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Job Description

Program Associate for Climate and Rural Communities, based in our Minneapolis office.

Organization Summary

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has a 30-year history of pursuing cutting edge solutions that benefit family farmers, rural communities and the planet. Our work extends from advocating for more democratic and economically just trade agreements, to advocacy for strong climate policy that supports family farmers, to spearheading inclusive food procurement programs designed for schools and early care programs. IATP is about connecting the dots in the food system. We match high-level research and analysis with on-the-ground engagement to bring policies to fruition. The location of our headquarters in Minnesota is strategic, as the deep tradition of civic engagement in this state has allowed us to serve as a laboratory to test innovative solutions that have been replicated around the country and shared around the world. IATP also has offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Germany.

Our Mission: IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.

The Position: The Program Associate for Climate and Rural Communities will work with our team at the intersection of climate and agriculture policies. The primary focus of the work will be in Minnesota and at the U.S. national level. All IATP staff are expected to have an internationalist perspective and to align domestic work with IATP’s overall climate goals (including how they intersect internationally). The position will require coordination with international coalitions. The position is full-time, exempt.

All IATP program staff work in partnership with farm justice and climate-focused organizations in networks and coalitions to develop effective policy strategies and public education tools. The position will also include policy advocacy with decision-makers, legislators, journalists and the wider public.

Major Responsibilities


  • With program team, identify and carry out relevant research.
  • Within IATP priority areas, all program staff are responsible for staying abreast of developments in their fields of expertise.

Writing and Communicating

  • Demonstrated capacity to translate complex regulatory and policy issues into plain language.
  • Original production and placement of material in print and online, both on IATP’s website and other reputable external outlets with IATP citation.
  • With program team and communications director, identify audience and optimal communications platform(s)
  • With communications team, develop and implement communication strategies that promote research findings and policy objectives, as well as IATP brand as appropriate.

Outreach and Advocacy

  • With program team, develop advocacy goals, objectives, and workplans and ensure their continued relevance
  • Get to know and stay engaged with public policy making processes and paths of influence.
  • Engage actively with key networks and coalitions.
  • Represent IATP in public forums.
  • Serve as expert source for media outlets and the philanthropic community.


  • Foundation Fundraising
    • Provide development team with program and budget content to support foundation grant fundraising.
    • Track grant reporting needs and provide development team with required content, meeting all deadlines.
    • Maintain working knowledge of IATP’s foundation grant landscape.
  • Individual Donor Fundraising
    • Contribute substantive content to development team for the purposes of informing IATP individual donor solicitations as requested.
    • Participate in IATP donor events.

Preferred Qualities and Qualifications

  • Commitment to the mission of IATP and work of program staff
  • Minimum 2-4 years of experience working on climate and/or agriculture issues, working within coalitions or networks, and work on policy or campaigns
  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Profound sense of professionalism and strong interpersonal skills
  • Well-organized and detail-oriented
  • Abundance of creativity and enthusiasm

Benefits and Compensation

Compensation for this position is based upon qualifications and experience, with a starting range of $50,000-$60,000. IATP offers excellent health insurance, a Health Savings Account (HSA), paid vacation and holidays, sick leave, 403B retirement plan with employer match, employer paid life, AD&D and LTD insurance. Enjoy a lively, collegial, and flexible work environment. This position is located in the Minneapolis office.

IATP COVID-19 Response: The safety of our employees and candidates is paramount. Due to COVID-19 and recommendations from the CDC, interviews for this position will be conducted via video until further notice. Please let us know if you need assistance with this technology.

IATP is following COVID-19 recommendations set forth by our state and local governments. All IATP offices are closed. We will open our offices as soon as it is reasonable to do so, based on the advice we receive from public health officials and our assessment of what is best for staff. This post will start as a remote position, but transition to onsite in Minneapolis when the office reopens. IATP offers staff the opportunity for a flexible schedule and remote work.

How to Apply: Please combine your resume, cover letter and writing sample of no more than three pages into a single PDF and submit to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but priority will be given to applications received by Monday, March 29, 2021. No calls, please. Applicants must already be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis for any employer.

IATP is committed to the principle of equity. We actively encourage women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals to apply for this position and all positions at IATP. IATP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military status or any other characteristic as established by law.

IATP participates in the federal E-Verify program to confirm the identity and employment authorization of all newly hired employees. All persons hired by IATP will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Application deadline