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  • Stewardship Manager

  • Outreach Coordinator Internship

 

Position Title: Stewardship Manager                                    

Date: January 2023

Reports to: Executive Director

Status: Full-time, Salaried, includes benefits

Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) is a nonprofit land trust that protects our community’s working farms and forests, connects people to the land, and promotes a vibrant future for agriculture and forestry in the region.  The Stewardship Manager tracks, monitors and manages ASA’s portfolio of conservation easement properties, creates baseline documentation reports, and facilitates communication and relationship building with easement landowners.  The Stewardship Manager is also responsible for stewarding community lands owned and/or managed by ASA.  The Stewardship Manager will incorporate the practice and promotion of ASA’s core values, which include a passion for farmland and forestland conservation, respect, integrity, teamwork, accountability, problem solving, a “can do” attitude, confidentiality, professionalism and acting in the organization’s best interest.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

Conservation Easement Stewardship (~75% of time)

Manage all day-to-day easement stewardship activities for all conservation easements.  Ensure program meets or exceeds Land Trust Standards and Practices, Land Trust Accreditation, and Terrafirma requirements. This includes:

Monitoring Program

  • Maintain an updated and accurate list of conservation easement properties, including any amendments, and track, maintain and update easement landowner contact list;
  • Manage annual monitoring program including scheduling visits, and sending letters to all easement owners on the method (ground or aerial) and timing of visit, and follow-up letter after visit or flyover;
  • In conjunction with Easement Steward, conduct easement monitoring (both ground and aerial) and ensure each easement property is monitored once per calendar year and according to ASA’s monitoring policies and procedures;
  • Create written report for each site visit, enter visit into Conservation Connections, send follow up letter to easement landowner, copy report filing original for archives and copy for in-house files;
  • Review and manage any potential violations or questions with supervisor and according to ASA policies;
  • Track actions and resolution of any easement violations;
  • Send monitoring reports, summaries, etc. as applicable to organizations that have interest in property or requirement for funding (such as USDA NRCS easement projects);
  • Follow, review and make recommendations to ASA policies and procedures as it relates to easement monitoring program;
  • Assist with the creation of easement owner communication material;
  • Keep project managers and Executive Director informed on findings of monitoring visits; invite board members and staff to attend a few ground visits, as appropriate

Easement Landowner Relations

  • Establishes and maintains positive relationships and communications with easement landowners, including landowner’s caretakers, farm managers or agents, and organizational partners and any co-grantees on easements;
  • Corresponds with easement landowners regarding annual site visits, land transfers, easement interpretations, notifications/approvals regarding permitted uses and rights, and resource management/educational offerings;
  • Handles potential or actual violations, in coordination with Executive Director, ASA attorney and others as appropriate;
  • Coordinates annual questionnaire to easement landowners asking about planned activities and changes to the conserved properties and requests for programming topics and events;
  • Plans for 1 to 2 activities or programs a year to continue to engage with easement landowners and provide opportunities to build community among easement landowners

Baseline Documentation Reports

  • Manage baseline documentation reports needed for new conservation easement projects
  • In conjunction with Easement Steward, divide in-progress projects and create baseline documentation reports
  • Meet with project manager to review survey, land planning, areas to note, etc. Contact landowner or farm manager to schedule a site visit;
  • Meet with landowner or manager if possible to identify any known dumps, mining sites, recreational structures, or other features as well as electric fences or other aspects of the farm operation to be aware of;
  • Photograph the property, clearly identifying all structures, improvements and conservation values protected by the easement and collecting a GPS point for all photos;
  • Create maps, written description, copies of deeds, appraisal, soil descriptions for BDR
  • Meet with landowners to review and initial photos prior to easement closing. Create bound original copy of BDR for the grantor and ASA, create office copy.
  • Follow, review and make recommendations to ASA policies and procedures as it relates to baseline documentation reports
  • Provide updates/supplemental materials to baseline documentation reports as needed based on monitoring visits, amendments or violations to the easement

Cartography:

  • Produces maps utilizing GIS applications and GPS equipment for analysis and project facilitation, board and committee meetings, grant proposals, baseline documentation reports, marketing materials, farm tours, etc., as required.

Supervision:

  • The Stewardship Manager will work along side the Easement Steward as a team as part of their onboarding/training on ASA’s procedures. Once fully trained and has demonstrated the ability to manage the entire stewardship program, the Stewardship Manager will supervise the part-time Easement Steward position (which may become a Stewardship Associate or Assistant in the future).  The Stewardship Manager may also assist with supervising interns as it relates to the stewardship program.

Community Lands Management (~10 to 20% of time)

Manage all day-to-day activities for all community lands held and/or managed by ASA.  Ensure management meets or exceeds Land Trust Standards and Practices, Land Trust Accreditation, and Terrafirma requirements. This includes:

  • Leading or assisting with the creation, facilitation and implementation of community conservation projects, such as community forests (ex. Cambridge Community Forest).  Works with ASA staff, board, supporters, municipal officials, community members and donors to facilitate projects.  In partnership with applicable community support, creates and implements land management plans and assists with fundraising efforts, as appropriate;
  • Ensures annual monitoring and periodic assessment visits to all community lands to ensure safety of visitors, look for signs of encroachment, identify needed repairs to infrastructure, etc.  Complete monitoring forms, maps, photo documentation and identify new impacts, issues or threats to property and trails;
  • Recruit, train and retain volunteers and trail crews to assist with the ongoing management of community lands.  Provide supervision, motivation and direction to volunteers in land management and trails program to align with ASA’s strategic plan and objectives;
  • Oversee hiring of vendors and landscape businesses to assist with land management goals and seasonal upkeep, as needed.

Other Duties (~5-10%)

  • Participate in land protection team meetings and staff meetings by providing input, contributing to discussions, and participating in decision-making processes
  • Assist other stewardship staff and land staff with mapping, research and other activities as needed
  • Assist with Regional Navigator activities as requested
  • Assist with managing any gifts of real estate while in-process or held by ASA
  • Research and organize programs of interest to rural landowners and easement owners; assist with stewardship grant program work
  • Work with project managers to create archive and in-house records for each easement project
  • Add materials to archive facility in twice a year (typically August and February)
  • Assist with ASA’s fundraising efforts, including events and donor cultivation
    • Attend ASA board meetings and board committees, board/staff retreat, as requested
    • Assist with speaking engagements and presentations, as requested
    • Keep current on ASA’s mission, strategic plan, acquisitions and programs
    • Keep abreast of Land Trust Standards and Practices, Land Trust Accreditation, Terrafirma, and IRS requirements affecting your responsibilities at ASA
    • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director or supervisor

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree or combination of education and work experience in agricultural, forestry, natural resources management, ecology, environmental science or related fields
  • 1-3 years of conservation easement stewardship experience or applicable land management experience
  • Existing connections with farming community and service providers; understand agriculture in our service area
  • Proficient in GIS mapping software, strongly preferred; GPS proficiency is helpful
    • Proficient with Windows, Microsoft Office and Google Suites
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including conflict resolution
    • Excellent problem-solving skill and ability to work both independently and as part of a team
    • Strong organizational skills with a commitment to follow through and particular attention to detail
    • Ability to build and maintain strong working relationships with staff, supervisor(s), board members, landowners, government partners, donors, volunteers and other stakeholders
    • Field experience and ability to work long hours in challenging outdoor conditions
    • Physical fitness to walk several miles at a time and ability to negotiate difficult terrain
    • Photography skills a plus
    • Valid driver’s license, insured and reliable transportation

ATTRIBUTES

  • Strong passion for working landscapes, community lands, and commitment to ASA’s mission and success
  • Flexible
  • Diplomatic
    • Willingness to learn and develop new skills
    • Ability to work on multiple tasks with interruptions in an energetic environment. Work well under pressure
    • Organized, independent and reliable
      • Inspires trust and is able to keep sensitive information confidential
      • Is able to work effectively in rural and urban communities
      • Strong work ethic and focused on success
      • Demonstrates high integrity and commitment to goals
      • Demonstrates strong problem-solving attributes: drive, energy and creativity
      • Enjoys working alone and as part of a team
      • Enjoys and deploys an appropriate sense of humor
      • Demonstrate sensitivity to, and respect for, diversity, equity and inclusion
      • Must be aligned with ASA’s mission and be committed to all forms of local agriculture that provides food on the table, protection of natural resources and affords dignified livelihoods to community members while addressing pressing problems of climate change, agricultural viability and food security

WORK ENVIRONMENT

  • This position is approximately 60% office work and 40% field work, typical hours are 9-5 Mon-Fri with flexible schedule options.  Evening or weekend work is occasionally required. Must be able to travel to site visits and meetings and the occasional conference/training.

PHYSICAL FACTORS

  • Requires ability to work in different environments, including spending up to 8 hours in the office at a computer, on the phone or in meetings with intermittent walking, standing, bending, squatting, and climbing stairs.  Requires ability to walk/hike on varied terrain on farms and in forests, to carry equipment and supplies, and possibly work in inclement weather.

Compensation and Benefits:  $45k-$55k depending on experience and qualifications.  ASA offers health, dental, vision and life insurance; Cafeteria plan for dependent care and health care reimbursements; retirement contributions; paid vacation, sick and holiday time.

How to Apply:  Email resume and cover letter to jim@agstewardship.org with “Stewardship Manager” in the subject line, or mail to Agricultural Stewardship Association, 2531 State Route 40, Greenwich, NY 12834.  No phone calls, no walk-ins, no recruiters.  Position is open until filled.

Additional Information:  Candidates must be prepared to provide at least three professional references and undergo a background check.  1st round interviews to be conducted in-person or via Zoom.  Those invited to a 2nd round interview will be in-person.

ASA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization and in land conservation.  People of color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

 

Position Title: Outreach Coordinator                                   

Date: January 2023

Reports to: Communications and Outreach Manager

Status: Internship

The Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) is a nonprofit land trust located in Greenwich, NY.  Our mission is to protect the community’s working farms and forests, connect people to the land, and promote a vibrant future for agriculture and forestry in the region. Since 1990, ASA has conserved 162 farms totaling 28,794 acres of land and one -140-acre community forest.                                                                                              

Historically, our focus has been assisting farmers and woodland landowners to conserve their land using voluntary land protection agreements that limit future development while remaining in the ownership of these local families. Over the past several years we have been exploring other ways we might implement our mission while supporting our community to ensure that people, no matter where they live or whether they own land, can benefit from land conservation in a way that is meaningful to them.

ASA is pleased to offer one paid summer internship opportunity to provide assistance with projects and programs focusing on community engagement in Rensselaer and Washington counties. This may include coordinating outreach programming to implement ASA’s strategic community engagement plan, assisting with outreach and fundraising efforts for community lands projects, and working on summer events, including our Forever Farmland Supper.  The summer intern will be supervised by ASA’s Communication and Outreach Manager and spend the majority of his or her time working at ASA’s office with periodic site visits and fieldwork.

The Outreach Coordinator intern position is designed for an undergraduate student to gain hands-on experience. The intern will provide assistance at ASA programs and events as well as general office support in a fast-paced nonprofit environment. The position is ideal for a student interested in community engagement, educational programming for diverse audiences, event planning, and conservation work.  The intern will primarily work on the following: 1) assist with implementing aspects of the Strategic Community Engagement Plan; 2) assist with ASA outreach programs and events, including the Forever Farmland Supper; 3) provide research and coordination on community conservation work; and 4) provide general support for the office and other staff, as time permits.

Examples of Possible Intern Tasks:

  • Assist with, and develop programs related to, ASA’s Strategic Community Engagement Plan (in process now, but could include, helping to create community lands, leading a farm tour, facilitating a program for those with mobility or cognitive challenges, creation of a wood bank, etc.)
  • Help with outreach and fundraising for the Cambridge Community Forest or other community lands projects
  • Work with volunteers and local experts to research the natural history of the Cambridge Community Forest and develop educational materials
  • Assist with the preparation of ASA’s “Forever Farmland Supper” event

Requirements:

  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate program (and must have completed at least one year by end of Spring 2023) or a graduate program;
  • Understanding of, and enthusiastic interest in, the mission of ASA;
  • Demonstrated strong organizational, research, and project management skills;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite;
  • Ability to sit and work on a computer up to 8 hours a day; ability to walk in the woods over varied terrain;
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transport.  Willingness to travel with mileage reimbursement included; and
  • Experience with offering  working forests, community conservation, land management, a plus

Employment Terms:

  • $15/hr and ability to work 4-5 days a week for 32-40 hours per week which may include an occasional evening or weekend, or as arranged in advance; and
  • Ability to work between early June and mid-August or as arranged in advance.

If you have any questions about ASA’s summer 2023 internship opportunity, and/or would like to apply for the internship, please submit a resume and cover letter to Katie Jilek, Communications and Outreach Manager, at katie@agstewardship.org.  Resumes and cover letters must be received by March 27th, 2023, by 11:55 pm for consideration.  A select group of candidates will be interviewed starting in early April either in person or by phone.

ASA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization and in land conservation. People of color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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