Social Science Sr Technical Spec @ American Farmland Trust

Social Science Sr Technical Spec


About Us

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and helped thousands of farm families make a go of it (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities.

We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, expression or identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which we have facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Position summary

As an integral part of the AFT National Initiative Team, the Social Science Analyst (the Senior Technical Specialist) will help support social science research led by the Women for the Land Director. This position will support the Director in building a social science body of work that is strategic, coordinated, practical, applied, efficiently delivered, well-received, academically defensible, and impactful. Specifically, the Senior Technical Specialist will support in the design, implementation, analysis and reporting on specific projects undertaken by the Women for the Land Director.

Duties and responsibilities include

  • Engage in collaborative research with farmers/ranchers, landowners, rural communities, interdisciplinary researchers, and other partners to explore our understanding of agricultural decision making and program impacts and outcomes.
  • Identify and cultivate opportunities to work collaboratively with AFT staff and external partners to better understand social drivers of agricultural resilience, including topics related to conservation practice adoption, climate adaptation, land transition and transfer dynamics.
  • Work to support AFT’s holistic mission, including work with women, BIPOC and other underserved producers (e.g., veterans, new and beginning farmers, small-scale farmers) to support social science and community resilience programmatic goals.
  • Conduct analysis of social science research and evaluation projects, including analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data conducted as part of research and evaluation efforts.
  • Provide national visibility for AFT at workshops and conferences and across social media and other popular communication media.
  • Support a strong team culture of shared learning, innovation and problem solving among AFT staff.

This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of job-related responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions. While this is intended to reflect the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.


  • Experience with the development of well-designed and replicable research projects that can be both interdisciplinary and collaborative, as well as excellent data analysis skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to tap into and partner with academic and other research networks.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills – including demonstrated experience and success with writing of both popular and peer-reviewed works as both editor, author and co-author. Additional experience writing for a general audience via white papers, blogs, social media work, etc., is highly desired.
  • Demonstrated understanding of or familiarity with mixed methods research tools and participatory strategies.
  • Ability to deliver high quality work in a dynamic organization under time pressure.
  • Collaborative, professional, creative and innovative approach to tackling the future threats to agricultural lands.
  • Budget management and fundraising experience preferred.

Education & Experience

A M.S. in sociology, anthropology, human geography or related fields and at least two years of interdisciplinary research experience in agriculture- related fields.

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2023-05-05 00:00