184 Burnett Road
A pioneer in sustainable agriculture since the 1980s and operating for decades as Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment (WNC) is a Maine-based nonprofit education and research center. Close to the greater Portland metro area and set on 626 acres of incredible beauty, WNC consists of a diversified working farm, as well as a 120-site oceanfront campground, miles of hiking trails and other outdoor recreational opportunities on the forest, marsh, pasture lands, and four miles of coastline. Our programs make full use of this unique mix of ecological systems and focus on connecting people of all ages to sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
Thousands of people are attracted annually to the center to visit and/or take part in a program or event. Our educational program offerings range from two-year residential programs for aspiring farmers, to multi-day K- 12 programs, to short programs and events for the general public where they learn about regenerative farming, gain a greater understanding of where their food comes from and how they can be more active participants in the food system. As a non-profit farm we have long been engaged in piloting and experimenting with farming practices that advance both ecological and economic goals and that can benefit the broader farming community. We are also increasingly engaged in applied research at the intersection of agriculture and climate.
In the last several years, Wolfe’s Neck Center has enjoyed exciting growth and expansion in its programs, staff and budget, as well as an increasingly national reputation for our leadership in experiential farm-based education and cutting-edge regenerative agriculture research, and a growing set of influential partner organizations.
To assist WNC in the next stage of its evolution, the organization has created a senior leadership position, Deputy Director/Senior Director of Programs. Reporting to the Executive Director, this person will provide inspirational and effective overall leadership, management, and oversight of all programs across agriculture, education and agritourism/visitor services. These programs are pivotal in allowing WNC to deliver mission- related impact, but also generate earned revenue that accounts for approximately 70% of the ~$2.5M annual operating budget.
The Senior Director of Programs will play a central role in WNC’s small senior leadership team. For this pivotal and influential role, WNC is seeking a visionary, experienced, entrepreneurial, organized and charismatic leader who will guide the strategic direction and operation of the organization’s programmatic offerings. We are looking for a uniquely qualified candidate who can bring a whole-farm and organizational vision for our diverse but interconnected programming and enterprises, along with excellent leadership, management and planning capabilities to implement that vision.
This is a terrifically exciting opportunity for the right individual to join a growing organization at a time of considerable growth and expansion. WNC will complete a major capital campaign in 2019, allowing us to make a “once in a generation” reinvestment in our buildings and infrastructure, and to considerably expand educational and visitor programming in the coming years. Existing programs at Wolfe’s Neck Center include:
- Organic Dairy Research and Farmer Training Program – Launched in 2015 in partnership with Stonyfield, the Wolfe’s Neck program is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is part of the WI-based, nationally accredited Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship.
- Farm Camp – More than 650 children take part each summer in one or more of ten week-long sessions of our longest running program, now in its third decade.
- Community and Visitor Programs – Designed to engage our more than 30,000 annual visitors, these programs include tours, lectures, walk-on experiences, and other offerings to build skills, broaden perspectives and inspire action.
- Visitor Services Programs – Include a 120-site campground and three oceanfront cabins; kayak/canoe rentals; a farm store, and a farm café.
- Fruit and Vegetable Production and Farmer Training Program – Working on more than 6 acres and several small orchards around the property, we train up-and-coming farmers while also donating thousands of pounds of produce each year to area food pantries.
- Provide overall leadership, management, and coordination of operations for all program areas (agriculture, education, and visitor services).
- Proactively work with the Executive Director, Board of Trustees, and other key partners to identify strategic opportunities for new programs, identify needed resources and successfully launch and implement these programs
- Directly manage a team of 4-5 direct reports and oversee a total program staff of 6-7 full time staff, up to four apprentices and more than 20 seasonal staff. Direct reports are in place to manage the five existing programs listed above.
- Collaborate closely with managers across the organization and other direct reports to the Executive Director (Directors of development, marketing and finance)
- Further develop a culture of collaboration, innovation and cooperation to fully leverage synergies across programmatic areas
- Oversee the financial management of programs, setting ambitious but reasonable targets for revenue and expenses, and ensuring that programs are operated according to the approved budget
- Seek opportunities to expand and diversify sources of revenue within our farm, education and visitor services operations and to create, apply, and share best practices in our operations.
- Lead the development and implementation of a suite of policies, best practices, standards and evaluations for all programs that demonstrate the organization’s commitment to environmental sustainability, education, continuous improvement and the highest level of safety and satisfaction.
- Identify, seek and secure targeted grant funding that supports strategic organizational objectives and facilitates program growth and impact.
- Maintain a strong working knowledge of the latest developments in the field of sustainable food systems and agriculture, as well as experiential education and agritourism, and evolve and improve program curriculum to ensure that WNC is “best in class”.
- Be proactive in developing and managing relationships with key partner organizations, including other non-profits and businesses, to help strengthen existing programs and identify opportunities for new programs such that WNC programs can support broader efforts throughout the region and across the country in pursuit of a more regenerative farm and food system.
- Work closely with Staff, Board and consultants to design and create physical spaces that facilitate learning.
Skills and Qualifications
- Eight to ten years of progressive experience at the leadership/management level in a farm setting, education or related organization
- B.S./B.A. in Education, Agriculture, Environmental, or a related field. Related advanced degree is desired but not required.
- Strong credentials and knowledge of the food system, sustainable and regenerative agriculture, and the natural environment.
- A demonstrated commitment to experiential education and to inspiring future generations
- Clear, demonstrated track record in hiring, training, motivating, and supporting high quality staff
- Demonstrated skills as an entrepreneurial leader, including the ability to successfully design and launch new initiatives through articulating a clear vision and rationale, developing a sound strategic plan, identifying and obtaining needed resources
- Advanced skills in managing/growing revenue-generating programs and in financial management
- Ability to work collaboratively as a member of a high functioning team and develop effective working relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds
- Strong interpersonal skills and public communication abilities, including excellent customer service and management ability with a diverse workforce, as well as writing and public speaking skills
- Strong organizational abilities, time management skills and ability to effectively plan ahead across the program season, and to prioritize and manage multiple projects.
- Energetic, dynamic and engaging personality
- Ability to deal with high levels of autonomy, and ability to be flexible to the changing needs of a vibrant and growing, but small, entrepreneurial organization, and to work well under pressure
- Must be able to work a variable work schedule, which includes occasional work on weekends
The Senior Director of Programs is a full-time, year-round position. Starting salary is commensurate with experience. As a full-time employee, this position is eligible for benefits offered by Wolfe’s Neck Center, including: health insurance, dental insurance, paid vacation and holidays and our retirement savings plan.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Please email a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with Senior Director of Programs as the subject line. In the interest of reducing waste, please do not mail a hard copy of your materials. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply ASAP. This position will be posted until it is filled but application materials received by Oct 19th will be given preference. No Phone calls please. Position posted 9/13/18.
Wolfe’s Neck Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace.