Agricultural Policy Coordinator

Friends of the Mississippi River

Location: St. Paul

About Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)

FMR is a leading, growing nonprofit organization working to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region. With an annual budget of $2.5 million and 21 dedicated professional staff, we work to improve the health of the river through policy advocacy, education and engagement, volunteer stewardship, land conservation and other disciplines.

In the coming years FMR sees an opportunity to build on its past accomplishments and increase its impact. With a well-known and respected brand, a seasoned and effective staff, a strong Board of Directors, and a growing base of support, FMR is poised for continued growth and success.

Our growing water program aims to increase staff capacity to address a variety of pollutants to Minnesota’s surface water and groundwater, primarily those agricultural sources that are the largest contributor of pollutants to the Mississippi River watershed. 
 
FMR believes the Mississippi River belongs to all of us and its gifts should flow equally to everyone in our community. We strive to be culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive of all people and are committed to using our resources and influence to redress structural inequality where it intersects with the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. We encourage interested applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

About the agricultural policy coordinator position

The agricultural policy coordinator leads FMR’s agricultural clean-water advocacy efforts to protect and restore Minnesota’s water quality, wildlife and soil health by promoting and commercializing next-generation cropping systems that improve our environment while enhancing farm prosperity and landscape diversity.

The agricultural policy coordinator is FMR’s point person in a multi-year effort designed to identify, advance and implement policy reforms that foster an orderly transition to economically viable alternative agricultural systems.

This position reports to the water program director and works closely with other staff who coordinate the organization’s communications, government relations and advocacy work.

Responsibilities

  • Lead FMR’s efforts to establish an effective agricultural-water coalition  

    • Assist with development of a robust, effective coalition of stakeholders and collaborators, including conservation organizations, agribusiness interests, agricultural interests, researchers, technical service providers, post-production supply-chain actors, indigenous communities, pollinator advocates and others.

    • Identify and foster positive working relationships with partner organizations, local governments, state and federal agencies and community leaders to inform our work and attain program goals.

    • Work with coalition partners to advance policy reforms, develop conservation incentives, help to implement new supply chains and conduct public education and outreach.

    • Assist coalition partners in developing effective strategies and conservation incentives that appropriately “de-risk” next-generation cropping systems. 

  • Develop and advocate for agricultural policy priorities

    • Lead FMR and coalition efforts to develop a comprehensive state and federal agricultural policy agenda.

    • Advocate for state and federal policy reforms and investments that advance our agricultural cropping system and clean water goals.

  • Conduct effective outreach & education

    • Convene industry experts, influencers and thought-leaders to better define approaches to a successful transition to conservation cropping systems.

    • Lead development of reports, presentations, forums and other public education activities that “make the case” for the economic, environmental and agronomic benefits of agricultural diversification.

    • Represent FMR at events, forums, panels and other venues to enhance public support for cropping system options and alternatives that will provide economic and environmental benefits.

Work closely with the communications director and other staff to ensure outreach, communications and messaging are effective and consistent with the organization’s agricultural policy objectives.

Desired qualifications

  • Commitment to and passion for the mission of Friends of the Mississippi River.
  • Degree in agricultural-related field, agricultural economics, environmental policy or another related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Proven ability to work well with stakeholders including farm operators, agribusiness enterprises, researchers, NGOs, state and local governments and others. 
  • Experience building coalitions, facilitating effective meetings and building shared capacity.
  • Experience advocating for state and federal policy reforms and investments that advance our agricultural cropping system goals.
  • Understanding of agronomic and environmental implications of on-farm cropping practices, BMPs and soil health strategies.
  • Exceptional interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively with multiple internal and external partners.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and comfort speaking and presenting to groups.
  • Strong organizational skills including the ability to plan work, meet deadlines and balance multiple projects and priorities independently.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including occasionally long hours, some evenings and occasional weekends.

This position is right for an experienced professional with expertise in multi-functional agricultural systems and conservation practices, alternative crops and cropping systems, public policy advocacy and coalition development.

The ideal candidate will bring creativity and passion to our efforts to protect and restore Minnesota’s rivers, lakes and streams by transitioning our agricultural landscape to one dominated by productive, continuous living cover practices.

Salary and benefits

This is a full-time position. Friends of the Mississippi River offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include health and dental insurance, a retirement plan with employer match, parking/transit allowance, an excellent office environment and generous paid time off.

To apply

Please consolidate your application into one PDF document that includes: a cover letter summarizing your interest in and qualifications for the position, a 1-2-page resumé, and the names, titles and phone numbers of up to three professional references (or two professional and one personal reference).

Please include your last name in the file name and email it as an attachment with “Ag Policy Coordinator” as the subject line to trussell@fmr.org.

The position will remain open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply by Friday, April 19, 2019.

For more information about Friends of the Mississippi River please visit our website: fmr.org.

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