Job Opening: Grassroots Engagement Lead

Pittsboro, North Carolina, United States | Full-time | Partially remote


Position Title: Grassroots Engagement Lead

Job description: The Grassroots Engagement Lead’s primary focus will be on relationship-building for policy work, with both partner organizations and farmers/stakeholders. They will be the staff lead for the Climate & Equity Policy Project, coordinating trainings, meetings, and communications with the Project grantee cohort and coordinating a grants review and awards process in the case of additional funds becoming available. This position will also lead, and provide administrative support for, policy team engagement with farmers and stakeholders in RAFI’s Policy Action Network. The person in this position will serve as “issue lead” on urban agriculture issues and equity issues as a member of the policy team. 

A person successful in this position’s primary focus on relationship building will make a deep contribution to RAFI’s policy work in both the short and the long term, helping RAFI’s policy work become more powerful, informed, accountable, and equitable.

Primary position responsibilities:

  • Work with Climate & Equity Grantee organizations: plan trainings, meetings, and events; provide support and resources as needed; consult with organizations on policy issues; and coordinate additional rounds of funding as needed. Build relationships with grantees, and conduct calls and site visits as necessary. (40%)
  • Coordinate and participate in stakeholder engagement in RAFI policy work: build relationships with partner organizations, farmers, and other stakeholders with interest in and skills for policy work via direct outreach, coordinate the collection of policy feedback through surveying campaigns and engagement with RAFI technical assistance providers, and implement a variety of grassroots communications strategies (action alerts, blog posts, social media, press releases, etc) to inform and mobilize RAFI’s base of stakeholders in support of our policy work. Support other staff in their engagement strategies with administrative assistance. (20%)
  • Serve as urban agriculture and equity policy issues lead: track issue and bill development, keep the policy team informed, and ensure RAFI’s policy positions are rooted in farmer/stakeholder experiences and needs. Help develop RAFI’s policy positions related to urban agriculture and equity issues within the Farm Bill and beyond. (20%)
  • Support the Policy Team’s administration, record-keeping, and reporting: coordinate record-keeping and data entry for the Policy Team’s evaluation goals, contribute to grant reports, take team meeting notes, and ensure regular data entry into RAFI’s Salesforce database. (20%)

Required skills, knowledge, and abilities:

  • Demonstrated excellence in relationship building, communication & interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships through both verbal and written communication. Ability to listen, to both provide and receive feedback, and to build trust while navigating differences of opinion or priority
  • Policy advocacy experience in sustainable agriculture OR community organizing experience 
  • Familiarity with the Farm Bill process and an understanding of current and historic equity issues in the U.S. agricultural system
  • Active learner & self-starter; ability to seek information independently, self-educate, and take initiative on projects and work plans.
  • Well-organized with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and an occasionally fast-paced environment

Desired skills, knowledge, and abilities:

  • Ability to translate complex or obscure policy information in a simple and understandable way for a general audience
  • Skills/experience with meeting facilitation
  • Experience designing surveys or polls
  • Conversational Spanish a plus
  • Experience with any of the following: Salesforce (or other CRM), MailChimp, Phone2Action (or other action alert platform) or Simple Texting


Full-time, exempt position. Annual salary of $53,561 – $65,058 based on 40 hours/week. Salary levels are based on degree of responsibility, with higher levels incorporating more management, initiative, policy creation, and strategic decision-making in the job description. RAFI will offer a salary level, title, and job description corresponding with candidate experience and qualifications. Generous benefits package includes paid time off, 401k, medical, dental, life insurance, and long/short term disability insurance plans. RAFI intends for this to be a long-term position, contingent on grant funding, and currently has funding secured for two years.

Location: Pittsboro, NC. Remote work from within the U.S.A. is an option, with a preference for NC and the Southeast. 

How to Apply: Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter and professional references. We will accept applications until the position is filled. In your cover letter, please state why you are interested in working for RAFI and share any skills or experiences you have that make you an ideal candidate for this position, especially policy advocacy experience, community organizing experience, or experience that demonstrates your relationship-building skills. Please no calls; we cannot guarantee a response to emails.

About RAFI: Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities. We envision a thriving, sustainable, and equitable food system where farmers and farmworkers have dignity and agency; where they are supported by just agricultural policies; and where corporations and institutions are accountable to their community.

COVID Statement: RAFI-USA’s workplace policies require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless medical or religious exemptions are present.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement : RAFI-USA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, physical or mental handicap, matriculation, or political affiliation.

Diverse Applicants Statement: RAFI-USA values an equitable and inclusive workplace. We are deeply committed to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, LGBTQ persons, and other individuals from diverse backgrounds. Research shows that often women and people from underrepresented groups only apply to jobs for which they meet 100% of the qualifications. RAFI-USA is interested in attracting a diverse pool of candidates who want to contribute as a part of a dedicated, hard-working, collaborative team, driven by equity. You need not check every box. If much of this describes you, we encourage you to apply.

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2024 Beginning Farmer Stipends are Here! APPLY NOW!