Director of Farmland Access and Education

Website Southside Community Land Trust

Organization Overview – For 36 years, Southside Community Land Trust has been building a fair and sustainable local food system in Rhode Island by:

-offering access to land in community gardens, urban farms and rural farms
-providing training and technical assistance to beginning farmers
educating people of all ages about diet and nutrition, agriculture and the environment
-providing low-cost agricultural resources and support to community and backyard gardeners and beginning farmers

SCLT was founded in 1981 when residents of South Providence and newly arrived Hmong refugees worked with three Brown University graduates to grow culturally familiar, nutritious food in the area’s first community garden. Somerset Garden not only improved residents’ diets and economic self-reliance, it stabilized a neighborhood weakened by arson, neglect and crime.

Today, SCLT leases land to 25 farmers who supply fresh fruits and vegetables to 13 farmers markets, roughly 100 food businesses and restaurants and six CSAs. We also own and manage 21 community gardens in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, and partner with schools, housing and community organizations to manage another 37. We operate three production farms in Providence and Pawtucket where we practice, demonstrate and train others in bio-intensive, small-scale agricultural production. We helped found three farmers markets as well as three growers’ collaboratives that enable individual farmers to bring their produce to market. In 2017, we provided training and technical assistance to 119 beginning farmers and provided education and employment to 225 young people in low-income communities.

Position Overview – SCLT is looking for an experienced professional who can develop, execute and oversee our farmland access and education programs.  This is a senior leadership position which reports to the Executive Director.

Job Duties

Execute and Expand SCLT’s Farmland Access Strategy

·       Move all current SCLT garden and farm development projects through the funding and predevelopment stages. Complete all due diligence including appraisals and surveys, work to ensure clear titles, negotiate and close on purchase agreements, conservation easements, and other funding as needed.

·       Develop a new rural farmland access model for the organization in order to provide more farmers with access to larger farms. Identify existing and new land access and conservation programs and fund sources. Identify criteria and detail a process for farm and farmer selection. Outline the technical, financial or other assistance needs likely required for farmer success and develop programs or partnerships that can help to meet these needs.

·       Facilitate the Land Access Workgroup – a taskforce made up of multiple public and non-profit organizations working collaboratively to develop programs and influence policies that will expand farmland access in Rhode Island.

Program Management – Oversee implementation of multiple programs including Beginning Farmer Training, Youth Employment and Education, Pawtucket/Central Falls Expansion.

·       Work with SCLT development team to identify and pursue grants or other funding opportunities to ensure sufficient resources for program execution and planned growth.

·       Provide supervision for two staff people and up to four temporary or seasonal employees or interns including; developing annual work plans, coordinating staff resources and schedules with SCLT’s Director of Operations and Executive Director, facilitating regular program staff and annual planning meetings.

·       Maintain system for outcome measurement and ensure its appropriate use by all program staff for all programs as needed. Manage SCLT’s new program evaluation initiative.

·       Develop and oversee agreements, budgets and relationships with external partners.

·       Develop new programs that advance SCLT’s mission, are financially sustainable and operationally feasible, and leverage both internal investments and external partners.

·       Represent SCLT at conferences, on panels, and within numerous networks and workgroups.



·       Bachelor’s Degree minimum.  Master’s Degree preferred.

·       Experience in farmland development and farm management.

·       Track record of successfully completing farmland development projects.

·       Five or more years of professional land trust and sustainable agriculture-related experience.

·       Successful grant writing experience.

·       Familiarity with federal land conservation and agricultural grant programs.

·       Ability to develop work plans, project budgets, assemble project teams and manage projects.

·       Two or more years of experience successfully managing multiple reporting relationships.

·       Experience with outcome tracking and grant reporting – ideally working on federal grants.

·       Experience with program evaluation.

·       Experience developing and managing new and expanding programs.

·       Interpersonal skills – ability to negotiate and build trust with funders, landowners, farmers, members, program partners, direct reports and co-workers.

·       Ability to meet deadlines and work within budget constraints.

·       Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines.

·       Strong verbal and written communication skills.

·       Proficiency in internet research and all standard office software – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email.

·       Valid driver’s license.


Schedule – 40 hours per week (full time).  This position requires occasional weekend and evening availability.

The Director of Farmland Access and Education must positively and professionally represent SCLT in community and regional collaborations and with many of our constituents and partners.  The successful applicant will be inspired by the work, interested in serving the public, motivated to go the extra mile, and respectful of different points of view.

Minority and bilingual applicants are strongly encouraged. SCLT is an equal opportunity employer. Salary is flexible, commensurate with experience. SCLT offers health and dental benefits, a comp-time program and generous vacation package.

To apply, please address cover letter and resume by Monday, January 22, 2018 to Margaret DeVos, SCLT Executive Director, at Preferred start date is Monday, March 5, 2018.

To apply for this job email your details to

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