California Policy Manager

American Farmland Trust

Sacramento, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $75,000 to $85,000 based upon experience.

Job Details



Job Location

Sacramento, California - Sacramento , CA

Position Type

Full Time

Salary Range$75,000.00 - $85,000.00 Salary/yearDescription

Who We Are

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and helped thousands of farm families make a go of it (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities.

The Position

Join our team as the California Policy Manager, where you'll report to the California Regional Director and take charge in driving policies and programs aimed at preserving agricultural land, fostering regenerative agricultural practices, and ensuring farmers remain on their land. As a pivotal representative of American Farmland Trust (AFT), you'll engage with legislative and administrative leaders to propel our state policy agenda forward. Your role will involve coordinating AFT's engagement in coalitions, support AFT’s National Agricultural Land Network (NALN), and help build the capacity of agricultural land trusts in the state. If you're passionate about agricultural sustainability and policy advocacy, we want to hear from you!

Duties and Responsibilities:

Legislative and Administrative Policy:

  • Conduct research and help develop AFT’s policy agenda for California
  • Cultivate relationships with policymakers and their staff
  • Advocate on relevant state legislation, budgets, and administrative or regulatory policies with state agencies, legislators and other public officials
  • Collaborate and contribute to AFT’s national policy policies as appropriate and leverage these efforts to support California’s policy agenda

Strategic Partnerships and Coalition Building:

  • Organize and lead lobby days, briefings, workshops and meetings to advance AFT’s policy agenda
  • Represent AFT at policy conferences, hearings, and other forums as appropriate
  • Coordinate the Alliance for California Agricultural Land including the development and execution of a coalition policy strategy.

Land Trust Capacity Building

  • Coordinate and facilitate agricultural land protection trainings, peer networking and direct assistance for the agricultural land trust community including developing training programs with the National Agricultural Land Network


  • Help produce communications materials, white papers and policy briefs relevant to AFT’s policy agenda and land trust capacity building
  • As needed, communicate with the media, AFT members, and the public, on policy initiatives, including through social media
  • Contribute to federal policy briefs, white papers, and policy recommendations


  • Provide input on fundraising materials, and attend key funder meetings
  • Pursue funding opportunities identified by AFT to support ongoing policy work


  • Develop and manage the annual state policy budget and workplan related deliverables process and other project budgets as needed
  • Provide regular comprehensive state policy updates and recommendations to relevant AFT staff, as appropriate



  • Knowledge of California agricultural issues, land use policy, land protection, land access, and resource conservation issues
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Direct experience with farming and ranching and/or agricultural conservation easements and land protection desirable but not necessary
  • Creativity and open minded willingness to grow professionally
  • Ability to think critically and strategically
  • Confident self starter and team player
  • Well organized and disciplined
  • Ability to understand and communicate complex issues quickly
  • Sound judgment, discretion and ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Competency in Office 365, including Microsoft Teams and other web based applications to ensure maximization of team connectivity.

Education & Experience

A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 years of related work experience in agriculture and environmental issues, city and regional planning, land protection and land use planning, law, public policy, political science, or other field relevant to policy advocacy and coalition development

Working Conditions

The position is remote within California with a preference for the incumbent to be located in or nearby the Sacramento region; and/or ability to travel to Sacramento on a regular basis (at least quarterly, or perhaps more frequently in peak times). Occasional work in the evenings or on weekends may be required to meet deadlines.


The position requires travel to attend conferences and events, conduct partner and community outreach, and host workshops, approximately 10 to 20% of the time, depending on location.


American Farmland Trust offers excellent vacation, medical, retirement and other benefits. The salary range for this position is from $75,000 to $85,000 based upon experience.

American Farmland Trust offers a complete benefits package:

  • Medical & Prescription Coverage
  • Dental Coverage
  • Vision Coverage
  • Company Paid Life Insurance & Long-Term Disability (LTD)
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Healthcare & Dependent Care
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • 401(k) with 10% match after six months of employment
  • Sick Leave: Regular full time employees accrue 3.5 hours per pay period (13 “sick days” per year).
  • Vacation Leave: Accrue 15 days during the first year increasing by one day per year to 20 days per year
  • Holidays: The Company observes eleven holidays during the year (all offices closed): plus, choice of 3 other floating holidays depending on hiring date

Why you should apply:

  • Be a part of a purpose-driven, committed, knowledgeable, high-performing, experienced and fun team
  • A diverse and inclusive work environment
  • A cause and mission you can be proud of
  • Competitive compensation & benefits
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling


Applications must include a resume AND cover letter to be considered. Applications will be accepted until the role is filled.

We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day. Please see AFT’s statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.

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Category Admin & Leadership, Land Trust, Policy And Law
Tags Outreach, Sustainable Agriculture