Employment Offered

Date Submitted:
06/11/24


Farm Name:
Maine Farmland Trust


County:
Out Of State


Position Title:
President and CEO, Maine Farmland Trust


Position Description:

The board of directors of Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) seeks a passionate advocate and inspiring leader to serve as president and CEO. Maine Farmland Trust protects farmland, supports farmers, and advances the future of farming in Maine. The overarching goal of this respected nonprofit is to protect Maine farmland and revitalize Maine’s rural landscape by keeping agricultural lands working and helping farmers and communities thrive.

Organizational Overview

Founded in 1999, Maine Farmland Trust is rooted in the belief that the future of farming depends on farmland and that the future of Maine communities depends on thriving farms. The organization’s evolving programming is designed to meet the complex and changing needs of the state’s farm community, with a consistent focus on:

● Farmland. Protecting Maine’s finite farmland from development and creating more affordable access to land for all farmers—through agricultural easements and other tools—is key to ensuring that Maine has the farmland and farmers needed to sustain our region long-term.
● Farmers. Thriving farm businesses feed Maine’s local communities and economy and keep farmland in farming. MFT’s Farm Network programs offer holistic support to farmers at every stage of the farming journey.
● Future. Through grassroots organizing and advocacy, policy change, research, storytelling, and collaboration with local farmers, MFT is helping create an environment that will support thriving, interconnected Maine farms for generations to come.

In recent years, MFT has firmly centered farmers’ voices and reorganized structurally to promote communication, collaboration, and holistic service to farmers; developed the strength of its staff leadership team, made critical organizational investments, deepened its policy and research program in recognition of the magnitude and complexity of the challenges at hand; and been a national leader in responding to the crisis of PFAS chemical contamination on farms.

MFT supports a growing network of more than 500 farms through our programs, including permanent protection on more than 370 farms, keeping nearly 68,000 acres of farmland in agriculture. This Farm Network is representative of Maine’s diverse agricultural community, spanning all 16 counties and various scales and types of farming. MFT’s membership currently exceeds 2,200, and MFT’s staff work across the state, with offices in Belfast and Portland.

In the face of increasing development, environmental risks, market pressures, and a wave of farmers nearing retirement age, MFT’s work to protect farmland and support farmers is more important than ever. With an annual budget of more than $10 million, the organization has made steady progress toward its goals with the support of a growing community of Mainers dedicated to this vital work.

More information about MFT’s leadership, programs, and specific impact can be found at the website: https://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/.

Role and Responsibilities

The president and CEO oversees and guides strategy for public engagement and philanthropy and works in close collaboration with MFT’s leadership team to advance the organization’s strategic vision, deepening its impact. The president and CEO is instrumental in broadening MFT’s base of support, inspiring new levels of public and private commitment and enduring partnerships, including through the planning and execution of comprehensive fundraising campaigns; further magnifying farmers’ voices; and accelerating the changes needed to serve Maine farmers, secure Maine farmland, and protect Maine’s future. This individual partners with MFT’s leadership team on aspects related to financial management, programming, advocacy, farmer engagement, stewardship and board and staff development.

The president and CEO will report directly to the board of directors and continue to foster a culture of trust, transparency, and teamwork among staff and the entire network.

Position Requirements

Leading Maine Farmland Trust will require an energetic visionary with a broad set of skills and abilities. The board expects that the successful candidate will bring to the organization:
● Senior-level leadership experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector, including proven ability to lead collaboratively and support a diverse, highly motivated, geographically dispersed staff
● Demonstrated ability to lead the implementation of an ambitious comprehensive fundraising strategy, with a focus on cultivating relationships with and securing transformative gifts from major donors, foundations, and other potential funders in a campaign context
● A proven track record as an effective relationship-builder, and as a skilled and confident communicator who is poised to listen and ready to represent MFT among an array of audiences, ranging from farmers to policymakers to funders
● Ability and desire to work collaboratively with members of MFT’s strong, seasoned leadership team
● Excellent financial acumen, with proven experience in organizational sustainability, budgetary management and oversight, planning, and goal setting
● Experience in developing and executing strategic plans that result in measurable outcomes
● Experience working in partnership with a board of directors and supporting strategic board development and best governance practice
● Skill in facilitating complex discussions and engaging with a diversity of interested parties
● An understanding of the complexities of conservation and agriculture, and an appreciation for the people who steward our land and grow our food
● Authenticity, curiosity, humility, and adaptability, with a fundamentally kind and compassionate approach
● Demonstrated commitment to and experience in advancing diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion

This position can be based out of Maine Farmland Trust’s Portland or Belfast office.

Compensation

The president and CEO will earn a competitive salary of $170,000 - $185,000, commensurate with experience, and benefits including a group health plan, group vision and dental plans, a 401(K) retirement plan, wellness and farm share benefits, and paid vacation, holidays and other forms of paid time-off. The successful candidate can expect a formal review after the initial six months, as well as an annual review thereafter.

Nondiscrimination

Maine Farmland Trust does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, national origin, ancestry, public assistance, ethnic background, religion, marital status, economic class, age, disability, sex, creed, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and any other legally protected characteristic. The organization complies with all applicable national, state, and local laws pertaining to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.


How to Apply:
Interested candidates should send a resume and a cover letter explaining why they are interested in this opportunity and how it is well-aligned with their strengths to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the following address: search3@starboardleadership.com. Inquiries may be directed to the same email address. Paper copies of applications may be sent to Jessica Weiner, Starboard Leadership Consulting, 84 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401, but electronic submissions of material are preferred. No phone inquiries, please. The application deadline is Friday, June 28, and review of all submissions will begin immediately thereafter.


Back