Employment

For all job postings, please send cover letter and resume describing experience, desire and/or suitability for the position to Molly Gleason at molly@ilstewards.org before the posted application deadline.

Click the Job Title for PDF version of the job post

NORTHERN ILLINOIS POLICY ORGANIZER

Full time permanent, salary, remote position

Based in the greater Chicagoland area (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will Counties)

Target start date Feb. 10, 2020

Salary $35,000 to $40,000 DOE with generous benefits, vacation and sick leave

Illinois Stewardship Alliance is seeking an experienced and committed organizer to significantly expand our pool of farmer leaders, members, and base of supporters in northern Illinois. The Alliance is building a statewide community united to educate policymakers and form a powerful voice to transform how we feed ourselves and how our land is cared for and by whom. Alliance members are farmers and eaters who use their choices and their voices to shape a more just and regenerative local food and farm system. 

Under the direction of the Executive Director and in partnership with the staff team, the Policy Organizer will conduct an organizing drive with greater Chicagoland area farmers to recruit members and launch a Local Food Producer’s Caucus. This project will expand the pool of leaders and base to foster new state and federal champions of sustainable agriculture and local food.  The organizer will meet one-on-one and in small groups with producers and with consumers to develop relationships, have a clear understanding of the current issues, challenges, and opportunities, and to engage their participation in campaigns and public policy on food and agriculture. The aim of the caucus is to build relationships between and among producers, develop leadership, and educate themselves and others on the issues related to building a just and regenerative food system.

Responsibilities will include, but not limited to

  • Conduct one-on-one farm visits with farmers and with current and potential members and allies to build relationships on a weekly basis.
  • Recruit new members.
  • Effectively communicate and promote the Alliance’s vision and mission.
  • Launch the Local Food Producers Caucus.
  • Organize caucus events– networking, legislative farm tours, and fundraisers
  • Ensure that members receive an appropriate and effective training, development, and support to develop their leadership potential.
  • Work with staff and members to develop campaign strategies to win on our policy issues.
  • Enable member leaders to make good decisions by sharing information and raising questions, options and alternatives.
  • Recruit and turnout members and potential leaders to meetings, events, and trainings.
  • Represent the Alliance in strategically-important outreach activities (tabling, etc) as determined and necessary to reach new producer contacts.
  • Participate in partner organization meetings/events as determined and necessary.
  • Conduct research when necessary to advance a campaign or policy issue.

Other duties

  • Assist with duties such as member renewal, special events, fundraising, and routine office tasks;
  • Assist with grant reporting and writing for related projects.
  • Produce articles for newsletter, website and other content
  • Produce policy action alerts for sustainable agriculture policy issues.
  • Acquire a full understanding of how to use our database.
  • Contribute to overall efforts to raise awareness about the work of the Alliance.

Skills required:

  • Three years of experience and/or education in sustainable agriculture, rural community development, environment, social change, political science, public policy or related field
  • Associates or bachelors degree
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the Alliance and to organizing and developing farmer/producer and eater leadership as an approach to social change
  • Excellent communication and people skills, including the ability to establish and cultivate respectful relationships with people from diverse backgrounds including:
    • Strong writing skills
    • Strong oral communication and comfort with phone calls
    • Ability to facilitate group decision-making processes
    • Proficiency with electronic communication and database tools, including email, social media
  • General familiarity with the workings of legislative bodies and agencies  
  • Willingness and ability to travel and be away overnight and work long hours when needed.
  • Reliable vehicle and valid driver’s license

Helpful qualities

  • Inquisitive and careful listener
  • Self-motivated
  • Sense of humor
  • Open to new experiences 
  • High level of maturity

Compensation

This is a full-time permanent position. Position requires a reliable vehicle with proof of insurance and willing to travel, evening and some weekend hours. Overnight travel may be occasionally necessary.  You won’t be tied to a desk, you’ll meet lots of people, and you’ll make change happen at the grassroots level. Salary is $35,000 to $40,000 DOE with generous benefits, vacation and sick leave. Training is provided. Position will be supervised by Executive Director.


To apply

Send a resume, a cover letter (tell us your interest in the position and what you would bring to the Alliance), and three references to liz@ilstewards.org. Please no calls. Position open until filled.

About the Alliance

Founded in 1974 and based in Springfield, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance’s mission is to find, connect, train and amplify the leadership of farmers and eaters who use their choices and their voices to shape a more just and regenerative local food and farm system. Our statewide community unites to educate policymakers and form a powerful voice that has a seat at every table where decisions are made. Our vision is an Illinois where farmers make a living responsibly stewarding the land and feeding our communities; people can easily and affordably find and buy local food that aligns with their values; and we all enjoy vibrant, resilient, and healthy communities.

The Alliance prohibits discrimination in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.