Job Announcement: FaithLands Project Coordinator for Eastern North Carolina (Apply by Feb 1st, 2019)

Part-time contracted position – 16 hours per week; $15 per hour. The first year (2019) is covered by a grant and renewed funding for an additional three years will be sought.

FaithLands, through its fiscal sponsor Agrarian Trust, seeks to hire a part-time project coordinator to initiate, organize, and coordinate the FaithLands work in eastern North Carolina. The mission of FaithLands is to support faith communities in making lands available for sustainable, agroecological farming, especially to those in society marginalized by virtue of class, race, gender, economic status, and other factors. This FaithLands initiative in eastern NC is being led by a coalition of groups including F.A.R.M.S., The Conservation Fund, Agrarian Trust, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.

Eastern North Carolina is home to all of North Carolina’s majority-people of color counties, as well as all 10 persistent poverty counties and 25 of the state’s 28 persistent child poverty counties (out of a total of 100 counties). Additionally, most of NC’s farmers of color are located in the eastern counties, where they have lost–and continue to lose–lands and livelihoods due to racially discriminatory practices, large-scale markets, and more. Access to land, capital, and markets are the primary barriers faced by farmers of color and beginning farmers in North Carolina and across the country. The FaithLands initiative will build on the important faith-owned land assets in eastern NC, and develop model procedures and processes to identify faith-owned lands and faith groups that are willing to make those lands available to historically-underserved farmers (including African-American, Native American, Hispanic, women, military veterans and other farmers). We seek to reduce the barriers to land access and markets, increase economic opportunities, and advance social justice.  

The NC FaithLands Project Coordinator will provide overall staff support to the eastern NC pilot project, including outreach, education, workshop facilitation and in-person meetings with faith communities to help them make their land available to under-served farmers for local food production. The Coordinator will report to and will work closely with the national FaithLands Leadership Team (Project Committee) and with The Conservation Fund’s mapping specialists, and will be responsible for the following:

  1. Help coordinate data acquisition, and inform the goals and process for the faith lands inventory to be conducted by The Conservation Fund to analyze the potentially farmable ‘faithlands’ in eastern NC. Assist with on the ground vetting and relationship-building;
  2. Organize and facilitate multi-faith and farmer informational and land-matching gatherings. Using inventory data, target select faith landowners in low-income areas and reach and engage 100 faith communities and 40 farmers;
  3. Partner with at least six local and state organizations to leverage support and resources for the project;
  4. Cultivate existing and new relationships with faith communities to provide individualized information and support;
  5. Identify (8) faith groups interested in making their land available to farmers and work with NC-based community partners and Project Committee to assist and broker land tenure relationships between these faith groups and eight or more low-income farmers, farm families and/or community organizations over the first 12 months of the program. Help provide technical and legal assistance, and other support to the farmers and faith entities through local partners.
  6. Explore possibilities for raising capital to help with land and farm equipment costs for beginning farmers.
  7. Document inventory and outreach methodologies, and lessons learned working with congregations regarding their land, to be shared with the wider faith and land access communities.  

Qualifications:

A qualified candidate will have multiple years of experience in one of more of these fields: community organizing, project management, farming, land inventories, land trusts, agrarian theology, public education and mobilization, and other relatable experience. Other desired characteristics/experience include work in cross-cultural settings, racial justice work, faith-based initiatives, and excellent communication skills required, including a commitment to communicate by phone and face-to-face when email is not the best modality. The candidate should have experience with Microsoft Office Suite programs, Google Drive, and the most commonly used social media and outreach platforms. Candidate should be able to manage a project budget and basic event budgets. Able to work highly effectively with minimal supervision.

The work will ideally begin in February 2019. The ideal candidate will reside in the eastern half of NC, have access to a car, and be willing to travel and work some evenings and some weekend hours.

Please send a cover letter and resume to Jamie Pottern at jamie@agrariantrust.org by February 1, 2019. The position will be held open until the right candidate is found.

Agrarian Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer that fully and actively supports equal access for all people regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, genetic information or testing, family and medical leave, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression and prohibits retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or practice in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.