Ag Innovations Network is a nonprofit organization that facilitates networking and provides consulting on agriculture, the environment, and food systems. It is currently seeking a Program Director to “lead efforts in developing and implementing creative projects to strengthen food systems in California and beyond. The Program Director will work with a talented team of process artists and facilitators to create and manage powerful, multi-sector collaborations to imagine and create a better food system for people, business, and the environment. Projects will span a range of community, public health, environmental, social justice, and economic development topics on a range of geographic scales from the local to the state level. Examples of current and potential projects include the development, organization, and execution of the following:
- Regional food system coalitions;
- Regional food system assessments and action plans;
- Assessments and feasibility analyses of regional food economy infrastructure and development projects;
- Projects to increase the supply of affordable housing for agricultural and food system workers;
- Agricultural land conservation initiatives;
- Projects to make regulations affecting agriculture more responsive to the needs of producers, the community, the environment, and the agencies charged with administering them;
- Healthy eating and other food system related public health initiatives;
- Projects to educate and develop food system leaders; and
- Projects to stimulate markets and demand for locally grown and produced food.
The Program Director will utilize their entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit to discern and take advantage of opportunities for Ag Innovations Network to apply its unique approach to solution creation. Ag Innovation Network’s core change method is creating and facilitating dynamic coalitions of leaders to uncover solutions as powerful as the challenges we face. The Program Director will work in partnership with Ag Innovations Network process and facilitation team to create and lead these projects and coalitions, assuring that they are responsive to the challenges being faced, fulfilling the expectations of funders, and advancing a sustainable food system. If you are looking for a position that both challenges and inspires at an organization that cares deeply about its people and its work in the world, this position may be right for you.
Specific duties of the Program Director include, but are not limited to:
- Planning, delivering, and evaluating food systems related projects that align with the mission of Ag Innovations Network.
- Fostering strong and collaborative relationships with a range of leaders to identify critical needs and challenges, and develop the partnerships, approaches, and strategies needed for positive change in the food system.
- Developing and maintaining a current and in-depth knowledge and understanding of the issues, developments, methods, and players relevant to project topic areas.
- Collaborating with the Ag Innovations Network facilitation team in the design of innovative and effective social innovation processes and meetings (both virtual and face-to-face) that accomplish the projects’ objectives.
- Developing informational and educational products related to the projects, including meeting results, final reports and white papers, conference presentations and webinars, etc.
- Developing outreach, implementation, and communication strategies for effective and impactful dissemination of project findings and results, and collaborating with partners and Ag Innovations Network team members on implementing these.
- Helping to develop grants and contract funding resources to advance program priorities, and satisfying all reporting requirements of funders.
- Participating as a member in the Ag Innovations Network learning community and actively contributing to that community about what is working and is needed in the field.
- Participating as a team member on other Ag Innovations Network projects.
The successful candidate will have practical knowledge of regional food systems, as well as an interest in, and experience with, process-oriented change. The successful candidate will also bring a fun, creative, and joyful approach to his or her work.
Ideal qualifications include as much of the following as possible:
- Master’s degree or higher in food systems, agriculture sciences, rural development, public policy or a related field.
- 5+ years of direct work experience in developing and/or collaborating with diverse, multi-sector teams to address social, ecological, and economic challenges of food systems.
- Demonstrated experience in the understanding of agricultural marketing and distribution systems and trends, food security issues, and/or public health perspectives on the food system, particularly as relating to the state of California.
- Demonstrated experience with project management and coordination, and the ability to balance multiple projects simultaneously and easily shift between working independently and as part of a team.
- Demonstrated experience in research, analysis, and the development of educational materials;
- Demonstrated experience as an active leader or member of grant-writing and/or fundraising team(s).
- Demonstrated knowledge of, or interest in, effective group collaborative processes and methodologies for social change.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively to diverse audiences using verbal, written, and listening skills.
- Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, and a commitment to teamwork and working across disciplines and with stakeholders at all levels.
- Proficiency in computer technology, including word processing, spreadsheets, electronic slide presentations, web page design, social media and email.
- Ability to travel throughout California and the U.S., and possessing of a valid, current driver’s license.
Compensation and Benefits
Ag Innovations Network strives to offer competitive salaries and benefits and a hospitable and collaborative work environment. This position is a full-time, exempt, salaried position. Compensation is competitive and dependent on experience with an expected salary range of $60,000 to 80,000 per year. While the starting salary is negotiable, new hires should not expect an offer at above the mid-point in the salary range. Paid vacation leave, employer-paid health benefits, and an employer-matching retirement plan are included as benefits.
Ag Innovations Network is an equal opportunity employer. Our policy is to afford equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals without regard to any personal trait or characteristic that is not related to one’s ability to perform one’s job, including but not limited to those that are protected by law (i.e., race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, family status, veteran status, physical or mental disability, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic data, and age).
About Ag Innovations Network
Ag Innovations Network brings leaders together to create a better food system for people, business, and the environment. We are trusted facilitators and process designers with deep food system knowledge and an extensive network of practitioners, professionals, and advocates in agriculture and natural resource management. We combine our expertise, knowledge, and network to stimulate creativity and spur collaborative innovation and impact. Ag Innovations Network (http://aginnovations.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1999.
We lead coalitions working both at the intersection of agriculture and the environment (the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment, and the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply), and on human systems (such as the Regulations Affecting Agriculture project and the California Ag Workforce Housing & Transportation project). We also consult and work in local communities on regional food system issues, train transformative leaders in collaborative change-making, consult as facilitators to a variety of public- and private-sector food-related clients, and act as a fiscal sponsor agency to a number of other related initiatives across the country, including the Sustainable Food Lab and the Academy for Systemic Change.
Ag Innovations Network is located in Sebastopol, California, about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. The work environment is challenging, learning, collaborative, fun, and intentional. This region has a rich agricultural heritage owing to its climate and soils, and its diverse landscapes make for some of the most stunning scenery and best outdoor recreation opportunities in the world. While the region is famous for its world-class wines, it is also an epicenter for the local, organic, sustainable food movement.
Apply by submitting a letter explaining how and why you can effectively develop and manage multi-stakeholder initiatives to create a better food system for all (cover letter); a curriculum vita or resume; and the names and contact information for three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org. This position is open until filled, however, applications received by April 3rd will get first priority screening.”