Location: Saratoga Springs, NY

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 is a national organization dedicated to saving the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.  Since our founding, AFT has helped protect more than 6 million acres of farmland and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.  AFT’s New York State office was established in 1990 as the state is home to some of the most threatened farmland in the nation.

The New York Policy Associate position offers an exciting opportunity to help carry out the policy agenda of a growing, forward-looking agricultural conservation organization. The Policy Associate will work closely with the New York Policy Manager, the AFT Policy team, consultants and external partners to advocate for policies and programs that save the land that sustains us, including:

  • Permanently protecting farmland in New York;
  • Supporting a new generation of farmers in finding land and getting started in farming in New York;
  • Building the ability for public institutions, like K-12 schools, to increase their purchasing of NY grown, fresh and minimally processed food;
  • Accelerating siting of renewable energy to support farm businesses while protecting productive farmland; and
  • Helping farmers mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The Policy Associate will support broader efforts to develop and grow these programs. They will have the opportunity to work across teams within AFT’s New York Office, as well as with external partners including farmers, landowners, agricultural professionals, and institutional leaders.

Duties & Responsibilities

The New York Policy Associate’s duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Attending and participating in advocacy meetings including handling scheduling; assisting with the preparation of materials, agenda, and presentations; notetaking during meetings; and supporting follow-up communications;
  • Coordinating event logistics for advocacy days, such as scheduling meetings, reserving event space, coordinating catering;
  • Organizing signatures from partner organizations for letters of support for key policies and programs;
  • Drafting emails and event invitations to key state leaders and lawmakers;
  • Assisting with policy research among a growing portfolio, including farm to institution, farmland protection, farmland access, renewable energy siting, and soil health initiatives that help farmers combat climate change;
  • Helping to coordinate programs for a diversity of stakeholders across multiple formats, such as webinars, networking events, and educational workshops;
  • Responding to email and phone inquiries from farmers, landowners, organizations, and the public;
  • Assisting with coordinating internal meetings and communications to ensure timely completion of program activities;
  • Helping to build farmer engagement with advancing AFT’s policy agenda by phone or email and attending conferences with the Policy Manager;
  • Assisting with content development and delivery for social media campaigns, virtual lobby days, regular email updates, and other digital communications; and
  • Supporting the development and drafting of stories of farmers and others that are engaged in AFT’s programs.
  • Other duties as assigned.


The New York Policy Associate must be outgoing and energetic, organized, a good researcher, and capable of working well independently as well as part of a team.

The Policy Associate will need to be comfortable regularly interacting with a diverse audience – including elected officials and their staff; state leaders; farmers; organizations in the agricultural, environmental, school, public health, and renewable energy sectors; and others.  Additional qualifications include:

  • Work experience equivalent or degree in political science, policy, agriculture, environment, natural resource planning, food systems or related fields;
  • Excellent research skills and the ability to summarize difficult concepts succinctly;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple tasks, stay organized and ability to work independently;
  • Facility with Microsoft Office is required;
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Sharepoint and Teams a plus.
  • Additional computer skills, including experience with web design, Salsa, social media or GIS are preferred;
  • Familiarity with State and/or Local policy-making process; and
  • Willingness to undertake limited work travel by car.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and background.  AFT provides a full and generous benefits package.

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.