Ecological Farming Program Specialist

Website CAFF: Community Alliance with Family Farmers

Resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems.

Title: Ecological Farming Program Specialist I or II***

Location: California / Hybrid – partially remote option (Davis, CA Region preferred)

FTE: 1.0 FTE

Salary: $60,000 – $73,000 annually***

FLSA: Exempt or Non-Exempt, depending on classification

Reports To: Director of Ecological Farming

Other details: Bilingual preferred (English/ Spanish)

*** Most applicants that apply will be considered for the entry level salary range of this position. Those with significant experience and academic training may be considered for the higher range, and we create ranges so candidates have time to grow over the course of their career.

CAFF is a California-based membership organization that includes family farmers and other community members passionate about local food, farming, and the environment.  As a farmer-serving organization, we recognize the historic and lasting inequities in the California food and farming system. We believe farmers of color, and other historically oppressed people, should have the opportunity to create and participate in a food and agriculture system that aligns with their needs, values, identities, knowledge systems, and communities. We commit to advancing racial, gender, and environmental justice in our larger systems, as well as in our own workplace. Currently our programming is focused in four areas: Farm to Market, Policy & Advocacy, Farmer Services, and Ecological Farming.  To learn more about CAFF, our history, and our core values, visit https://www.caff.org/about.

Position Summary
The Ecological Farming Program Specialist will play a key role in CAFF’s Ecological Farming (EF) Program Area, which includes our work in Climate Smart Farming/ Soil Health as well as our Ecological Pest Management (EPM) Program. The Program Specialist will join the Ecological Farming team in its work to implement on-farm research and demonstration projects, facilitate farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities, develop accessible and relevant extension resources and provide and guide technical assistance to the agricultural community. In collaboration with the broader Ecological Farming team, the Program Specialist will work to broaden the impact of the program’s extension and technical assistance efforts through facilitating systems and spaces for farmer knowledge sharing, integrating technical assistance opportunities for farmers, engaging directly with farmer and extension communities and supporting the management and implementation of the Ecological Farming program. A person who will excel in the position is highly motivated to move the needle towards more ecologically integrated agriculture in California, and is passionate about CAFF’s mission and core values.

Position Overview

CAFF’s Ecological Farming program area works to improve the health, productivity, and resiliency of California agroecosystems through the promotion, research, and demonstration of ecological farming practices and systems that conserve and regenerate natural resources such as biodiversity, soil and water, and adapt to and mitigate the stresses brought on by climate destabilization. The Ecological Farming program area works with farmers, researchers and technical assistance providers in Central and Northern California to carry out projects including, but not limited to: Biologically Integrated Farming Systems; Ecological Pest Management; Adaptations to Climate Extremes; Understanding Barriers and Motivations to Adoption for Soil Health Practices; Integrated Crop Livestock Systems; and Healthy Soils Practice Implementation. A growing area of the Ecological Farming program, as well as CAFF, is to increase access to Ecological Farming among communities that have historically been left out of research, extension and technical assistance efforts, with particular focus on Latinx farming communities. We are working to increase the relevance and accessibility of Ecological Farming through centering farmer experience and welcoming perspectives of diverse backgrounds and communities.

The position is preferred in Davis, CA and particularly Northern California, given frequent trips to the Sacramento and Northern San Joaquin Valleys. Additional travel will be required throughout California for extension and technical assistance efforts.

 

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Essential responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

% Time — Description

30% – Lead and Support EF Farmer Knowledge Sharing and Extension Efforts

  • Support the management and tracking of extension deliverables including field days, webinars, farmer forums, podcasts, videos, etc
  • In collaboration with EF team, plan, coordinate and organize EF extension events
  • In collaboration with EF team, conduct outreach to promote extension events, resources and project updates through email, Action Network, social media, the CAFF website and other platforms as needed
  • Attend and participate in relevant extension events on behalf of EF team
  • Lead communications with UC Small Farms Program and other extension providers
  • In collaboration with EF team, lead the development and analysis of surveys for reporting and improvement of extension events
  • Conduct interviews of partnering farms to evaluate impact of on-farm projects

30% – Lead and Support EF Technical Assistance Activities

  • Lead the integration and management of technical assistance efforts across multiple farmer grant opportunities (Soil Health, Integrated Pest Management, Pollinator Habitat), including guiding farmers to the appropriate CAFF staff to receive support
  • Lead the tracking and evaluation of technical assistance activities
  • Provide one-on-one technical assistance to farmers around the implementation of  ecological farming practices and principles, including farm visits as needed
  • Provide one-on-one application assistance to farmers applying for farmer grant opportunities
  • Provide one-on-one technical assistance to farmers implementing awarded projects
  • Connect farmers with other farmers utilizing specific ecological farming practices, when appropriate and helpful

15% – Support Program Management, Implementation and Tracking

Provide support to EF staff implementing projects on topics including adaptations to climate extremes, barriers and motivations to adoption, integrated crop livestock systems, biologically integrated farming systems and soil health
Provide support on tracking project implementation and deliverables for program evaluation and grant reporting

15% – Ecological Farming Team Activities

  • Attend Ecological Farming Program Team meetings
  • Contribute to Ecological Farming program strategy and planning discussions
  • Contribute to strategy for cross-programmatic collaborations
  • Contribute to grant development, writing and reporting processes as needed
  • Utilize EF team systems to track activities and tasks, including G suite, Salesforce and Slack
  • Assist with EF program activities as needed, including outreach and events, resource development, field work, etc.

5% – Support EF Field Work

  • Support field work for on-farm research and demonstration projects as needed, including but not limited to Ecological Pest Management projects

5%  — General CAFF responsibilities

  • This person will be an important member of CAFF’s Ecological Farming Team and work closely with all members of the team on various projects.
  • Participate in weekly All-Staff meetings and annual All-staff gatherings
  • Represent CAFF by participating in community activities and events as necessary

 

We know it’s impossible to convey every single task for a particular job in one job description. Our hope is that as we work together, and your role evolves over time, we can adjust your job description accordingly.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

Educational and Work Experience

  • Master’s degree in sustainable agriculture, soil science, entomology or agronomy preferred
  • At least 5 years of experience working professionally, ideally in sustainable agriculture
  • Experience working on-farms and/or with farmers around sustainable agriculture
  • Experience in project management, implementation and tracking
  • Experience working with culturally diverse communities is preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Strong understanding of sustainable/ ecological farming practices and principles
  • Expertise in agroecology, soil health and/or integrated pest management
  • Strong ability to work independently and remotely and also work as part of a team
  • Strong organizational skills with an ability to handle competing demands
  • Ability recognize and adapt to changing priorities within programmatic work
  • Ability to develop and implement systems for project tracking and evaluation
  • Ability to communicate principles of sustainable agriculture to lay audiences of various educational and cultural backgrounds
  • Strong English language written and oral communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to organize events
  • Ability to travel frequently to farms for extension events and technical assistance
  • Strong computer skills, including above average knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite, and WordPress or similar
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish strongly preferred
  • Familiarity with social media platforms preferred: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
  • Experience preferred with Canva, Salesforce and Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Experience in grant writing, reporting and management preferred
  • Experience supervising staff preferred

Physical Abilities

  • Ability to sit for long periods of time working at a computer.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Requires a full range of physical mobility, such as bending, stooping, lifting, turning, carrying objects, and grasping.

Other

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Ability to use one’s own car for travel as necessary

Anticipated Start Date: Late October – Mid November 2023

CAFF’s policy is that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. We strongly encourage those from diverse backgrounds and from historically underserved communities to apply.

TO APPLY:

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and references with the subject line “[Ecological Farming Program Specialist]” to jobs@caff.org by October 9, 2023. Requests for sample work may be made further along in the application process.

To apply for this job email your details to jobs@caff.org