer training, education, and resources to farmers, food businesses, and consumers. As we head into the next iteration of our organization’s history, we have identified the need for a statewide farmland access program. Currently, there is no single source for farmers and landowners in Illinois to access the resources and assistance needed to sell, purchase, or lease farmland. Our solution is the creation of a new collaborative effort called the Illinois Farmland Access Initiative. The initiative consists of five core elements:
+ An inclusive and coordinated network of technical resources and service providers, the Farmland Access Hub, that fully represents the diversity of Illinois’ food and farming system;
+Farmland Access Navigators embedded across the state to provide one-on-one direct service to farmers and farmland owners;
+ A moderated statewide Illinois FarmLink Website to connect farmland owners, including non-operating landowners and retiring farmers, and farmers with land, resources, and each other;
+ Farmland Access Trainings specifically tailored for Illinois farmers and landowners; and
+ Farmland Succession and Transition Support, designed for Illinois non-operating landowners and retiring farmers
Summary Job Description
As an integral part of this program, The Land Connection seeks an enthusiastic program manager to develop and coordinate the initiative’s growth and expansion in a way that instills equity and collaboration in every element. This position will lead the work to implement the initiative, including growing the network of organizations, agricultural service providers, and individuals participating in the work; guiding the training and work of four regional land access navigators; assisting with the transition of illinoisfarmlink.org to a statewide resource for farmers, landowners, and agriculture service providers; and leading the development of strong land access and transfer education programs to aid farmers and landowners throughout the state. The successful candidate will shape the evolution of the Illinois Farmland Access Initiative.
+ Cultivate, facilitate, motivate, and coordinate strong relationships with and among a diverse network of partners participating in the Illinois Farmland Access Initiative
+ Coordinate communications, programs, and events related to the Illinois Farmland Access Initiative
+ Provide training, direct assistance, and ongoing support to regionally located navigators
+ Connect farmland seekers, transitioning farmers, and non-operating landowners to regionally located navigators through electronic communications, phone calls, and in-person meetings
+ Assist navigators and partners in the development and implementation of statewide educational events and resources to reduce barriers to land access, ownership, and transition
+ Keep the Illinois FarmLink website up to date with statewide events, services, and resources, as well as with current property and farmland seeker postings
+ Ensure the values of diversity, equity, justice, and belonging are integrated into this initiative
+ Facilitate meetings with initiative partners
+ Represent The Land Connection and the Illinois Farmland Access Initiative at public meetings, conferences, workshops, and trainings
+ Work collaboratively with staff and initiative partners to identify and secure funding support for this program
+ Work with Executive Director to develop annual program and budget goals
+ Participate in weekly staff meetings, staff member check-ins, project meetings, etc.
+ Other duties as assigned
This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of job-related responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements, or working conditions and this job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to which will be required in this position. Management reserves the right to revise the job or require that other or different tasks be performed or assigned.
Candidates must have 3+ years of experience in a field focused on agriculture, environment, conservation, or food systems. Candidates with higher education and no experience will not be considered for this position. Candidates with only experience and no higher education are strongly encouraged to apply.
The candidate must be:
+Passionate with an eagerness to learn more about farming, farmland access, and farmland transfer issues
+ Experienced in building and managing collaborations
+ Excellent at communicating including a high level of comfort regularly interacting with a diverse audience of farmland owners, farmers, agricultural service providers, and other industry professionals
+ Deeply committed to building an inclusive farmland access movement in Illinois
+ Experienced in technical assistance, education, or community engagement
+ Equipped with strong research, writing, and data analysis skills, and the ability to convert high level concepts into understandable information
+ Willing to learn, outgoing, organized, and energetic
+ Capable of managing projects independently and as part of a team
+ Able to use standard Windows computer programs and Google Suite tools, as well as able to work with web platforms like Drupal
+ Able to occasionally work in the evenings or on weekends, as well as travel throughout Illinois
+ Able to remain in a stationary position for the majority of a workday
+ Depending on the candidate, remote work may be considered.
The Land Connection is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.