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Organic Farming Research Foundation - Research Program Director

Organic Farming Research Foundation is currently seeking a Research Program Director to lead the research grants initiatives, the development of analytical products, and overall educational efforts.

Position Description * June 2014
Santa Cruz, CA
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to foster the widespread adoption and improvement of organic farming systems. OFRF uses an integrated strategy of grant making and education to meet organic farmers’ urgent needs combined with advocacy aimed at moving public policy toward greater investment in organic farming systems.
For more than 20 years, OFRF has been sponsoring organic farming research, education, outreach, and competitive grant making programs. Since our founding, OFRF has invested $3 million in 312 research grants to growers and scientists throughout North America. We do this to enable farmers to improve the soil and the environment, control pests, increase yields, grow better crops, thrive economically, and provide healthy food for everyone. This work is complemented by efforts to share our findings with policy makers, educators at agricultural institutions, and program leaders at federal agencies who can use the results to implement broader change and help to advance the sector.
Organic Farming Research Foundation is currently seeking a Research Program Director to lead the research grants initiatives, the development of analytical products, and overall educational efforts.
This new, senior level position provides an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to build on OFRF’s body of work, to develop programs that encourage more farmers to adopt organic practices and grow the sector, and strategically help guide the organization through its next phase of growth.
The Research Program Director reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for

  • overseeing OFRF’s research grants program and ensuring that OFRF-funded research is responsive to the needs of the organic family farmer
  • developing analytical products that will inform OFRF research, education, and advocacy efforts, including monitoring the research needs of organic farmers and trends in organic research
  • strategizing on approaches to integrate organic research and programs into colleges and universities with agricultural programs
  • facilitating communication of research results to the farmers in an accessible manner

The Research Program Director position is a full-time position based in Santa Cruz, CA.
Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree (or above) in an agricultural science or related field
  • Knowledge of organic food and farming; familiarity with organic research
  • Ability to think strategically about the application of research and research policy in order to support the organization’s goals
  • Demonstrated track record of managing productive teams that deliver results. Experience with supervising staff and consultants, developing budgets, managing deadlines and data. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency with Mac and PC and in common software applications (especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and database programs)
  • Experience writing grant proposals, particularly with interdisciplinary teams of researchers and educators from diverse institutions.  
  • Ability to communicate complex science-related issues to farmers and other non-scientific audiences 
  • Customer-service experience to ensure that all interface with OFRF’s diverse constituents is clear, positive, and engaging
  • Experience communicating with farmers and researchers


  • Demonstrated ability to show initiative, achieve goals, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Must be able to work independently as well as within a team
  • Willingness and ability to travel to meetings and other OFRF events
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to build collegial relationships with researchers, policy makers, farmers, donors, and other partners
  • Honesty, integrity, patience, sense of humor, and grace under pressure
  • Willingness to be part of small but impactful team that advances the overall goals and activities of the organization.
  • Must possess a strong commitment to the mission, values and goals of the Organic Farming Research Foundation

OFRF offers competitive salaries, a full range of benefits, and a great work environment. We look for co-workers who can have fun while working as hard as we do for a cause we love.
Submit your complete packet with “OFRF Research Program Director” in subject line via email to for consideration. All qualified applicants should submit:

  • A cover letter stating your interest, qualifications, and salary requirements
  • A resume outlining your skills and experience
  • Two samples of your writing, preferably on related topics

Please visit to learn more about the Organic Farming Research Foundation.
We anticipate a fall 2014 start date, however this position will remain open until filled.
Organic Farming Research Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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