Job: Director of Programs – Farmer Support Services & Stewardship at ALBA

Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA)

Position Announcement

Title: Director of Programs - Farmer Support Services & Stewardship Status: Full-Time/Exempt/At-Will Organization: ALBA is a community-based non profit organization whose mission is to advance economic viability, social equity and ecological land management among limited-resource and aspiring farmers on California's Central Coast, through the provision of training, demonstration, technical and marketing assistance, and access to land, at its two bilingual education centers in Salinas and Watsonville. Serving a primarily Latino audience, ALBA's work is grounded by the belief that in order for limited-resource and aspiring farmers to gain a foothold within California's highly competitive agricultural sector, they must have access to information, capital and land - and initially, reduced risk farming and business incubation opportunities. In carrying out its mission, ALBA aims to contribute to a more just and sustainable food system. ALBA staff are bilingual and most educational activities are conducted in Spanish.

Responsibilities:

Based at the Rural Development Center, and reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Programs will have primary responsibility for overseeing the management of ALBA's two incubator/demonstration farms and ensuring the delivery of high quality farmer support services through ALBA's diverse programs. Current programs that this position will oversee include: Small Farm Incubators, Ag Education, Stewardship, Community Food Systems, and Business Education. Farmer Support Services: ALBA provides diverse support services to beginning, limited-resource and established farmers, including the provision of incubation, education, and technical assistance services. ALBA farmer support services focus on four primary themes: agronomy/production, business education, food systems/marketing and stewardship/conservation. Incubation services are focused on farmers participating in the Small Farm Incubator Program. Education and technical assistance services target incubator participants as well as beginning and limited-resource farmers in the Central Coast Region (Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties). The Director of Programs (DP) will:
  • co-design program goals, objectives and monitoring/evaluation mechanisms in collaboration with the Executive Director and Deputy Director;
  • ensure delivery of high quality farmer support services in the form of incubation, education (courses and workshops) and technical assistance (one-on-one);
  • monitor program implementation and support program evaluation;
  • prepare grant reports related to Stewardship and Farmer Support Services;
  • provide budget oversight for programs;
  • oversee management of Demonstration Plot (RDC) to ensure it serves as an innovative model for both farmers and visitors
  • oversee implementation of farmer mentoring program.
  • Support proposal development related to Stewardship and Farmer Support Services
The DP will be responsible for supervising the work of all program managers and support staff (currently five positions), including oversight of intern/volunteer program. DP will serve as the liaison for these staff to ALBA's human resources department; ensure they receive timely performance reviews; and ensure quick resolution to any personnel issues that arise, which may include seeking advice or support from the Deputy Director, Administrative Director or Executive Director.

Stewardship

ALBA owns and operates two certified organic farms in Monterey County: The Farm Training & Research Center (also known as the Triple M Ranch) which is 195 total/65 cultivable acres; and The Rural Development Center (also known as the RDC) which is 110 total/90 cultivable acres. These farms serve as Small Farm Incubators where beginning, limited-resource and other farmers can launch and strengthen their farm businesses. ALBA has an average of 25 incubator tenants at any given time. Both farms provide access to irrigation systems which ALBA maintains. The RDC has extensive farm equipment available for use by Farm Incubator Participants, which ALBA maintains. Both the Triple M and RDC serve as demonstration farms, each with a unique set of agronomic and conservation practices being implemented, often in collaboration with other agencies, organizations and individual researchers. The Director of Programs will ensure both farms are:
  • maintained to provide incubator functions (particularly focused on land allocation, lease compliance, irrigation system maintenance, and equipment management);
  • welcoming to the public;
  • aesthetically pleasing;
  • compliant with regulations, including organic certification.
The DP will oversee maintenance of all exterior areas on both farms, including buildings. The DP will collaborate with and support the Administrative Director to ensure that buildings and other infrastructure are maintained in safe, working order and are presented in a professional manner. The DP will oversee management of the 1.5 acre Demonstration Plot at the RDC, which serves as an outdoor classroom for Ag Education Programs and a focal point for visitors. The DP will collaborate with ALBA staff and partners that are conducting research or restoration activities on ALBA property to ensure adequate management and safety. Research and restoration projects will be prioritized according to program goals, in consultation with the ALBA Management Team. Occasional travel, as well as weekend and evening work will be required as part of this position.

Qualifications:

- B.S. in Agronomy; Masters Degree Preferred - 3-5 years agricultural production experience - 3-5 years supervisory experience; Intern and Volunteer Management experience a plus - Proven communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills with diverse groups and individuals - Non-profit management experience, including grant-writing, reporting, and budgeting; 3-5 years preferred - Spanish proficiency in reading, writing, and verbal communication; native Spanish language abilities preferred

Salary and benefits:

Salary is $60,000-65,000 yearly to start, commensurate with experience. ALBA provides an excellent benefits package, including nine (9) paid holidays annually, employer-paid health insurance premium for employees and subsidized premiums for dependents, Simplified Employee Pension with employer contribution, access to employee-funded 403(b) retirement plan, 2.5 weeks paid vacation during the first year of employment, and a family-friendly work environment including flexible work schedule. To apply: Interested candidates should send a resume, cover letter with salary history, and a list of three employment references to: Search Committee ALBA PO Box 6264 Salinas, CA 93912 fax 831-758-3665, or e-mail <brett@albafarmers.org>. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. ALBA is an equal opportunity employer.

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