Title: Policy Advocate & Organizer, specializing in urban agriculture
Location: Los Angeles, CA / Hybrid, with periodic trips to Davis/Sacramento
FTE: 1 FTE
Salary: $60,000 – 65,000 annually
Reports To: Policy Director
Bilingual Pay Differential: Eligible
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a 45-year-old California-based membership organization that includes family farmers and other community members passionate about local food, farming, and the environment. CAFF’s mission is to build sustainable food and farming systems through policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs that create more resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems. 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.
The interests of California’s family-scale farmers, particularly small, historically underserved, and urban farmers, are often obscured by powerful interests. For 45 years CAFF has tried to act as a megaphone for these farmers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. In more recent years we have increased our attention on addressing urban farmer needs through local, state, and federal policy in the form of crafting legislation, regulations, and engaging in implementing programs. CAFF seeks a Policy Advocate and Organizer to work directly with farmers, primarily urban farmers in Southern California, to advocate for a more equitable future for agriculture in the state. The Policy Advocate and Organizer will focus on organizing and lifting up the voices of urban farmers in the greater Los Angeles Region (with the opportunity to expand in future years). This position will be an important part of the Policy Team and will have a valuable role in organizing and listening to farmers in order to identify opportunities and challenges and articulate policy positions at the state, local, and federal levels. The Policy Advocate is expected to have a broad range of expertise and interest in a wide range of issues that affect farmers including access to land, water, capital, infrastructure, marketing, and climate change. Download our 2023 Policy Priorities: https://tinyurl.com/275s64ba.
The individual is also responsible for supporting statewide policy advocacy needs, policy leadership coordination, and more. A person who will excel in the position is skilled in relationship building and community, labor, or political organizing and has a strong passion for advocacy and racial equity in the agricultural system.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
Essential responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
% Time — Description
35% — Farmer organizing & engagement
- Establish and uphold relationships of accountability with farmers and connect them with resources and opportunities
- Help design and implement the CAFF policy platform by organizing and hosting farmer listening sessions, strategy workshops, & legislative farm tours
- Support district-level field visits between staff and CAFF farmer members and partners
- Develop communications material shared with farmer members and partners, including social media, blogs, action alerts, and fact sheets
35% — Policy Advocacy
- Cultivate relationships with key policymakers, staff, and agency officials
- Submit written comments, feedback, or positions on key policy opportunities on behalf of CAFF and our members at key decision making or stakeholder bodies
- Coordinate policy advocacy with active coalitions and networks
- Educate key decision makers around policies which impact small, underserved, and urban farmers
- Develop written reports on relevant policy priority issue areas
10% — Project Management
- Implement and adapt projects to ensure key project deliverables are met
- Design and implement innovative strategies to support organizing and engagement of farmers in various programs and leadership development opportunities
- Management of partner contracts and funds distribution (e.g. micro-awards or relief grants)
10% — Farmer Leadership Development
- Support with farmer leadership development and coalition facilitation needs
- Support monthly Policy Committee meetings and individual engagement of committee members
- Support policy education for farmers and a more formal policy leadership training program to form a stronger network of farmer policy advocates
10% — General
This person will be an important member of CAFF’s Policy Team and work closely with all members of the team on various projects. We expect all staff to:
- Represent CAFF by participating in community activities and events as necessary
- collaborate with CAFF staff on grant-writing, reporting, and fundraising as needed
- Participate in other administrative tasks as needed
- Participate in weekly all-staff meetings and annual all-staff gatherings
- Other duties as assigned
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.
Educational and Work Experience
- High school diploma or equivalent
- At least 2 years experience working in the agriculture and policy fields preferred, ideally with a nonprofit organization
- Experience in grassroots organizing, advocacy, or a related field
- Experience working with farmers in sustainable agriculture, or related fields preferred. However, more important than hands-in-the-dirt agricultural experience is a passion for food systems work and CAFF’s mission and values.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Bilingual, bicultural proficiency in Spanish preferred
- Strong facilitation and listening skills, brings an ability to build trusting relationships with a diverse community of stakeholders
- Strong attention to detail and accuracy
- Strong organizational skills with an ability to handle competing demands
- Effective written and oral communication skills in English
- Ability to work independently and remotely
- Ability to drive throughout the region and occasionally throughout the state
- Strong computer skills, including above average knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite, and Wordpress or similar
- Familiarity with and enthusiasm about social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube
- Willing and able to maintain strict confidentiality
- Desired experience: Salesforce and Adobe Creative Cloud
- 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.
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 sample of your work that you feel is relevant to this position with the subject line “Policy Advocate & Organizer Job” to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2023. Reference requests will be made further along in the application process.