Agroforester – Appalachian Sustainable Development

By December 21, 2021Job Opportunities

Overview and Background

Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working to further our mission to build a thriving regional food and agriculture system that creates healthy communities, respects the planet, and cultivates profitable opportunities for Appalachians.


Project Summary
ASD’s Agroforestry Program was founded in 2010 with the goal of helping farmers adopt agroforestry practices that support both conservation and commerce. Historically, ASD has worked with government agencies to establish multifunctional riparian forest buffers with useful fruit and nut trees and shrubs along waterways, as well as food forests along public walking trails. As a founding member of the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition, ASD provides seed-to-sale training to a network of forest farmers across Appalachia. In 2017, ASD established the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub (AHHH), a shared use facility in Duffield, VA designed to help farmers sustainably grow, process and market forest botanicals in forest farming systems and field grown herbs in alley cropping systems.

Along with partners in the Southeast (Virginia Tech), Midwest (Savanna Institute), and Northeast (Interlace Commons and Cornell University), ASD will lead a new project to improve agroforestry technical assistance for forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture to meet the growing support needs of farmers seeking to adopt these practices. Agroforestry has tremendous potential to reduce greenhouse gases, improve biodiversity, increase yield and crop diversity, enhance food access, and much more. However, farmers consistently face a critical lack of agroforestry technical assistance throughout the U.S., which hinders adoption. To increase agroforestry adoption, project partners will combine collective expertise to implement a Train the Trainer (TtT) model that provides agroforestry education and builds a network of agroforestry technical service providers (TSPs). This model will include an online course for virtual learning throughout the U.S. and regional in-person training at demonstration sites developed in the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast. Focus practices will include forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture initially, with room for expansion to other agroforestry practices over time. While the technical capacity of TSPs is being developed, ASD will work with Virginia Tech (VT) to provide on-the-ground technical and financial assistance for forest farm and silvopasture establishment. Intentional justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) efforts will be made with help from a consultant to actively engage and support diverse communities. ASD seeking an Agroforester to join this project team.


Position Description

The Agroforester will be responsible for co-developing and implementing an agroforestry TtT model to increase the technical capacity of TSPs in the Southeast. The Agroforester will also catalyze agroforestry adoption among producers by providing on-the-ground technical and financial assistance for agroforestry establishment. For collective impact, this position will work closely with ASD’s Agroforestry Program Director and Procurement Manager, as well as the inter-regional partners described above.



Develop and implement an agroforestry TtT model by:

  • Establishing agroforestry demonstration sites in the Southeast for training and outreach.
  • Help to develop and deliver an online and in-person TtT agroforestry curriculum.
  • Creating and delivering a complementary agroforestry curriculum for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff and conservation planners related to alley cropping, silvopasture, and forest farming, with support from the National Agroforestry Center.
  • Coordinating review committee input on TtT agroforestry curriculum.
  • Hosting, evaluating, and refining in-person agroforestry TtT workshops in the Southeast.
  • Cultivating lasting working relationships with TSPs in the Southeast, such as NRCS State and Technical Center, Farm Service Agency, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Department of Forestry, conservation planners, etc.
  • Collaborating with a JEDI Consultant to engage and support diverse communities.
  • Building a sustained network of trained TSPs who help farmers adopt agroforestry.
  • Facilitating peer to peer support and learning with agroforestry TSPs.

Catalyze agroforestry adoption among producers with Virginia Tech (VT) by:

  • Marketing and co-hosting agroforestry outreach meetings to recruit producers.
  • Developing, promoting, and administering an agroforestry grants program for forest farming and silvopasture producers.
  • Conducting on-farm site visits to help producers develop silvopasture plans.
  • Overseeing silvopasture establishment in Southwest VA and/or Northeast TN.

Manage successful projects by:

  • Attending and contributing to partner project meetings.
  • Supervising interns and volunteers, as needed, to accomplish project goals.
  • Providing reporting to the Agroforestry Program Director as requested for grants.


Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent*) in/related to: Agroforestry, Forestry, (Agro)ecology, Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Crop and Soil Sciences, Animal Sciences, Natural Resources, Conservation, or related fields
  • *2-5 years of experience in related field
  • Well-rounded understanding of agroforestry systems and implementation
  • Proficiency providing conservation planning technical assistance to farmers
  • Excel in developing virtual and in-person training materials
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and conduct outreach and training events with exceptional community engagement and public speaking skills
  • Experience working with state and federal natural resource conservation agencies, like NRCS, Farm Service Agency (FSA), Department of Forestry (DOF), etc.
  • Familiarity with state and federal cost-share programs, like NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and agroforestry practice standards and payment schedules
  • Ability to lead and manage a team to accomplish common goals
  • Demonstrated ability to network and collaborate with diverse groups and teams
  • Superior listening, verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Outstanding organizational, record keeping, and data management and analysis skills
  • Exceptional project planning and management experience
  • Familiarity with grant management and reporting
  • Eagerness to learn and commitment to asking for help when needed
  • Dependable and resilient self-starter
  • Proficiency with technology including MS Office Suite, Google Drive, webinars, etc.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in/related to same fields as above
  • Prior experience leading agroforestry workshops and trainings
  • Prior experience designing and establishing agroforestry system, including alley cropping and silvopasture practices
  • Registered as a NRCS Technical Service Provider or willingness to become registered
  • Proficiency with creating maps in Google Earth, GIS, or similar platforms
  • Prior experience managing grants, cost-share, or other forms of financial assistance
  • Prior supervisory or volunteer management experience



Reports to Agroforestry Program Director



Office work is temporarily remote, with seasonal travel and events taking place primarily in Southwest VA. ASD’s AHHH facility is located in Duffield, VA; headquarter office is slated for Washington County, VA in the future.


Compensation Package

  • Health insurance stipend, $100 per pay period (starts at 30 days)
  • Cell phone coverage
  • Paid time off, up to 144 hrs annually (accrual starts at 90 days)
  • Compensatory time
  • 13 paid federal holidays
  • Simple IRA with up to 3% match


Working Conditions

Must be flexible working in a fast paced, non-profit environment with ability to walk in mountainous terrains and stand for up to 3 hours. Driver’s license and car required for seasonal travel to farms and events. Anticipate 50% office work, 30% seasonal fieldwork, and 20% events.



Full-time at 40 hours weekly Monday-Friday, with some evening or weekend workshops and events required.



Starting at $49,000 annual salary; commensurate with experience.


How to Apply

Submit your resume and cover letter on


Hiring Policy

Appalachian Sustainable Development provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training. Candidates may be required to pass a background check and/or drug test as a condition of employment. While all applications are appreciated, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.