Coalition for Farmland Preservation Coordinator
Local First ArizonaPhoenix, AZa month ago
POSITION TITLE: Coalition for Farmland Preservation Coordinator
MANAGED BY: Local First Arizona
REPORTS TO: Steering Committee, Coalition for Farmland Preservation
FLSA CLASSIFICATION: Exempt
DESIRED START DATE: June 2021
ABOUT THE COALITION FOR FARMLAND PRESERVATION
The Coalition for Farmland Preservation (CFP) is a collaborative effort dedicated to protecting small – medium sized farmlands to sustain local food production for consumption in Maricopa County, Arizona. Its formation is a response to the ever-increasing loss of farmland due to development, and the difficulties farmers face in finding suitable, affordable, and secure land for farming. The Coalition builds upon many existing efforts, working to address the impending loss of agricultural properties and leases to development. Coalition partners recognize the urgent need to work together to connect current and future farmers to affordable and secure lands to safeguard the continued production and availability of a diversity of locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
CFP coordinates partnership efforts to address urgent and long-term issues related to farmland preservation by acting as a hub of information for farmers, land owners, funders and civic leaders with the following focus:
  • Identifying opportunities for land leasing, conservation easement and community ownership
  • Providing support for farmers to navigate land research and land preservation methods such as conservation easements
  • Conducting public outreach and education to raise awareness of the issue
  • Advancing planning and policy reform designed to protect farmland
  • Communicating the environmental, cultural and social value of urban farms
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Coordinator will lead a multi-pronged approach to preserving Maricopa County farmland as a model that can then be replicated by other counties statewide. In line with the main goals of the Coalition, the Coordinator’s duties and responsibilities will focus on achieving the following:
1) Advocate for the importance of farmland preservation
  • Elevate farmlands as a priority for land use and zoning protection.
  • Conduct outreach and education to inform city and state leadership and the general public about the benefits of local food, to raise awareness on the importance of community farms and encourage citizens to advocate for farmland preservation. Develop consistent talking points and presentations to be used to make the case for farmland preservation.
  • Encourage planning and policy reform that is more conducive to farmland preservation within the County.
  • Identify and pursue funding streams for land purchase and opportunities for donation of land or funds to land trusts.
  • Secure long-term land access and ownership for farmers to grow food crops on lands with suitable soil and water. This will include mapping and analysis of ideal land for farming, as well as supporting the growth of alternative land ownership models such as land trusts and community ownership.
2) Research, aggregate and distribute information about alternative land use models
  • Compile, analyze and share data to show that farming is a wise use of natural resources and provides security of nutritious food, and a range of economic, equity, and environmental benefits to the region.
  • Research land currently being farmed and implement outreach programs to landowners regarding the potential of keeping the land in agriculture.
  • Learn about best practices in farmland preservation by engaging with groups in Arizona and across the country, assessing best practices, and developing comparative studies to make strategy and policy recommendations that will work in Arizona.
3) Build capacity, strengthen working relationships
  • Build capacity of current and future farmers to secure their land and sustainably manage their farm operations.
  • Build relationships with a multitude of diverse stakeholders including farmers, landowners, developers, economic development teams, municipal and state staff and leadership, community partners and the general public. Develop strategies that can bring these groups together to discuss farmland preservation, gain support for the movement and learn from diverse perspectives such as meetings or events.
  • Formalize, grow participation and oversee strategy for the Working Groups of the Coalition, which focus on the following areas of importance:
  • Policy and Planning for Farmland Preservation
  • Mechanisms for Farmland Preservation
  • Funding for Farmland Security
  • Social and Ecological Benefits of Farmland Preservation
  • Outreach and Public Awareness
  • Act as liaison to Southwest Decision Resources, the Coalition facilitation team, to assist with coordination, and planning, and facilitation of Coalition meetings.
POSITION QUALIFICATIONS:
The candidate should be a highly motivated individual with experience and interest in farmland preservation and in working within a complex and diverse policy environment. We are looking for a strong team player who is committed to collaboration, is comfortable working with a range of stakeholder interests, is able to conduct oneself in a professional manner in all situations, a strategic thinker who has good communication skills (writing and speaking), is highly organized and attentive to detail.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS
  • Bachelor's degree and 3 years’ relevant work experience in policy, strategic planning, land use, or food system development.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
  • Strong research, writing and data analysis skills, and the ability to convert high level concepts into understandable information for policy makers and for the general public.
  • Knowledge of local food systems, including an understanding of the benefits local farms bring to communities as well as the challenges local growers face.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the agricultural policy framework, land use planning, and land conservation strategies.
  • Demonstrated experience working with multiple stakeholder groups: federal, state, and local government agencies, farmers, landowners, conservation organizations, NGOs, developers and local food advocates) and experience with coalition building, board management or other collaborative group settings.
  • Demonstrated experience with outreach or marketing to public audiences, with a high level of comfort using websites, email newsletters and social media.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills.
  • Proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite, and Zoom.
ADDITIONAL DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS
  • Marketing and organizing and managing special events
  • Working knowledge of GIS
  • Experience with grant writing and grant reporting
  • Experience with land trusts, conservation easements and/or farmland preservation initiatives
Job Type: Full-Time (40 hours) with healthcare benefits (vision and dental included), PTO, and mileage reimbursements
Anticipated start date June 2021; two year contract with option to renew, dependent upon performance reviews, progress in achieving program objectives, and availability of funding.
Please submit cover letter, resume, and three references.
Job Type: Full-time
Benefits:
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development assistance
  • Vision insurance
Schedule:
  • Day shift
Education:
  • Bachelor's (Required)
Experience:
  • policy or strategic planning: 3 years (Preferred)
  • land use or food system development: 3 years (Preferred)
License/Certification:
  • Driver's License (Preferred)
Work Location:
  • One location
Work Remotely:
  • Temporarily due to COVID-19
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