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Organic Policy Coordinator Position Description

The Organic Policy Coordinator is a full-time (40 hours/week) position with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), based in CFSA’s Pittsboro, NC office. The Organic Policy Coordinator works as part of the Policy Team to advocate for the interests of family-scale organic farmers with national and state regulators. This is a 15-month, grant funded position.

About CFSA

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a member based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps people grow and eat local, organic food by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems that organic family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic farming. We support sustainable farming that is good for consumers, good for farmers and farm workers, and good for the land.

Job Summary

The Organic Policy Coordinator position is a full-time, salaried position. In collaboration with the Policy Director, the Organic Policy Coordinator will research and advocate for organic integrity and spearhead efforts to promote the interests of family-scale organic farmers with national and state regulators.  The Organic Policy Coordinator will identify and implement strategies and tactics to prevent dilution of the organic standards and ensure that consumers’ expectations of the standards—environmental stewardship, family-scale farming, fair labor practices, high animal welfare standards, zero tolerance for GMOs, freedom from chemical residues, and wholesomeness—are met.

Job Responsibilities

Research (40%)

  • Conduct research and draft comments on National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) issues.
  • Research and draft legislative and regulatory proposals to mitigate negative impact of federal and state law on organic agriculture in the Carolinas.
  • Research and draft state and federal legislative and regulatory proposals to promote organic agriculture in the Carolinas and family-scale organic farms and food businesses.
  • Research and draft educational materials to help organic farms and food businesses understand laws and regulations.
  • Meet with CFSA member organic farmers and food businesses to solicit their input and understand the impact of agricultural policies on their operations.

Advocacy (55%)

  • Attend and represent the interests of CFSA at meetings of the NOSB, the National Organic Coalition (NOC), and other agencies.
  • Assist the Policy Team to develop and implement state- and federal-level advocacy campaigns on issues impacting the integrity of the USDA Organic label, including support for environmental stewardship, family-scale farming, fair labor practices, high animal welfare standards, zero tolerance for GMOs, and freedom from chemical residues.
  • Assist the Policy Team to develop and implement state- and federal-level advocacy campaigns related to the impacts of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on the environment, crop seed supplies, farmers, and public health.
  • Develop relationships with NOSB members, NOP staff, and other USDA officials responsible for organics.
  • Serve as an ombudsman to organic certification agencies for CFSA member farms and businesses.
  • Lead organic stakeholder advisory committees to the state departments of agriculture in NC and SC.
  • Represent the interests of organic agriculture with state regulatory agencies.
  • Advocate for research needs of the organic sector with land grant universities in NC and SC.
  • Undertake other advocacy activities related to organic agriculture, as necessary.


Communications and Administrative Support (5%)

  • Seek opportunities to raise the visibility of CFSA and organic agriculture policy efforts (e.g. tabling, speaking engagements, or collaborative programming with other organizations).

Position Requirements

  • A JD or Master’s Degree in Public Policy or other relevant field of study, or a BA or BS degree in a relevant field of study and 10 years of relevant work experience.
  • Strong commitment to the values embodied in CFSA’s mission and programs.
  • Strong analytic skills, including ability to identify systemic problems and develop innovative solutions.
  • Proven ability to work well within a team, and with individuals, both internal and external, from diverse backgrounds.
  • Must be self-directed, attentive to details and enthusiastic.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate with, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • A multi-tasker with the ability to wear many hats in a fast-paced environment; ability to concurrently work on strategic issues and operational details.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and time management ability, with proven ability to multitask, and consistently meet or exceed deadlines and goals.

Personal qualities of integrity, accountability, credibility, and dedication to sustainable agriculture and the mission of CFSA


Strongly Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with the National Organic Program and agriculture in general.
  • Experience with the development of public policy at the state or federal level.


Salary range is between $36,000-$45,000 depending on experience for this position, with generous vacation and retirement benefits, as well as a monthly fringe benefit to support the purchase of health insurance.  CFSA is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and people of color.

To apply, submit a resume, list of professional references and a cover letter explaining why you want to work to promote local, organic agriculture to with “Organic Policy Coordinator” in the subject line.  You will receive electronic confirmation of your email submission.  No calls, please.

Applications are due by August 24, 2015.  The anticipated start date is October 5, 2015.