The Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks a Maryland Agriculture Outreach Specialist to be based out of its Philip Merrill Environmental Center headquarters located in Annapolis, MD and its Eastern Shore Office in Easton, MD.
THE CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION
Established in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest regional nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to saving the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and streams, and the wildlife that call it home through education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration. Since 2010, CBF has engaged in a focused effort to defend and implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, a binding federal and state collaborative agreement aimed at reducing pollution to the science-based, legally-affirmed levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Blueprint is expected to be fully implemented by 2025. If the states and the federal government achieve Blueprint goals, the Bay will finally—after decades of failed efforts—be removed from the Clean Water Act’s impaired waters list. Successfully implementing the Blueprint depends on a well-informed, engaged, active, and diverse constituency of members, advocates, and volunteers who speak up and take action to save the Bay.
CBF has a staff of approximately 190 employees working in offices in Annapolis, Maryland; Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. as well as 15 field education program locations. Our staff and volunteer corps work throughout the region educating students and adults, advocating for clean water policies, restoring waterways, and litigating when necessary.
CBF’s headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland is the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, the world’s first U.S. Green Build Council’s LEED platinum building. In 2014, CBF opened the Brock Environmental Center—one of the world’s most energy efficient, environmentally smart buildings—in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
CBF has an annual budget of approximately $26 million and is supported by 300,000 members and e-subscribers. For more information on CBF, please visit cbf.org.
CONTEXT OF THE POSITION
The Million Acre Challenge is a new, collaborative project of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Future Harvest , Fair Farms, the Institute for Environmental and Energy Research, and the Institute for Local Self Reliance.
The Million Acre Challenge (MAC) is a 7- to 10-year project to build the vocal and sustained farmer- and consumer-driven movement necessary to transform Maryland agriculture into a regenerative system that improves water quality and farm resilience, is profitable, and helps mitigate climate change. The long-term measure of success of this movement will be reaching a truly transformative tipping point — no fewer than one million Maryland agricultural acres in regenerative production by 2029.
Through its partnership with the MAC collaborative, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks a strong community organizer who can lead the project’s outreach to Maryland farmers. The position is responsible for establishing regional farmer-to-farmer networks around the state that facilitate learning and inspire confidence in new and proven soil health tools and techniques. Measurement of changes in soil health facilitated by the project will inform producer decisions while also underpinning a new program – the Soil Health Challenge – that provides cash rewards to participating growers who experience the biggest positive change in soil health. Working collaboratively with project partners, agencies, and educators, the Maryland Agriculture Outreach Specialist will steward a system of peer-to-peer learning that accelerates implementation of soil health practices throughout the state.
The position is based out of CBF’s headquarters in Annapolis, MD with the option to work out of CBF’s Eastern Shore Office located in Easton, MD. Applicants can expect to travel extensively throughout Maryland, must have reliable transportation, and should be willing to work nights and weekends as needed.
Please note this is a grant-funded position that is expected to be funded for 3 years. However, as with any position that is dependent on grant money, there is the risk of unexpected funding problems and the position can no longer being funded through the grant. IF that should happen, CBF will review the position at that time to determine if it can then be funded from other sources of income within the organization.
Essential functions include:
• Create and steward a system of peer-to-peer learning among farmers
• Facilitate farmer-to-farmer sharing of information about soil health conditions and opportunities for improvement
• Develop the Soil Health Challenge – a new contest in which farmers receive cash rewards for the most improved soil health
• Coordinate workshops, trainings, seminars, on-farm demonstrations, and field days for growers, service providers, and consultants
• Network, resource, and amplify healthy soils evangelists who help advance regenerative agriculture in Maryland
• Promote grower participation in the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts Soil Health Champions Network Program
• Establish and/or strengthen relationships with Maryland’s soil health education and outreach programs and staff
• Coordinate with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland Extension, USDA, and private consultants and service providers.
• Closely align work products and activities with Million Acre Challenge priorities
PREFERRED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
• 4+ years of community organizing and coordination
• Knowledge of processes, practices, and programs – including federal, state, and private sector initiatives – that contribute to soil health
• Familiarity with actors in Maryland agriculture including agencies, educators, advocates, and producers; existing relationships with Maryland farmers, farm service providers, and agricultural educators preferred
• Proven ability to engage people with diverse backgrounds, facilitate learning, and enable progress toward shared interests
• Excellent interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to work with individuals and organizations from diverse backgrounds and perspectives
• Positive attitude and collaborative spirit
• Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively and manage competing, time-sensitive priorities
Salary Range: $51,000-$55,000 (negotiable)
To apply, please send resume and cover letter through job posting on CBF website no later than November 1, 2019.
CBF offers a comprehensive benefits package to include: 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, health, vision, dental, life insurance, and a tax deferred retirement plan.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND JUSTICE
Just as biodiversity is the key to a thriving ecosystem, human diversity is the key to saving the Bay. Success depends on people from widely diverse backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, identities, and races taking collective action. Clean water, clean air, and a safe environment are rights we all share.
To increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will:
· Recruit and retain a staff, board, and membership that reflect the diversity of people living within the Chesapeake Bay region;
· Strengthen and broaden the diversity of our partnerships;
· Celebrate and value the diversity of staff; and
· Fight to ensure that everyone has equal access to clean water, clean air, and a safe environment.
CBF is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.