Executive Director Position Description

This is a full-time position, primarily conducted in a remote status within the state of Kentucky involving occasional in-state and out-of-state travel.

About Community Farm Alliance (CFA):

Community Farm Alliance 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 policymakers. Since 1985 CFA 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. Our members are a mix of urban and rural, farmers and non-farmers, rich and 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.

Community Farm Alliance’s Staff is the organizations’ biggest asset; therefore, it is the organization’s goal to attract and retain  the most qualified staff possible by providing its staff with a fair living wage. The COVID-19 pandemic and the national reckoning on race and equity events exposed issues that highlighted the importance of providing CFA staff with appropriate benefits to maintain their personal well-being and to uphold the equity values of the organization, including greater staff participation in organizational development, consensus decision making, and increased transparency.

Passion for the work and commitment to these organizational values are nonnegotiable.

The Executive Director Opportunity

CFA seeks a dynamic, visionary, and equity-driven leader as its next Executive Director (ED). The ideal candidate will be a strategic leader and expert relationship builder with a strong equity lens. The Executive Director will work closely with Board and staff to guide the organization through the recently completed strategic plan. The position requires experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and financial management.

The Executive Director reports to CFA’s Board of Directors and is responsible for leading CFA in supporting the directives emanating from the Board of Directors for the organization’s consistent fulfillment of its mission and the organization’s sustainability. The ED will work in close collaboration with the Deputy Director of Operations and the Deputy Director of Programming to achieve these goals.

Utilizing CFA’s Theory of Change (TOC), the Executive Director is responsible for carrying out the organization’s mission through grassroots organizing and leadership development, the implementation of model programs, advocacy, and policy development. The ED leads a team of 14+ staff members who provide a range of support for Kentucky’s food system, including programs focused on strengthening an equitable local food value chain through supporting farmers markets and individual farmers; healthy food access programs that support both low-resource consumers and Kentucky farmers; and grassroots organizing and policy advocacy work aimed at supporting Kentucky’s farmers. 

Focused Responsibilities:

Fundraising & External Relationships

  • Oversees fundraising planning and implementation, including identifying resource requirements and researching funding sources
  • In collaboration with the Deputy Director of Programming and related staff, contributes to the collaborative development of grant proposals 
  • Represents CFA externally to funders, partners, the media, and sector leaders to share and build support for CFA’s mission and vision
  • Nurtures existing and establishes new alliances with funders, community organizations, institutes of higher education, and other stakeholders
  • Communicates with funders, stakeholders, and the general public to increase understanding of CFA’s programs and role within Kentucky’s food system

Financial Management

  • Leads the development of a yearly organizational budget 
  • Leads fiscal management of CFA including actively managing and analyzing CFA’s resources within the approved budget guidelines, ensuring maximum resource utilization, and maintaining CFA in a positive financial position
  • In collaboration with the Deputy Director of Operations, creates financial statements to share with the Board 
  • Ensures the long-term stability and financial strength of CFA through the development of a strategic financial strategy
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state, and local regulations
  • Provides oversight for the annual audit and annual taxes

Staff & Human Resources

  • Directs, motivates, and develops CFA’s 14+ staff members
  • Promotes a flexible, healthy, and people-centric organizational culture that fosters open and frequent communication, cooperation, and shared accountability
  • In collaboration with the Deputy Director of Operations and the Deputy Director of Programming, conducts yearly staff evaluations
  • Encourages transparency and input from all levels of the staff
  • Promotes a democratic and engaged workplace that utilizes shared and flexible leadership models to support the needs of all staff

Board Relations & Governance

  • Reports to a 11-member Board of Directors who provide oversight on financial health, fundraising and development, and overall performance
  • Provides direction and recommendations to the Board to ensure effective and transparent governance
  • Contributes to Board member recruitment and training
  • Supports planning and implementation of Board meetings and retreats
  • Acts as a conduit between the Board and CFA staff, ensuring that concerns are communicated and decisions shared

Organization Development & Strategic Planning     

  • Ensures that CFA has long and short-term strategy to fulfill its mission through programs, organizational and revenue development, and outreach
  • Oversees the organization’s execution of the strategic plan
  • Regularly analyzes the landscape of the food system of Kentucky, and associated issues experienced by farmers, institutions, and consumers
  • Works closely with the Deputy Director of Operations to ensure that CFA’s values of justice are reflected in our internal decision-making processes, workplace culture, and our anti-oppression approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Policy Development & Advocacy

  • Collaborates with CFA’s Policy Campaign Coordinator, CFA staff, Board, key advocacy partners, and CFA members, to identify issues, determine policy stance, and advocacy strategy
  • Serves as CFA’s lead legislative lobbyist and engages appropriately with lawmakers
  • Identifies key elected and appointed public policy officials and staff at the federal, state, and local levels, and builds or enhances relationships while educating them on key issues and encouraging them to adopt policies that support Kentucky farmers and local food systems

Qualifications of the ideal candidate:

CFA is committed to a diverse and equitable workplace.  Even if you do not embody all the qualifications listed below, we still encourage you to apply.

Professional Qualifications 

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience leading people, teams, and high-impact work for a multifaceted organization comparable in size and complexity
  • Deep understanding of and commitment to building equitable, just, and sustainable agriculture and food systems change in the United States
  • Experience working with and understanding core functions of a network and/or membership organization
  • Prior experience working directly with/within philanthropy, movement building organizations, and/or nonprofit organizations 
  • Demonstrated ability to align vision, strategy, and execution with various internal and external stakeholders
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience with nonprofit financial management 
  • Demonstrated experience as a versatile and effective fundraiser with a measurable track record of securing funding and sustaining deep relationships with funders
  • Experience with consensus driven decision making

Personal Qualifications

  • This is a remote position with the option of working out of the Berea office or other accommodations
  • Commitment to CFA’s mission, vision, and values
  • Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Ability to perform in a variety of environments and diverse social settings
  • Ability to initiate contact with persons not known, in person and by phone
  • Ability to occasionally travel throughout the state and accommodate a work schedule that will  includeoccasional evening and weekend commitments
  • Ability to take initiative, be self-motivated, work independently as well as in a team,  work well underpressure, be a creative thinker and, be a good problem solver
  • Open and honest – must enjoy working with people!
  • Agricultural experience recommended


The annual base salary for this position is $65,000, commensurate with experience. Very generous benefits include a flexible outcomes-based work week (32 – 40 hours), and fully-paid employee and dependent health, dental, and vision insurance. Other benefits include a flexible work schedule, free counseling services via Employee Assistance Program, access to a 401k, paid vacation days, personal days, and a generous holiday schedule including one week during the fall and the last week of December.