Hiring: Project Director – Working Lands Alliance/American Farmland Trust – Connecticut

American Farmland Trust (AFT) seeks an energetic self-starter to lead Connecticut’s Working Lands Alliance (WLA). American Farmland Trust (AFT) is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting sound conservation practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped protect more than five million acres of our country’s working lands. WLA is a diverse coalition of individuals and over 200 businesses and organizations dedicated specifically to farmland preservation in Connecticut. Since its creation in 2000, WLA has raised over $50 million in public funding and successfully championed several visionary pieces of state legislation. The WLA Project Director is responsible for directing all WLA activities, which include research and education, policy development, grassroots and direct advocacy, outreach and communications, member and public events, budgeting and administration, and fundraising.

The Project Director works with a 19-person Steering Committee to develop an annual WLA policy agenda, work plan and budget that will guide WLA activities for the year in furtherance of the vision that has been adopted by the Committee. In addition to WLA duties, the WLA Director participates in additional projects within the scope of American Farmland Trust national and regional initiatives.

The ideal candidate will have a background in agriculture and public policy, familiarity with Connecticut, and experience in managing collaborative projects involving multiple partners. Excellent communication skills, a willingness to manage all aspects of coalition activities, and the vision to lead are essential. Experience in fundraising is desirable.

The WLA Project Director reports to the New England Director of American Farmland Trust, and coordinates his/her activities closely with those of the WLA Chair and the contracted WLA lobbyist. The Project Director is a full time (37.5 hours/week) position. The position is based out of AFT’s office in Wethersfield and requires extensive travel throughout Connecticut and occasional travel elsewhere in the region.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Maintain and develop working relationships with the WLA Steering Committee
  • Working with the Administrative Subcommittee and the AFT New England Director, develop annual work plans and budgets to be approved by the Steering Committee
  • Working with the Development Subcommittee and the AFT New England Director, raise the funds needed to meet WLA revenue targets
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with Connecticut policy makers and thought leaders whose work may impact AFT, WLA and their shared vision
  • Direct advocacy and legislative activities for WLA based on annual strategic agenda
  • Maintain WLA member database and direct communications activities for WLA, including outreach to CT press and WLA partners
  • Participate in additional projects supporting American Farmland Trust regional and national initiatives.


The WLA Project Director must have direct professional experience working with a wide variety of people, organizations and interests on programing and public policy in land conservation and agriculture. These include agriculture and conservation organizations and trade associations, land trusts, state and local elected officials, public agencies, individual donors and foundations, planners and planning commissions, and academic institutions. S/he must have knowledge of Connecticut’s agriculture and farmland protection. Excellent communication skills and creativity are essential. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite is required; additional computer skills preferred.

  • A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 6 years of work experience in related fields, such as farmland conservation, agriculture, public policy, land use or natural resource planning, or 4 years of related work experience with an advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted.
  • Demonstrated experience with legislative and/or policy development and advocacy.
  • Demonstrated project and budget management experience.
  • Experience managing complex projects and multiple partners.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Fundraising experience strongly preferred.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and background. Full benefits package. To apply, send letter, salary requirements, and resume by July 15, 2016 to:

Find It Locally

Search CISA’s online guide to local farms, food, and more!

Find Local Food