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03 Jan 2022

Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer – Ag Land Trust

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The Ag Land Trust is a small but highly successful group who has worked together to protect over 40,000 acres of farmland, ranch land and open space since 1984.  The CEO, under the direction of the Board of Directors (BOD), protects agricultural land and open space in the Salinas Valley and beyond.  The CEO is responsible for implementing the strategic goals of the organization in coordination with the BOD and staff.  This position is a hands-on position, working with staff, farmers, ranchers and the public to provide education and guidance on the use of easements and other conservation tools in order to protect agricultural land and open space.

Responsibilities and Duties

Protection of Agricultural Land and Open Space

  • Identify potential properties for conservation based on criteria agreed upon with the BOD

  • Work quickly to move on potential properties before they become unavailable

  • Negotiate the terms of real estate agreements

  • Analyze the appropriateness of offers, and decline offers that do not meet the needs of the organization

  • Work closely with tenants to ensure Land Trust properties are well cared for to maintain their value and adherence to any special requirements or agreements

Community Engagement

  • Develop and maintain relationships with local, county, state and federal agencies and landowners in order to pursue conservation of agricultural land and open space

  • Be the public face of the organization, attending important meetings and events which further the cause of the organization (ie. city council meetings, board of supervisors meetings, special interest group meetings, etc.)

  • Promote the work of the Ag Land Trust especially to farmers, ranchers and owners of open space as an option for the future of their property

  • Act as the public speaker and public relations representative of the Ag Trust in ways to strengthen its profile and maximize community engagement and support

  • Lead external communications with the press and through social media outlets

Board of Directors & Strategic Planning

  • Convene the Board of Directors regularly as determined by the bylaws of the organization

  • Provide regular updates on the progress of the organization, and regular financial reports

  • Implement the Strategic Plan FY 2021 – 2024

  • Participate in future strategic planning for the organization

  • Identify areas for growth and development for the organization and propose ways to meet those needs

Operations & Management

  • Oversee all operations of the Trust, maintaining professional standards for nonprofits and following established standards and practices for land trusts

  • Hire and manage staff and ensure all local, state and federal laws concerning employees are followed by the organization

  • Vet, oversee and administer independent contractors

  • Maintain accurate and complete records of all transactions, and other records as required by law


  • Oversee the Trust’s financial performance and investments

  • Prepare and present the annual budget and monthly budget reports for the organization

  • Identify prospects for fund development through both public and private sources including grants, major gifts and events

  • Identify financial needs and ensure prudent use of Trust funds within the board-approved budget


  • Experience as a senior member of an organization

  • Experience with real estate transactions

  • Experience in fund development including grants and major gifts

  • Experience in event planning and coordination

  • Commitment to land trust values and experience with land conservation /  stewardship

  • Strong management, communication, analytical and organizational skills

  • Professional communication skills including with the press and social media

  • HR management experience including operations and multiple properties in a team environment

  • Proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and working knowledge of email marketing, Quickbooks, databases and social media

Desired Qualifications:

  • 5 years of experience with farmland / agricultural conservation

  • Experience with agricultural real estate transactions

  • Experience as a CEO or Executive Director

  • Experience writing real estate contracts

  • Familiarity with the Salinas Valley

  • Experience in grant writing

The CEO position is a full-time (40 hours) salaried-exempt position which may include evening and weekend hours as necessary.  Salary is commensurate with other similar organizations and based on experience.

Link to apply