American Farmland Trust: Agricultural Land Access and Transfer Senior Specialist

Posted on February 20, 2024
American Farmland Trust: Agricultural Land Access and Transfer Senior Specialist
Position Title

Agricultural Land Access and Transfer Specialist

Job Location: 

Washington, Dist. Columbia, 20036 United States

Job Purpose:

Nearly 300 million acres of American farmland are expected to change hands in the next twenty years. As aging farmers exit the field, the future is uncertain for about one third of the country’s farm and ranch land. At the same time, a new more diverse generation of farmers is seeking opportunities to access suitable farm and ranch land in communities across the country.

To address this impending transition, American Farmland Trust (AFT) has launched
groundbreaking efforts to help senior farmers and ranchers as well as new and next
generation producers. These programs include efforts from the state to national levels in partnership with land trusts, extension agencies, and other organizations to strengthen skills, capacity, and collaboration for staff to serve as coaches – or Navigators – in supporting farmers, ranchers, and landowners. Additionally, AFT will be expanding virtual resources through our Farmland Information Center and other means as well as piloting innovative land access and land protection tools.

The Agricultural Land Access and Transfer Senior Specialist (Specialist) will play a key leadership role in coordinating Navigator communities across AFT programs and informing the creation of shared virtual resources and piloting of land access and protection tools.

Position Overview: 

Reporting to the Farms for a New Generation (FNG) Director, the Agricultural Land
Access and Transfer Specialist will support AFT’s work to enable the equitable and
secure transfer of farm and ranch land to a new generation. A primary role for the
Specialist will be supporting, strengthening and growing networks of service providers and the technical assistance they provide.

The position will work collaboratively within the FNG team as well as with other AFT
National Initiatives and Regional Programs and external partners to organize and
implement strategies that support Navigators, including AFT staff, and the direct
technical assistance they provide to farmers and ranchers. This position will also play a key role in the development of internal systems and processes as well as partnerships to strategically grow this type of intervention in support of transforming agriculture for resiliency.

The successful candidate will be a detail-oriented, adaptable team player who is
passionate about teaching and inspiring an equity-centered growth mindset in others. The Specialist will also need to bring an understanding of the needs of senior farmers and ranchers as well as new and next generation producers and support the
development of high-impact programming to address the unique needs of these

duties and responsibilities:
  • Cultivate and facilitate strong relationships with a diverse network of partners, including staff from AFT Regional Programs and National Initiatives, land trusts, cooperative extensions, agricultural organizations, farmers and ranchers, and others to support peer connections and efficient and effective ways to support agricultural land transfer and access.



  • Serve as primary liaison with AFT divisions that are developing virtual resources, leading outreach strategies, and implementing land access and protection tools on ways to improve their effectiveness in serving the needs of farmers and ranchers and integrate and connect these activities with the technical assistance available through Navigators.



  • Coordinate and further develop AFT’s direct technical assistance and Navigator networks on land access and transfer. This includes tracking relationships and impact, and documenting program progress through milestones, outcomes, and other relevant metrics.



  • Provide input and collaboration within FNG team, other AFT divisions, and external partners on how to strategically grow and sustain Navigator networks, including AFT’s own direct technical assistance. Serve as a technical advisor to other AFT Navigators and support their provision of direct support to producers.



  • Support project work plans to meet project goals and funder expectations within budget and on time. Ground the intentions outlined in AFT’s diversity, equity and inclusion commitments into project planning and implementation.



  • Represent AFT at public meetings, conferences, workshops, and trainings.



  • Support a strong team culture of shared learning, innovation, and problem solving among AFT staff and external partners.


This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of job-related responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions. While this is intended to reflect the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.


  • 10+ years of relevant experience in agricultural land access and transfer. Practical experience providing direct technical assistance to farmers, ranchers and/or agricultural landowners preferred.


  • Track record of engaging and collaborating with diverse populations and professional backgrounds.


  • Strong project management skills and experience managing complex or multiple projects, government grants, workload, and budgets under deadline.


  • Direct professional experience with and knowledge of the challenges and needs of senior producers, new and next generation farmers and ranchers, and non-farming landowners. 


  • Specialized training in land access and/or farm succession is beneficial. 


  • Demonstrated experience leading and influencing people (managing up and managing across) without a direct reporting relationship.   


  • Proactive, decisive, flexible, innovative, strategic, and able to prioritize.


  • Independent self-starter as well as a professional and respectful team player. 


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (phone, public presentation, written, partner relations). 


  • Experience with public outreach, community engagement and communications (digital and/or traditional) are preferred.


  • Experience within AFT’s mission areas to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers and ranchers on the land.


  • Willingness to learn and grow professionally.


  • Proficiency with MSOffice Suite.


education and experience:
  • BA or BS degree or a minimum of 7 years of related work experience in farm transition and/or land access, land/farmland conservation, sustainable agriculture, and/or community organization. 

While applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled, applicants who apply with a resume and cover letter will be considered first.

to Apply click Here.