The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) has worked since 1891 to conserve remarkable landscapes and connect people to the natural, cultural, and historic places that make Massachusetts unique. Agricultural landscapes have always been central to our work, and The Trustees has preserved over 12,000 acres of farmland in the Commonwealth since our founding.
We possess extensive expertise in farmland preservation, and we are among the largest private farmland owners in the Commonwealth. The Trustees is fortunate to enjoy a large and engaged constituency across the state including visitors, members, supporters, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shareholders.
The Agricultural Operations Director is a keystone leadership role charged with harnessing impressive existing resources, and harmonizing agriculture operations to optimize scale and deliver more enriching food and farm-based experiences for our members and visitors. The Director will build on existing state-wide operational systems to lead an improvement process which will result in:
- The introduction of new best practices in agriculture management, production and educational programming that align with our programming goals and budget.
- Maximizing the value of our existing farms and identifying and acquiring new farms. We measure our Agricultural Program value through several lenses including revenue, quality and quantity of educational programming, visitor experience, sustainability, and farm product quality.
Recently, we have attracted over 325,000 annual visitors to our farms. Help us build on this impressive accomplishment and leverage your experience, skills, and vision to position The Trustees as a national leader in both farm management, farm-based enterprise and farm programming.
In This Role You Will:
The Director reports to the Managing Director of Planning and Resources, supervises a team of 10 full-time, year-round staff and 20+ seasonal staff. The Director position oversees annual operating and project budgets that total over $1.5M. The position collaborates with a wide range of colleagues to collaboratively realize statewide agricultural goals and The Trustees’ strategic plan targets.
The Agricultural Operations Director shapes and implements the vision, goals, and policies for the Trustees Agriculture Program, which is focused on supporting a network of signature farms and farm operations that:
- Engage the public in The Trustees mission through vibrant, fun, and creative visitor experiences, programming, and farm-based enterprise.
- Support financially viable, public-facing agricultural operations that employ best practice in property stewardship and agriculture enterprise.
- Serve as the central strategist for agriculture at The Trustees and lead the implementation of the agricultural elements of The Trustees’ strategic plan. Presently, this includes working collaboratively to develop a network of signature educational farms.
- Manage all aspects of The Trustees' vegetable and livestock operations, including staff oversight, long and short-term operational planning and forecasting, stewardship of annual operating budgets and ongoing reporting and evaluation.
The position requires a strategic, energetic, and highly motivated farm management professional with a proven track record in successfully managing a public-facing farm. Top candidates will have prior success driving the business goals and the educational and/or farm visitor experience of a public-facing farm. Because this is a fast-paced and growth-oriented organization, we require a self-motivated and dynamic professional who thrives on consistently exceeding expectations as you:
- Advance our farm operations and stewardship practices, applying best practice and innovations that express our mission.
- Expand and diversify sources of revenue within our farm operations.
- Lead the development and implementation of a suite of policies, best practices, and baseline standards that demonstrate the compatibility of sustainable food production, resource stewardship, and care of our farms’ cultural legacy.
- Build and maintain strong relationships within national, regional and state-wide agriculture networks. Develop connections with the local farm community, as necessary.
- Provide staff leadership for The Trustees Agriculture Committee (a committee of The Trustees’ Board).
- Work closely with the Development Team to seek support for agricultural efforts.
- Contribute to The Trustees public policy agenda related to agricultural issues.
- Serve as primary spokesperson for agriculture at The Trustees, internally and externally.
- Demonstrate experience managing agricultural operations and experience with general property/natural resource stewardship is a plus.
- Employ a creative, entrepreneurial, forward-looking mindset and an aptitude for staying current on best practice and innovative practice in the field.
- Demonstrate supervisory and budget management experience.
- Exhibit exemplary collaboration skills and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced team environment.
- Display excellent interpersonal skills, as well as strength in oral and written communications and the management of multiple tasks.
- Demonstrate an ability to motivate and coordinate a team of diverse professionals and volunteers to produce high-quality outcomes on time and on budget.
- Understand the local, regional, and national food system, and knowledge of Massachusetts agricultural and food systems-related stakeholders.
- Demonstrate experience in fundraising, business planning, and enterprise management.
- Deliver a passionate commitment to the values, mission, and purposes represented by The Trustees.