Location: Sacramento, CA

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. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. 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 supported thousands of farm families. Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities. 

American Farmland Trust (AFT) created the conservation agriculture movement, which speaks for the land—and for the people who grow our food. As the movement’s leaders, we have three priorities: protecting agricultural land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land.

The California Program Assistant reports directly to the California Conservation and Stewardship Program Manager and will work in the Sacramento, California office. Occasional travel in the San Joaquin Valley and the greater Bay Area may be required in order to advance AFT’s mission of protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Program Assistant will work with AFT staff on a variety of programs, including:

  • Farmers Combat Climate Change – Quantifying the Economic and Environmental Outcomes of Soil Health Management Systems: producing “case studies” that highlight individual farmers’ experiences implementing healthy soils practices.
  • Farms for a New Generation: Underserved Farmer Outreach Program, and Women for the Land, providing traditionally underserved farmers with technical and financial assistance information.
  • San Joaquin Land and Water Strategy, working with partners to protect the most resilient farmland and promote groundwater infiltration and irrigation efficiency.

The California Program Assistant will work closely with AFT California staff in the implementation and execution of all program deliverables including administrative and outreach operations, farmer and landowner outreach, and program coordination.  The position is full time and is located at AFT’s Sacramento office.  Occasional travel is required throughout the state (approximately 10%-20% of work hours).

For more information about American Farmland Trust: www.farmland.org

For more information about AFT’s California Programs: www.farmland.org/California

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Support AFT staff in managing AFT programs and projects.
  • Assist with the organization and logistics of workshops, meetings, and conferences throughout the state.
  • Maintain databases of participants in workshops and programs and perform periodic follow-up to determine implementation of practices.
  • Work with the CA and national communications team to provide program updates to be shared on social media.
  • Work with Conservation and Stewardship Program Manager to evaluate and implement potential conservation easement or groundwater recharge projects.
  • Assist the California Project Manager to prepare soil health management systems economic case studies, and conduct workshops for ag service providers. This work may entail interviewing farmers, compiling research about costs, and use of USDA NTT and NRCS COMET tools.
  • Assist Farms for a New Generation Program Manager with planning and coordination of the Underserved Farmer Outreach Program workshop series.
  • Assist Conservation and Stewardship Program Manager with groundwater recharge and irrigation efficiency demonstration projects, including site visits, partner coordination, and research.
  • Perform other duties as assigned, such as outreach to farmers and partners, preparing and editing reports, and attend public events as a representative of AFT.
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as budget monitoring, and work planning.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


The California Program Assistant must be highly organized, a capable problem solver, and able to work collaboratively with staff from AFT and outside organizations.  He/she must be highly motivated with strong interpersonal skills. Creativity and strong communication skills are essential. Other qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant water resource management, agricultural, and/or natural resource management discipline.
  • A minimum of 2 years of related work experience in agriculture, community education and outreach, or a related field
  • Sensitive to the needs of underserved communities
  • Experience working collaboratively within partnerships including farmers, researchers, public agencies, and others.
  • Excellent organizational, verbal, and written communication skills
  • Computer and word processing skills: Microsoft Access, Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  • Highly motivated self-starter
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with the public and staff
  • Detail-oriented and demonstrated commitment to high-quality professional work
  • Must be flexible, and be able to work with periodic supervision, independently and as part of a team
  • Courteous, outgoing and positive personality
  • Knowledgeable about the programs and activities of the American Farmland Trust
  • Basic computer skills including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and remote meeting/presentation software.
  • Basic GIS skills are a plus.
  • Bilingual in Spanish is a plus.


American Farmland Trust pays salaries that are competitive with nonprofits of our budget size and offers meaningful vacation, medical, retirement, and other benefits.

Application Deadline January 10, 2020.

If you are eager to join our team, please visit this page to apply.

Please submit a cover letter with a resume for consideration.

American Farmland Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the organization has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.