JOB OPENINGS

POLICY DIRECTOR      Click to Download a PDF

ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND

Organic Farmers Association works to provide a strong and unified national voice for domestic certified organic producers. We strive to build and support a farmer-led national organic farmer movement and national policy platform by developing and advocating policies that benefit organic farmers; strengthening and supporting the capacity of organic farmers and farm organizations; supporting collaboration and leadership among state, regional and national organic farmer organizations; and collaborating with other organic organizations. OFA is farmer-led and controlled, making sure that farmers drive the organization’s policy positions and provide an authentic voice for organic farmers in Washington, D.C.  OFA envisions a future where organic agriculture is the basis of a viable United States food and agricultural policy and production system. Since our founding in 2016, OFA has developed a strong policy platform that captures the policy priorities of organic farmers.  Our annual grassroots policy development process keeps our policy work current and focused on what farmers need most.

POSITION OVERVIEW
Organic Farmers Association is seeking a Policy Director to lead our farmer-driven policy program, including conducting in-depth analysis of federal policy and programs and developing and coordinating legislative and regulatory campaigns to ensure the programs effectively support the needs of organic farmers. This position offers a great opportunity for the right candidate to interact with deeply committed, expert organic farmers across the United States and make sure their policy priorities are communicated to federal agency staff, political officials, non-profit partners and other diverse stakeholders.

This is a part-time, independent contractor position. OFA’s administrative office is in Spirit Lake, Iowa, but this position is fully remote. DC-based candidates are strongly encouraged, but not required. The Policy Director collaborates closely with the Executive Director.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Staff the Policy Committee and solicit feedback from the Policy Committee on issues that require discussion or decision making.  Facilitate the annual grassroots policy development process and coordinate our annual DC Lobby Days. 
  • Monitor and analyze federal legislative and regulatory policy as it pertains to organic farming and how well USDA programs (particularly technical assistance, cost share, crop insurance, research,  and conservation programs) serve organic farmers.
  • Develop written positions/comments/recommendations/issue briefs on key federal policy and programs to support the priorities of organic farmers in line with OFA’s policy platform.
  • Advance organic as a key component to climate mitigation and adaptation in federal policy.
  • Represent OFA at meetings with policymakers, producer groups, and coalition partners.
  • Position OFA as a reliable farmer resource for Capitol Hill, USDA, and other agency staff, and for the National Organic Standards Board.
  • Cultivate diverse partnerships with NGOs, policymakers, businesses, academic institutions, and other organizations to advance policy goals and develop new programs and partnership initiatives.
  • Write monthly policy updates for the OFA e-news and quarterly digital magazine, Organic Voice.
  • Keep the Executive Director, Governing Council, Policy Committee, and staff apprised of current and upcoming policy issues.  
  • Manage grassroots advocacy organizing efforts such as action alerts.
  • Design and implement activities to increase organic farmer engagement on policy issues.
  • Contribute to OFA’s presence on social media through frequent sharing of relevant news and original posts on OFA’s policy work.
  • Other duties as identified by the OFA Leadership Team.

QUALIFICATIONS

Skills

  • Minimum of 3 years of professional experience in a similar role.
  • A masters, JD, or another relevant degree is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge about organic agriculture, food systems, and climate change.
  • Deep understanding of federal legislative and regulatory processes.
  • Ability to think strategically about the application of research and research policy to support the organization’s goals.
  • Demonstrated track record of managing people, projects, and deadlines that deliver results.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Qualities

  • Ability to interface with a diverse section of organic farmers from different commodities, markets, sizes, and regions in a clear, positive, and engaging manner. Demonstrated ability to show initiative, achieve goals, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Candidates not based in Washington, DC must be willing to travel there as needed.
  • Must be able to work independently as well as on a team.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to occasional conferences, meetings, and other OFA events. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to build collegial relationships with researchers, policymakers, farmers, donors, and other partners.
  • Willingness to be part of a small but impactful team that advances the overall goals and activities of the organization.
  • Strong commitment to the mission, values, and goals of OFA.

COMPENSATION and BENEFITS

Compensation starts at $45k depending on experience and location. Because this is an independent contractor position, it does not include benefits, nor is it classified as an employee-employer relationship.  OFA provides a great work environment with a collaborative and passionate team and flexibility. We look for team members who share our passion for viable, independent, real organic farms.

TO APPLY
Submit your complete packet with “POLICY DIRECTOR APPLICATION” in the subject line via email to jobs@organicfarmersassociation.org. All qualified applicants should submit:

  1. A cover letter stating your interest and qualifications
  2. A resume outlining your skills and experience
  3. Compensation requirement

DEADLINE:   July 15, 2022 (or until the position has been filled)

Please visit www.OrganicFarmersAssociation.org to learn more.

Organic Farmers Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We believe a diverse workplace is crucial to the success of our organization and to a strong organic farming movement.  We strive to create a safe and supportive office culture and workplace that encourages racial and social equity. OFA has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind, and we encourage all qualified applicants to apply no matter their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran, or disability status.

INTERNSHIPS

Internship Project Description

Timeline:  Fall Semester;  Spring Semester; Summer

Goal:  Improve outreach to U.S. certified organic farmers about the Organic Farmers Association and build leadership capacity within this membership to better participate in the national grassroots policy process and increase knowledge of policy issues.

Activities:

  • Identify states with active organic farmer membership and identify areas of potential membership gains. Support membership growth activities.
  • Focus outreach on the areas where we have high probability of gaining new members by creating tailored communications pieces featuring policy issues, information about local politicians and organic policy, and tailored messaging for the region.
  • Schedule and coordinate 2 policy webinars: one geared towards organizations and one geared to farmers.
  • Write 1-2 articles to be used in future publications or blogs.
  • Coordinate the winter conference farmer outreach, by identifying winter conferences that will provide the most connections with organic farmers and the materials needed to best educate and engage them.
  • Help build out policy campaign education content on our websites.
  • Support monthly e-news communication with our membership.
  • Conduct policy research on key issues or questions that help advance OFA policy priorities.
  • Work on additional outreach to members and potential members such as social media posts, website updates, print mailings and more.

Measure for Success: 

We will measure the number of membership renewals and new members joining over this 16-week period as well as the quality of written content and online use and distribution.

Knowledge & Skills Expected to be Gained:

  • Learn tools for member engagement and outreach focused on the busy organic farmer audience.
  • Analyze farm policy and organic rulemaking and make that information accessible to a wide audience.
  • Gain an understanding of the U.S. agricultural agencies, Congress, and rule-making.
  • Gain an understanding of the diversity of U.S. organic agriculture and the cultural differences among regions of the U.S.

To Apply: 

Send a cover letter and resume to info@organicfarmersassociation.org

ABOUT ORGANIC FARMERS ASSOCIATION

The mission of the Organic Farmers Association is to provide a strong and unified national voice for domestic certified organic producers. With the purpose to build and support a farmer-led national organic farmer movement and national policy platform by: developing and advocating policies that benefit organic farmers; strengthening and supporting the capacity of organic farmers and farm organizations; and supporting collaboration and leadership among state, regional, and national organic farmer organizations. Learn more at OrganicFarmersAssociation.org.