Director, Agriculture Strategy

Environmental Initiative

Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization that catalyzes collaboration across perspectives, power, and systems for social equity and environmental health.

The organization:

  • Convenes leaders from businesses, nonprofits, government, and most-impacted communities to share information, network, and learn from one another.
  • Designs and facilitates collaboration to address environmental, economic, and public health issues.
  • Implements projects that improve our air, land, and water.

Learn more about who we are and our work on our website.

Position Summary

The Director, Agriculture Strategy at Environmental Initiative (EI) provides vision, strategic direction, subject-matter expertise, and a network of relationships to advance strategic objectives, guide the development of new work, and strengthen alignment and coordination across all agriculture-focused workstreams. This position will contribute to leadership of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC), a program administered by Environmental Initiative, in addition to other established or emerging Environmental Initiative projects and programs connected to food and agriculture systems, and related work on rural communities and economic vitality.

Position Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Align program and project implementation with organizational vision, strategies, and direction, and seek opportunities for cross-programmatic collaboration, evolution, and expansion of partnerships and project work.
  • Collaborate with MRCC members and other partners in Minnesota and Midwestern agriculture to develop both long-range and short-term strategic direction to guide decision making within Environmental Initiative’s agriculture work.
  • Maintain shared vision and alignment among agriculture stakeholders, including MRCC members, to ensure ongoing support for Environmental Initiative’s and MRCC’s vision, goals, governance, strategy, and projects.
  • Collaborate with partnership leaders and key Environmental Initiative staff to design, convene, and facilitate meetings and gatherings within MRCC and other agriculture initiatives.
  • Empower and equip champions within the network of agriculture stakeholders, MRCC members, and project partners to lead aspects of Environmental Initiative’s agriculture work.
  • Track emerging agricultural issues and serve as a resource and thought partner on projects related to agriculture, food systems, supply chain sustainability, and rural vitality.
  • Support and contribute to implementation of Environmental Initiative’s strategic plan and annual strategic initiatives, including participation in staff and board meetings.

Relationship Development and Fundraising

  • Build and maintain a diverse network of relationships in the nonprofit, government, philanthropic, and business sectors, as well as with community leaders. Proactively communicate with strategic partners, funders, and other key stakeholders.
  • Seek opportunities to leverage partnerships and lessons learned to support mutual goals across Environmental Initiative’s agriculture and food systems work.
  • Work with members and other stakeholders to maintain and grow the membership base in MRCC and participation in other programs, and toensure the financial security of program and project
  • Identify and cultivate new external partners and funders. Maintain and deepen relationships with new and longstanding business, private foundation, and government funders, and collaborate with other staff to secure funding for new projects.
  • Collaborate with Environmental Initiative leadership, staff, and external partners on the design and scoping of new agriculture projects and initiatives, including writing and reviewing grant proposals and reports.

Communications and Engagement

  • Work with the Environmental Initiative communications team to plan and execute project and program communications to ensure member, partner, and funder engagement and visibility of programs with external partners and decision makers.
  • In collaboration with the Environmental Initiative communications team, develop and deliver oral and written communication of project and organizational updates and outcomes to Environmental Initiative partners and the public (including blog posts, email newsletter updates, event marketing communications, written project reports, and outreach and educational presentations).

Desired Skills & Experience

  • Professional experience working with corporations and conservation organizations, ideally in the agricultural value chain. 
  • Working knowledge of contemporary agricultural systems, trends, and the Midwest row crop system, and a familiarity with principles of sustainable and regenerative agriculture. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic partnerships and advance collaborative initiatives
  • Stakeholder engagement and facilitation, including ability to navigate conflict and address wide-ranging stakeholder needs.
  • Experience with fundraising and managing funder relationships. 
  • Strong communications skills (verbal and written) with the ability to articulate a broader vision for the agricultural system to a variety of audiences, including c-suite executives and the public, as well as to engage in technical discussions with subject specialists.
  • Leading internal teamsand working collaboratively. 
  • Intercultural competence, emotional intelligence, and executive presence.
  • Self-directed and ready to explore complex, ambiguous, dynamic, and innovative approaches, and to identify and advance concrete actions when perfection is not possible.
  • Proficiency with Mac computer systems and the Microsoft Office suite.

Physical Requirements

Candidates from Minnesota and across the United States are encouraged to apply. The person in the position is expected to be physically present for certain in-person meetings or events within the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota, or in other U.S.-based cities, with Environmental Initiative providing reimbursement for required travel expenses. Occasional lifting, moving, or transporting materials or equipment weighing up to 30 pounds may be required. All Environmental Initiative employees are required to either provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or provide proof of weekly COVID-19 testing. Regular communication with Environmental Initiative staff, contractors, and partners via email, phone, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams is expected.


This is a full-time position anticipated to start in January 2022 with an annual starting salary range of $85,000 – $95,000.

Environmental Initiative offers a flexible benefits package to all employees, including a group health care plan, dental insurance, HSA and FSA accounts, life insurance, long-term disability coverage, and a 403(b)-matching program. Environmental Initiative also embraces a flexible working environment, with the option to work remotely and determine a regular work schedule that accommodates individual staff members’ needs and preferences.

How to Apply

Complete an online application and upload your resume and cover letter at:

Applications submitted by November 22, 2021, will receive primary consideration, and the position will remain open until filled.