Agriculture Program Director

Izaak Walton League of America Published: August 11, 2023
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Planning / Land Use / Policy / Program Management

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The mission of the Izaak Walton League of America (the League), founded in 1922, is to conserve, restore and promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife. Our members and staff combine hands-on conservation action, policy work with legislatures and resource agencies, and public education to pursue our conservation goals at the local, state, and national levels. As a strong responsible voice representing outdoor recreationists, we occupy a special niche in the conservation community.


The League has ambitious goals to transform agriculture conservation to reduce water pollution, combat climate change and safeguard wetlands, grasslands, and other critical natural resources. To help achieve these goals, our priorities include focusing national agriculture policy on improving soil health and expanding implementation of proactive, proven conservation practices across millions of acres of farms and ranches. Positioned at the nexus of these priorities, the Agriculture Program Director has an incredible opportunity to drive change on the landscape. This position is ideal for an experienced professional who is equally comfortable with policy advocacy and collaborating with partners to translate policy into conservation outcomes on the ground.


Because the Director will lead national policy advocacy, the League prefers the Director be based in the League’s Gaithersburg, MD headquarters office. However, the League will consider a remotely located position. It is important to note that a director based outside the Washington, DC area is expected to be present in Washington for extended periods of time annually for advocacy, federal agency and partner meetings and other purposes.


  • In collaboration with the Conservation Director, develop and implement the strategic agenda for the Agriculture Program to advance public policies at the federal and state levels supporting natural resource conservation, sustainable agriculture, and other League agriculture priorities.
  • In collaboration with field staff, lead the development of state-based and regional grassroots campaigns designed to broaden and diversify audiences that will advocate for the League’s agriculture policy priorities, and supervise field staff in execution of those campaigns.
  • Serve as the lead staff person on federal agriculture policy with a specific focus on policies and programs governed by the Farm Bill.
  • Facilitate implementation of soil health and natural resource conservation practices on the ground by working with federal, state, local and NGO partners to educate farmers, ranchers and landowners about benefits of soil health and conservation practices and the resources available to incentivize adoption of these practices.
  • Conduct fundraising with foundations, corporations, and major donors to secure ongoing financial support for the Agriculture Program.
  • Represent the League on agriculture issues before the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, state and federal agencies, and the media.
  • Represent the League on agriculture policy coalitions and alliances.
  • Develop agriculture-related content for League publications, social media, and Web site.
  • Prepare comments, statements, testimony, and reports on agriculture policies, legislation, and agency proposals.
  • Supervise staff, including field staff, and consultants.
  • Develop and administer annual program budget.


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably related to conservation, agriculture, environmental science, or public policy.
  • Five to eight years of experience advocating for agriculture policies before Congress and state and federal agencies.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of agriculture issues and policies, especially relating to the federal Farm Bill, and federal agencies with responsibility for implementing agriculture policies and programs.
  • Demonstrated technical experience with implementation of voluntary, federal conservation programs to achieve desired outcomes on the ground.
  • Experience managing staff and preparing and implementing annual budgets.
  • Successful track record in nonprofit fundraising.
  • Ability to establish priorities, think strategically, and independently manage multiple tasks.
  • Ability to work as a team leader with a diverse array of colleagues and League staff, volunteer leaders, and members.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate about complex issues in language that is understandable to and compelling for a general audience.
  • Ability and willingness to travel, including for multiple days and overnight.


The salary range for the Agriculture Program Director is $75,000 to $85,000 annually and commensurate with experience and qualifications. The position also includes a package of employee and health benefits.


Please click "Apply" below to email cover letter and resume to the attention of the Conservation Director, Jared Mott, with subject line AG PROGRAM DIRECTOR. No phone calls please.

The Izaak Walton League of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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