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Now Hiring! Regional Hub Program Director


Immediate opening: Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.


The National Healthy Soils Policy Network (the “Network”) is a project of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), a California-based coalition that advances state and federal policy to catalyze the powerful climate solutions offered by sustainable and organic agriculture. The Network is a group of farmer-centered organizations that serve sustainable, organic, beginning, and/or family farmers and advocate for state policies that incentivize healthy soils and other on-farm climate-resilient practices.


The Regional Hub Program Director is responsible for designing and collaborating on the implementation of a network of geographically-organized regional hubs to increase coordination and capacity building within the Network. The primary near-term objective in 2023-2024 will be to support member organizations with efforts to do outreach and technical assistance for Inflation Reduction Act funding that increases access for small and medium-sized and underserved farmers and ranchers. The longer-term vision is to build capacity in farmer-centered organizations across the country, using a well-funded and staffed regional hub structure that collaborates to scale agricultural soil health and other agricultural climate solutions.


The Director works under the supervision of CalCAN’s Executive Director, and in collaboration with the Network Coordinator.


Position Summary

Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 provides an historic investment of $20 billion over five years in four USDA conservation programs (CSP, EQIP, ACEP, and RCPP) and earmarks the funds for healthy soils and other on-farm practices that have climate benefits. There is a danger that the funds will not reach small and medium-sized growers, farmers of color, new farmers and other limited-resource farmers, either because such farmers have not been adequately reached or supported in applying for the funds or because the design of the programs creates barriers to their participation. There is also a danger that Congress will attempt to rescind the IRA funding and reallocate it elsewhere within the Farm Bill.


The increased technical assistance capacity that will be necessary to distribute these funds to under-resourced producers presents an opportunity to scale up the human infrastructure needed over the coming years to support farmers as they mitigate climate change and increase the resilience of their operations. The Network is one of several emerging communities of practice that recognize this opportunity and are strategizing about how to optimize it. The Director will lead an effort to build on the Network structure to support members in three ways: (1) Add capacity, expertise and provide networking opportunities to support members with outreach and technical assistance related to IRA funding solicitations; (2) Coordinate advocacy to influence NRCS program operation and implementation; and (3) Implement a strategy to defend against attempts in Congress to rescind IRA funding. Through these activities, the Director will be designing the long-term engagement scaffolding necessary to scale healthy soils and climate-resilient practices.



Responsibilities

Program Design and Implementation

  • Support Network members seeking cooperative or contribution agreements with their state NRCS agency

  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and resource sharing among Network members focused on IRA funding

  • Design the structure of a funded network of regional hubs, including a clear articulation of the needs it would serve, its function, and potential lead organizations who could house a regional coordinator position

  • Ensure that the design and implementation ultimately serves small and medium-sized producers and farmers of color

  • Identify and build relationships and collaborate with other networks of organizations working on similar efforts


Policy Advocacy

  • Support Network members with activities to educate and advocate for program access and outreach strategies with their respective NRCS agencies

  • Develop and implement a strategy to influence NRCS program implementation at the federal level, grounded in the insights and experiences of Network member organizations and the farmers they serve and in collaboration with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

  • As needed, in coordination with NSAC, organize advocates across the country to oppose efforts to rescind IRA funding


Fund Development

  • Collaborate with CalCAN’s Executive Director to raise the budget (estimated at $1.5 to 2 million/year) needed to continue the position beyond the initial one-year commitment and build out the regional hub infrastructure. This will involve:

    • Funder research and cultivation

    • Developing a budget for the Regional Hub Program

    • Grant writing and report writing

    • Impact evaluation


Other

  • Participate in Network meetings

  • Collaborate on communications plan development and implementation and serve as the Network’s media spokesperson as needed

  • Represent CalCAN and the Network at conferences, hearings and other forums as needed

  • Contribute to a collaborative organizational culture that attracts, engages, motivates, and retains a diverse, highly qualified and effective team and network

  • Periodic travel may be required to California, Washington DC or hub locations once they are established


Qualifications

  • At least five years’ experience working in the agricultural conservation field

  • Familiarity with federal farm bill conservation programs

  • Demonstrated knowledge of sustainable agriculture practices, and an understanding of how both climate change and systemic racism impacts agriculture, and ideally some experience advancing climate resilience and justice in the food and farming system

  • Demonstrated facilitation skills with large groups working remotely

  • Experience supporting multi-stakeholder or multi-organizational groups that demonstrates skill with group facilitation, coordination, co-learning and/or organizing, and collaborative leadership of teams, coalitions or networks

  • Demonstrated skills communicating with agricultural stakeholders, government agencies, policy makers and elected officials

  • Grant writing and funder cultivation experience, ideally possessing existing relationships with agriculture and/or climate funders

  • Experience with campaign strategy development, farmer organizing, and/or policy advocacy at the state or federal level

  • Proactive, organized and collaborative, with keen attention to detail and follow through

  • A collaborative and entrepreneurial approach, with an ability to innovate and navigate ambiguity in building new initiatives

  • Effective verbal and written communication skills

  • A remote workspace and the ability to work independently across different time zones (Network members span from East Coast to Hawaii)


Terms

This is a one-year temporary full-time position with the possibility of extending depending on the fundraising success. This is a remote position and can be based anywhere in the U.S. The salary will range from $90,000 to $115,000 if the successful candidate is based in California, and will be adjusted based on cost-of-living calculation for candidates in other states. The position is also entitled to generous medical, dental and vision benefits, sick leave, and four weeks of paid vacation per year, as well as a stipend for home office and cell phone expenses.


To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Email your application as a single PDF attachment to

Renata Brillinger, renata@calclimateag.org. The position will be open until filled and interviews

will be conducted on a rolling basis.


Note: CalCAN is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from groups that

have been historically under-represented in agriculture. We make hiring decisions without regard to gender, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin,

age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class.

If you do not meet the above qualifications but believe you are well-suited to this position,

we encourage you to apply and include your reasoning in your cover letter.






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