PositionOrganizing Director

Time: Full-time

Location: Central, Kentucky

Base Salary:$40,000 Base salary (varies with experience) with generous health, dental, vision and other benefits

Starting Date: January 1, 2018

Community Farm Alliance is seeking a dynamic, creative, and hard-working individual capable of critical thinking about sustainable agriculture, food systems, economic and social justice, in support of Kentucky farmers and Kentucky communities for the position of Organizing Director.

About Community Farm Alliance (CFA):

CFA is a statewide grassroots membership organization that strives to bring a voice on issues affecting family farmers and local food consumers to both state and national policy makers. Since 1985 Community Farm Alliance has led major innovations in Kentucky’s agriculture, food and community policy development.

CFA has over a thousand passionate, committed members from across the Commonwealth. CFA members are a mix of urban, rural, farmers and non-farmers, rich, poor, young and old. The “community” in Community Farm Alliance is not defined by geography but by values that govern good stewardship of land, family, and community.

At CFA, we start from the core belief that everyone has a right to a safe and healthy food system and that thriving family farms are critical to this end. We are grateful to live in a country where our government is mandated to operate responsively and democratically.  In recent years, we have worked tirelessly to make these rights a reality by providing a voice for family farmers and Kentucky consumers through our direct advocacy work in Frankfort and Washington DC.  CFA has also focused its energies on providing support for local and statewide programs that have expanded the availability and access of fresh, local food in this state.

We have had many important successes and are very proud of our track record.  However, Community Farm Alliance is in a moment of transition.   We have committed to re-focusing our efforts on community organizing, helping Kentuckians who are facing a food or farming-related threat to build their own capacity and power to advocate for themselves.  This includes family farmers, food workers, farm labor, and consumers.  We seek to identify and train these residents in the skills and know-how they need to run effective local campaigns, while also developing long-term leaders to fuel the broader movement.  We want to win local AND state victories through people power, not through special interests.

Job Description

The Organizing Director is a full-time CFA employee and is responsible for assisting the Executive Director of Community Farm Alliance (CFA) in supporting the directives emanating from the Board of Directors for the organization’s consistent fulfillment of its mission and the organization’s long-term sustainability.

As a key member of CFA’s Staff Team, the Organizing Director leads the organization in leadership and membership development and is expected to assist CFA membership with strategy development, policy analysis, and research.

The Organizing Director plays a central role in implementing CFA’s Theory of Change. Primary among these strategies are building powerful local communities, developing grassroots leadership, winning local and statewide issue campaigns, and communicating powerful ideas. The Organizing Director is also deeply involved in carrying out strategies to sustain and build the organization, including grassroots fundraising, membership recruitment, and the development of a strong staff team.

The Organizing Director helps CFA Staff and Leadership as organizers to recruit and develop grassroots leaders and provide them with the training and guidance necessary to build lasting local and statewide organizations with the power to make change.

While the Organizing Director does not set organizational direction or policies, they do have a vital role in helping members understand CFA’s vision, goals and strategies and think strategically about issues facing the organization. This requires the ability to ask critical questions, think strategically, and establish trusting, challenging relationships with diverse groups of people.

The Organizing Director helps CFA staff as organizers continually work with leaders to question their own assumptions and develop a deeper analysis of issues such as power, equality, poverty, race, class, and other aspects of their worldview; and to be able to break down large issues into manageable pieces with a logical order.

General Responsibilities:

  • Fulfills CFA’s general organizing responsibilities;
  • Contributes as needed to communication content via print, web, and social media with CFA’s membership regarding the work of the organization and enhances the quality of the communication systems where possible;
  • Identifies and analyzes agricultural issues that affect Kentucky’s family farmers;
  • Helps design and facilitate meetings and workshops of all sizes;
  • Collaborates with CFA’s staff team, CFA members, allied organizations, businesses, community leaders, institutions, policy makers, and the media to advance the mission and goals of CFA;
  • Develops relationships with individuals in both rural and urban communities that result in the recruitment of additional CFA members and the development of new CFA leaders;
  • Assists as needed CFA’s staff team with additional duties including, but not limited to, preparing for the annual membership meeting and fundraising events, and mass mailings.

Key Responsibilities:

Leadership Development and Community Organizing

Working with CFA members, Board of Directors, CFA staff, and a new group of CFA grassroots community organizers, the Organizing Director will dramatically expand our membership base by building one-on-one relationships with community members who have been directly impacted by adverse farm and food policies.

  • Identifying, motivating, training, and developing community leaders in the principles and practices of community organizing in order to build powerful local (and ultimately statewide) organizations.
  • Provide workshops and other assistance in support of local actions and efforts.
  • Responsible for building and maintaining relationships with key regulatory agencies and elected representatives.
  • Aids in the development and implementation of CFA’s Leadership Development and Organizing Strategies; and in resource development supporting those strategies.

Coordinate coalitions: Working with the family farming community as well as other possible allies, such as public health and anti-poverty organizations, social and environmental justice groups, and volunteer activists to build public support and influence decision-makers.  This involves building and maintaining a wide network of relationships as well as anticipating and addressing possible conflicts within the coalition.

Campaign development: Working with local leaders to identify solutions to the biggest food and farming-related threats and develop creative strategies to win.  This entails help with every aspect of the campaign, including researching the issue, creating viable policy solutions, and proposing the right political strategy and messaging.

Communications: Serve as point of contact for policy and advocacy related communications to increase the organization’s media presence and name recognition through events, news releases, campaign materials, and online organizing.  You will also help members serve as the spokesperson for our campaigns through tactics like media events, press releases, and editorial board meetings.

Organizational Development

As a member of CFA’s Administrative Team, the Organizing Director

  • Serves as sounding board for CFA’s Board of Directors, senior leadership, and the Executive Director;
  • Supports Network development with other organizations
  • Supports leadership by developing supportive resources

Professional Qualifications

  • Must possess a sophisticated understanding of the state and national social, economic, and political landscape in which CFA must work.
  • Must have successful experience in community organizing, leadership development, and issue strategy and campaign development.
  • Capable of being a registered lobbyist with the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
  • Must have at minimum a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a relevant field (community economic development or sustainable agriculture);
  • Must have strong analytical skills;
  • Must possess excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Must be able to self-organize and multi-task;
  • Must be comfortable with the suite of Microsoft Office applications and web-based applications such as Facebook, WordPress, and online database management systems.

Personal Qualifications

  • Committed to the values inherent in community organizing and leadership development;
  • Committed to advancing diversity;
  • Able to perform in a variety of environments and diverse social settings.
  • Able to initiate contact with persons not known, in person and by phone;
  • Able to occasionally travel throughout the state and accommodate a work schedule that will include occasional evening and weekend commitments;
  • Must have reliable transportation and a mobile phone;
  • Able to take the initiative; be self-motivated; able to work independently as well as in a team; work well under pressure; be a creative thinker and; be a good problem solver;
  • Open and honest – must enjoy working with people!

CFA is an equal opportunity employer – People of color are strongly encouraged to apply

For more information please visit: http://cfaky.org/get-involved/employment-opportunities/

To apply, send resume, cover letter, along with two writing samples, 3 professional references, and 2 personal references to

Martin Richards, Executive Director, P.O. Box 130 Berea, KY 40403


Email (preferred) cfaadmin@cfaky.org no later than December 15, 2017 with subject line of “CFA Organizing Director.” Questions regarding the position can be submitted to this email address as well. Please no phone calls about this job.