Lead, Programs – Resilient Agriculture


Grade: 4

Salary Range: $72,448 – 94,739


Delta Institute

Thriving Communities. Thriving Landscapes. Action and impact are core to Delta as we strive to create a Midwest and Great Lakes region with a healthy environment, robust economy, and vibrant communities. Delta creates programs that show how policies, ideas, and resources can be harnessed for a more sustainable and resilient region. We take a systems view on how businesses, communities, and government and are impacted by the environment and economy, and create comprehensive solutions that pull these pieces together. Delta is proud to have a multidisciplinary team, and we strive to attract a diversity of experience, skillsets, and perspectives to enable us to challenge assumptions and create new approaches to long-standing problems.

Functional Hive – Programs

All Midwest communities and landscapes thrive through an integrated approach to environmental, economic, and social challenges. Our work is organized into distinct initiatives that move our mission forward, clearly define our work, and articulate impact. The programs functional hive strives to successfully address the challenges and creatively assist in sustainable solutions.

Resilient Agriculture Initiative

Impact Statement: By 2025, Delta will directly support 1,000 farmers as they transition to sustainable and regenerative practices, thus improving the environment, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and strengthening a farmer’s bottom line; 1M Midwestern acres will successfully transition.

Theory of Change: Delta is expanding conservation practices to farms— both independent and commodity—throughout the Midwest via practical, feasible implementation that are grounded in science and are proven to sequester carbon while mitigating financial risk to farmers.

Goal 1: Standardize soil health testing and increase its use as a metric for farm management.

  • Objective 1: Create soil testing standard and integrate into normal farm planning.
  • Objective 2: Integrate soil health into rural land appraisal systems.
  • Objective 3: Integrate soil health as part of agricultural leases.

Goal 2: Create an integrated administration program to scale up implementation of conservation practices.

  • Objective 1: Take our watershed-based agricultural work and create a standard implementation methodology.
  • Objective 2: Formalize Delta’s role as a Greenhouse Gas market conduit.
  • Objective 3: Align and leverage agriculture value chain and demand channels.

Core Skillset

A Lead manages and provides leadership to a team delivering projects in one initiative, multiple projects, multiple administrative or organizational development functions or manages the day-to-day implementation of multiple programs for an affiliate of the Delta Institute. Leads are capable of key leadership roles representing the organization, developing new programs and obtaining funding and other resources for the work within their assigned responsibilities.

Other core skillset attributes are:

  • Work in a timely and collaborative manner on multiple deliverables with internal and external stakeholders
  • Lead specific organizational initiatives
  • Developing new initiative concepts that advance Delta and its mission
  • Manage multiple aspects of Delta’s work portfolio
  • Have strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Have strong written and verbal communication skills with deep experience in selling concepts and proposals
  • Have an established network of partners, collaborators, and funding relationships
  • Have advanced knowledge of environmental and economic issues not only in the Midwest, but nationally and globally

Lead, Programs Resilient Agriculture

Position Specifics

A Lead provides strategic leadership and vison to Delta’s strategic initiatives with a focus on developing concepts and funding strategies to meet our impact objectives. Leads provide deep technical, analytical and project development leadership across Delta’s strategic priority areas. A Lead develops and helps implement methodological frameworks for projects, as well as related research and relationships. In this role, a Lead collaborates with project teams to implement tasks as assigned. They raise funds for implementing project work that creates impact on Delta’s strategic priority areas.

A Lead will bring strong technical skills, and real world topic experience, to the team including an aptitude for communication, networking and collaboration. A Lead will continue to build expertise in the team’s focus areas. A Lead should be adept at tackling difficult environmental and social problems with often unclear paths to success, or take iterative approaches with a long-term goal of seeking solutions to larger social and environmental issues. A Lead will also need to be comfortable working by themselves, among multiple types of personalities, on tight deadlines, in ambiguous and circuitous circumstances, and have an overall positive outlook on the change that happens in the world.

As part of a truly multidisciplinary organization, a Lead will also interface with and provide support for other projects that require unique skills and knowledge; and will have the ability to translate complex ideas to a variety of audiences both internally and externally.

What you’ll be doing:

  • Further develop and lead the Resilient Agriculture Programs strategy by engaging with external partners and funders in coordination with the Director, Programs; Director, Development and Communications; and, CEO
  • Outside revenue generation and cultivation of, farmers, farm managers, agricultural stakeholders, non-governmental partners and supply chain partners defined in Delta’s Resilient Agriculture Programs strategy to identify business development opportunities
  • Lead program ideation, concepting, pre-development, funding identification, and proposal development to support your position and a dedicated program staff providing consistent and expanding project work, while meeting program metrics as identified in the Delta Institute strategic plan
  • Lead proposal pre-development and development for projects that contribute to the Resilient Agriculture Programs area
  • Collaborate with Specialists and the Director, to develop budgets and work plans for project and program proposals
  • Collaborate with Specialists and other programmatic staff on multiple projects to ensure high-quality, on-time, and on-budget deliverables
  • Manage staff, interns, and partners to plan and execute Program strategy
  • Assist in the creation of decision support tools for a variety of stakeholders
  • Collaborate on team planning and implementation meetings
  • Where project structures require it, take a hands-on approach by developing work plans with tasks, timeframes, milestones, resources, and dependencies; or, when required, a hands-off approach by providing project teams with the resources they need to execute high-quality project deliverables
  • Develop and maintain key professional affiliations in support of organizational and professional development goals
  • Build networks and maintain relationships with academic, scientific, business, governmental and other partners; identify program partners and collaborate across boundaries to meet common objectives
  • Identify and understand the primary users of products, services, and deliverables
  • Maintain effective communication with clients and stakeholders managing and meeting project expectations
  • Be adaptable in occasional ambiguity; and be willing to go the extra mile to get the job done

What you’ll have:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, environmental science, or related field with Master’s degree desirable or equivalent experience;
  • At least 7-10 years of relevant professional experience
  • Proven track record of engaging foundations, government agencies and businesses including farmers and their partners
  • Strategic and excellent organizational skills, be a self-starter and motivated and enjoy working in a team environment
  • Ability to apply systems thinking to complex environmental issues
  • Demonstrated success developing and evaluating program models, and selecting and successfully operationalizing innovative programs
  • Proficient in using technology as a management reporting tool and experience working with information technology staff to develop and implement program evaluation systems
  • Ability to organize, analyze and visualize data
  • Proficient in analyzing data and technical documents to produce deliverables
  • Strong project management skills managing complex, multi-faceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth
  • Experience in managing and motivating people to meet high performance standards
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • Be able to work in a fast-paced environment, manage multiple tasks and deadlines, and manage work in sometimes ambiguous situations

Core competencies are the values and defined behaviors that we believe are central to the ability of every employee to do the work of the Delta Institute. These core competencies are a combination of knowledge, skills and behaviors that are the mark of a good Delta employee. Core competencies are a distinguishing characteristic of Delta employees for our clients, customers and stakeholders. They are a visible demonstration of our shared values and are evident in how we work together. Individuals can be at different levels of ability on a specific core competency which is why we measure ability each year and provide feedback and development suggestions.

All Delta employees have these core competencies:

  • Adaptive
  • Cooperative
  • Equitable
  • Passionate
  • Pragmatic
  • Transparent
  • Tenacious

Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • Continually required to sit
  • Continually required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
  • Continually required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Continually required to talk or hear
  • While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate
  • The employee must occasionally lift and /or move up to 10 pounds

Delta offers its employees a competitive salary with a robust benefits package that includes generous paid time off, 401k, and medical, dental & vision insurance. Delta is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please email application packet (one PDF) that includes the following:

  • cover letter
  • resume

All as one PDF to: careers@delta-institute.org
Subject line: Lead, Programs Agriculture
Application submission due date: 9/24/21
No phone calls, please.

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