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Executive Director at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI)

The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) is an independent educational and research organization that received its nonprofit status in 1984. Michael Fields was founded based on the ideals of ecologically-sound farming, biodynamic and resilient agriculture and food systems, enlivened cultural values, and the creation of opportunities for young people in applied agricultural sciences and food systems. Today MFAI has more than a dozen experienced staff programming in an array of initiatives including farm and food education, public policy critique and development, farming and urban agricultural systems, and crop and soil applied research. Work is conducted on-site at several farms and at the office/laboratory/meeting facilities as well as off-site at urban and agricultural settings. MFAI is strategically located in East Troy, WI, a rich agricultural and urban region bridging Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago cultural and economic centers. The Mission of MFAI is to cultivate the ecological, social, economic, and spiritual vitality of food and farming systems through education, research, public policy and market development.

The Institute seeks an advanced professional with experience and interest related to its mission. Additionally, we seek a leader who has the skills and passion for internal and external relations development and communications as well as collaborative long-term planning of the diverse programming carried on in the Institute.

Key Responsibilities:
• Engages in short and long-range planning and prioritization of research and educational initiatives in concert with the administrative leaders, staff, and the Board of Directors.
• Accountable for ensuring financially viable operations. Guides professional staff and program leaders.
• Solicits and incorporates input and perspective from the broader agricultural and academic communities.
• Initiates and maintains collaborations and strong professional relationships with researchers, farmers, industry, and policymakers.
• Evaluates potential contributors and formulates and undertakes a dynamic and aggressive funding program to complement other development initiatives conducted by Institute staff.
• Actively engages in the dissemination of knowledge to farmers and other stakeholders.
• Fulfills public speaking engagements to accurately, clearly and professionally present research findings to scientific, farmer, policy, and general public audiences.

Qualifications
• Experience with sustainable agricultural and food systems programs including policy, public education, and national research needs and priorities.
• An advanced degree preferred but not required.
• Superb written and verbal communication skills.
• Experience with developing and managing budgets for diverse programs.
• Dedication to the mission of the MFAI.

Applicants should email a detailed resume and references to director@michaelfieldsaginst.org, attention William C. Liebhardt, Interim Executive Director, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.

*Final application date is April 26, 2010.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer