Careers at Farm Aid

Farm Aid is Hiring

We are seeking staff to join our small but mighty team.
No phone calls please. Thank you!

Residency near Farm Aid’s office in Cambridge, MA is preferred for this position, but we are open to requests for hybrid or remote work arrangements.

POLICY & ADVOCACY MANAGER (click the down arrow to the left for full details)

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Policy & Advocacy Manager

Posted: January 30, 2023

Overview and Organizational Summary
Farm Aid’s mission is to cultivate a vibrant and just, family farm-centered system of agriculture in the United States. With a social change orientation, conviction about the importance of family farmers, and a broad cultural platform, Farm Aid catalyzes and offers creative ways to champion farmers, inspire civic engagement and leverage our position to influence positive change in our agricultural and cultural landscape. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price host an annual food and farm festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s year-round work. Since 1985, through the generosity of the artists who contribute their performances each year, Farm Aid has raised more than $70 million to support our programs that help farmers thrive, grow the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

Farm Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with diverse expertise, assets and activities spanning entertainment and music, food business, grant making, direct service to farmers, grassroots movement building, and serving as a convener and coalition partner with aligned organizations for raising public awareness and influencing public policy. Farm Aid achieves its mission by:

  • Amplifying the voices of family farmers to bring attention to the challenges they face and the benefits they bring to all of us;
  • Connecting farmers to resources and opportunities;
  • Championing and Celebrating family farmers, good food and the culture of agriculture, in which we all can participate;
  • Inspiring and Empowering farmers and nonfarmers to participate in a democratic, just and sustainable farm and food system; and
  • Investing talent, time and money in efforts that affect positive change in the farm and food system, especially the cultivation of collective power among agricultural and cultural communities.

Farm Aid’s vision—of a transformed America in which family farmers and eaters are partners in a thriving farm and food system that benefits all—is not possible without actively being part of the struggle for racial equity and justice. We are on an active journey of taking stronger action to end racism in our society and in our farm and food system.

Deeply rooted and at a time of exciting growth, Farm Aid seeks a Policy & Advocacy Manager to cultivate change in our farm and food systems.

Job Summary & Purpose
The Policy & Advocacy Manager serves as Farm Aid’s lead researcher, analyst and translator of farm and food issues to inform, engage and activate Farm Aid’s audience in efforts that affect positive change. The Policy & Advocacy Manager reports to the Communications Director and collaborates with other staff members, especially the program and communications teams, to translate policy concepts into actionable knowledge. A skilled collaborator, relationship builder and communicator, the Policy & Advocacy Manager will center family farmers and their experiences; build collaborative and supportive relationships with Farm Aid partner organizations and officials in Washington, DC; support farmer activism and collective action; and thoughtfully manage and organize complex events and processes.

The Policy & Advocacy Manager is expected to:

  1. Guide and manage Farm Aid’s advocacy program, maximizing Farm Aid’s impact as a national cultural organization to engage a broad coalition in support of policies that strengthen family farmers and family farm agriculture.
  2. Steward Farm Aid’s engagement and collaboration with partners and the broader advocacy and policy community, elevating the grassroots efforts of farm, rural, food and other organizations to build the capacity of farmers, grassroots leaders and campaigns for change.
  3. Expand and deepen Farm Aid’s ability to measure the impact of its advocacy efforts, ensuring Farm Aid’s platform is leveraged for positive systemic change.
  4. Design and execute campaigns and calls to action that engage Farm Aid’s community.

Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities
Program Development & Management (~65%)

  • Design and implement an effective advocacy program, guiding issue priorities and strategies for maximum reach and influence, including collaboration with Farm Aid communications, program and other staff.
  • Serve as the principal researcher and analyst on issues and federal policies (and to a lesser degree, state policies) affecting family farmers, especially those related to corporate concentration, farm income and access to credit, racial equity in agriculture, and climate change.
  • Engage with partner organizations and other groups to help strategize and formulate key events, efforts and proposals for systemic change. Convene working groups and participate in committees and coalitions hosted by other organizations to represent Farm Aid and the organization’s policy priorities.
  • Build capacity, empower, collaborate and work to make structural change by serving as one of Farm Aid’s primary liaisons to family farm, rural, food, and other organizations, leaders and coalitions for the purpose of bringing forward key advocacy, organizing and communications opportunities.
  • Research and monitor development of policy issues and information, bringing decisions and updates to other staff as necessary for their areas of work. Help the team identify specific strategic priorities within the issue and communicate opportunities to Farm Aid’s audience.
  • Serve as the lead content creator on policies and issues to engage multiple audiences, producing blog posts, action alerts, public comments, backgrounders, fact sheets, opinion pieces and other publications as needed.
  • Serve as an ambassador and represent Farm Aid as opportunities arise at conferences and workshops, with policymakers, media etc.

Program Evaluation and Impact Assessment (~15%):

  • In partnership with the Communications Director and other staff, design and implement an evaluation framework to assess the strengths of Farm Aid’s advocacy and program—both its process and outcomes—and identify gaps or areas for improvement.
  • Create internal systems and processes to efficiently review advocacy efforts and materials, track progress, and create effective reports and regular communications to convey the impact of Farm Aid’s advocacy and our role as a change agent in the food and farm system landscape. Utilize storytelling to show how change is made in the farm and food system through collective action.

General and Festival (~20%)

  • Engage in planning and implementation of annual festival programming and event functions in general, with emphasis on engaging Farm Aid audiences in advocacy activities.
  • Participate in staff meetings, reviews, planning retreats and other related activities in support of organizational goals.
  • Other duties as time and interest allows.

Required Qualifications

  • 2+ years’ experience working in the policy arena, with knowledge of the mechanisms and processes of pursuing policy change; agricultural policy focus preferred.
  • Agricultural experience and interest, including working on a farm or in some aspect of agriculture, agricultural education, and/or experience in agricultural policy advocacy / civic engagement.
  • Relationship-building skills for effective community engagement, programs and campaigns for social change; ability to work collaboratively and utilize conflict management skills with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Strong research and analytic skills for – policy investigation and synthesizing and communicating complex information for diverse audiences.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and building relationships with BIPOC communities. Must have an understanding of structural racism and how it impacts agriculture and the food system.
  • Demonstrated commitment to economic justice. Must have an understanding of corporate concentration in farming and food and the economic role of independent family farmers.
  • Strong skills in using, managing, and understanding various computer programs, including Google Suite, Microsoft Office Suite. Experience and/or aptitude for learning and effectively using tech platforms for civic engagement.
  • Experience with and/or interest in event planning and implementation, particularly as it relates to our annual festival.
  • Willingness for local, regional and national travel up to 10% of time, including for annual festival on site location.

Pay & Benefits
The salary range for this position is $57,000 – 64,000.

Benefits include 100% health insurance premium coverage (for up to full family coverage, ranging in value of up to $30K+ annually depending on family size); 20 days (4 weeks) of paid vacation; 10 days paid sick and excused time; 2 civic engagement days; 11 holidays & general office closure from December 24 through January 1; option to participate in company IRA, FSA and Employee Assistance plans; longevity bonus program rewarding each year of service and a paid, twelve-week sabbatical after seven years of service; as well as an exciting work environment with smart, passionate people seeking to make change in our food and farm system.

Farm Aid is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Farm Aid recognizes that people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. If you feel passionate about our mission and believe that you have the skills and valuable perspective to contribute to the growth of our organization, we encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or have a less traditional background. We believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone and encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the farm and food movement.

Farm Aid is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any team member or candidate because of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law.

How To Apply:

If you are passionate about our mission and believe that you have the skills and valuable perspective to contribute to the growth of our organization, we’d love to hear from you!

  • Submit your complete application to with “Policy & Advocacy Manager” in the subject line. In the email, please include your personal pronouns for how you like to be addressed and attach the enclosures listed below. Note that incomplete applications may not be reviewed. Enclosures include:
    • a cover letter indicating where you learned of this opportunity and highlighting your experience, skills and interests relevant to the position and listed qualifications
    • a current resume, and
    • a writing sample or example of relevant work
    • We will accept and consider applications on a rolling basis and seek to make a hire in winter/spring 2023.
    • Farm Aid will confirm receipt of your application. We will reach out further only if you are being considered as a candidate for the position.

Farm Aid is an equal opportunity employer and as such, we do not discriminate against any team member or candidate because of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, or any other basis protected by law. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

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