About Land Stewardship Project:

The Land Stewardship Project (LSP) founded in 1982, is a member-led, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a 501(c)4 sister organization, Land Stewardship Action Fund. LSP has nearly 4,400 members and 30+ staff who organize to advance a people-centered vision for the pressing issues in rural communities and our region.  Our members laid out their bold vision in its Long Range Plan

We are a people’s organization, responsible to our members and seek someone with an organizer’s mindset, who loves building, facilitating and developing teams of staff and member-leaders. LSP is committed to long-term, ground-up change around such issues as stewarding the health of our land and water through fighting factory farms and frac sand mining, as well as combating corporate control, land consolidation, and structural racism in agriculture. LSP is also committed to supporting family farms and beginning farmers, promoting soil health and regenerative practices to address climate change, and advocating for issues such as affordable and accessible healthcare.

We are seeking an experienced leader who is deeply committed to building power in rural areas and has a proven interest in environmental stewardship of the land.  The candidate for this position should  also be dedicated to economic, racial, and gender justice and equity. They should have a proven track record of successfully leading justice and equity initiatives and have the savvy to build unity where issues of race, political polarization and income inequality divide and isolate rural people.   As our current farm crisis, exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic, is destroying rural communities and small- and mid-sized farms and laying bare the weakness of a corporate controlled food system, we seek someone who can align our program areas and expertise in a way that expands what we’re doing well, and address the ongoing farm crisis and its impact on rural communities and farm families.

Since the creation of the Long Range Plan LSP has been an organization in transition.  Its Executive Director, who had worked for the organization for a number of years transitioned out as the implementation of the Long Range Plan began.  The incoming Executive Director remained on the job for less than a year.  Since May of 2021, an Interim Executive Director has been onboard who has stabilized and refocused the organization.  The organization’s Board of Directors and staff have reimagined the executive leadership of LSP to include an Executive Director and two Associate Directors who would each oversee major areas of work in LSP departments including Programs, Policy, Finance, Advancement, and Human Resources & Operations. Our new Executive Director would be responsible for recruiting, hiring and supervising these new Associate Directors.  In addition, the LSP staff recently formed a union who management looks forward to working with. 

Executive Director Role & Responsiblities:

The role of the Executive Director is to operationalize the vision of the Land Stewardship Project as described in its Long Range Plan and is directly accountable to its membership through its Board of Directors.  The Executive Director leads, facilitates and delegates to a strong staff team who work virtually, in-office, and in hybrid work environments.  The Executive Director’s major bodies of work are as follows:

Organizational Mission and Strategy: Ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and community organizing.

  • Evaluate the implementation of the Long Range Plan and report candidly  on a regular basis  to the Board of Directors, staff and members the progress and challenges of the organization’s work.
  • Engage and implement the decisions of the Board of Directors related to organizational strategy, direction and policy. 
  • Ensure that LSP puts its rural members at the center of its organizing, policy, programmatic, and communications work and lifts up rural voices.
  • Be an active and visible presence in rural communities and directly build relationships with farmers, LSP members, elected officials and allied organizations that can strategically advance the organization’s mission.
  • Model LSP’s shared values for members and staff.  Bridge the racial and political divisions in our region and in rural communities in a way that expects the best, invites people in, and seeks unity in service of stronger and more resilient rural communities. 
  • Work with the communications team to develop and expand LSP’s communications infrastructure and ensure a consistent organizational voice that reflects our values, mission and Long Range Plan. 
  • Serve as LSP’s primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, the media and the general public.

Fundraising and Financial Oversight: Raise resources to effectively advance the organization’s mission and ensure overall financial health.

  • The Executive Director is the primary fundraiser for the organization and is responsible for building and stewarding funding relationships, developing concepts and proposals, and directly asking for funds from foundations, major donors, government, and others.  
  • Work closely with staff members who build and cultivate funder relationships and the Director of Development who is responsible for overall grants management and fundraising strategy.
  • Collaborate with the Advancement Team to directly solicit major donors and members. 
  • Ensure the timely and accurate submission of annual organizational budget which reflects organizational priorities and growth goals to the Board of Directors. 
  • Work closely with finance staff to ensure organizational expenses are in line with budget plans.  Present to the Board of Directors quarterly financial reports which accurately reflect the organization’s financial position.
  • With the support of finance and operations staff, ensure all contracts and vendor services are as described.  Sign off on all contracts unless otherwise delegated. 

Staff Management, Facilitation and Alignment: Recruit, develop and build the LSP staff team. 

  • Recruit, hire and directly supervise two Associate Directors with responsibilities to supervise and lead LSP departments: Programs, Policy, Finance, Advancement, and HR/Operations.
  • Model collaborative and facilitative leadership with inclusive staff-wide planning and decision making. 
  • Build and support a positive, respectful and equitable staff culture.  Model wellness and work-life balance.
  • Ensure the LSP staff team continues to add talented rural staff with backgrounds in both conventional and regenerative farming who are skilled at building relationships.
  • Negotiate in good faith with LSP’s new staff union and work toward a mutually beneficial first contract.

Professional Qualifications:

  • A highly effective manager with a minimum of 8 years of management and team building experience with a proven ability to develop, motivate, delegate and lead dynamic and high performing teams
  • A skilled facilitator, active listener and strategic thinker with a track record of successfully bridging political, racial and geographic differences in service of bigger goals
  • A solid track record of fundraising and fiscal management, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
  • A planner with demonstrated experience creating, reaching, and evaluating goals and who is able to show an ability to adjust without losing sight of the ultimate objective
  • A clear and articulate written and verbal communicator
  • An experienced organizer who innately understands that the power to change oppressive systems comes from the collective action of people and who has developed grassroots leadership and coalitions to do so
  • Has a lived experience of the strengths of rural communities and the challenges they face and understands the importance of sustainable agriculture, soil health, and local food systems
  • Has developed and implemented 501c(3) and 501c(4) strategies and understands the legal and tax requirements of both types of organization.
  • A highly motivated person with a successful track record of accountability to a base of people
  • High degree of comfortability with both Microsoft Office & G Suite software, including cross-teams collaboration and project management tools.
  • Experience working in both in-person and remote environments and able to lead and pivot when needed.

Level/Salary Range & Benefit Package:

➔ Reports to: LSP and LSAF board of directors

➔ FLSA Status: Exempt

➔ Hours: Full-time, 40 hours/week, including occasional evenings/weekends

➔ Salary Range: $70,000-90,000 FTE annually, plus a benefits package including health, dental, life insurance, 401(k) after one year of service, as well as vacation, sick, and safe time.

➔ Location: The Land Stewardship Project has three offices, all in Minnesota: Minneapolis, Lewiston, and Montevideo. The executive director can be primarily located in any of the three offices. The executive director would be expected to spend time at all locations and in the field connecting with members and partners. 

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