American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and helped thousands of farm families (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities.

We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, expression or identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which we have facilities. 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.

The Farmland Information Center Policy Research Intern will conduct research and collect resources relating to state and local farmland protection programs and laws, policies, and programs that encourage the implementation of conservation practices. Interns are expected to attend regular check-in meetings with the project team (by phone or video call) to report on progress and ask questions. Typically, internships involve 10-15 hours of work per week for 10 to 12 weeks (depending on the start date). The project team is based in American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) Northampton, Massachusetts, office. Interns have worked on site and remotely. The internship start date will be in September.

Interns will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about policies and programs at all levels of government that protect farmland and ranchland and encourage resource conservation practices;
  • Interact with farmland protection and conservation professionals in nonprofits and public entities;
  • Learn about emerging issues facing agricultural conservation professionals nationwide.
  • This internship is paid on an hourly basis.

What You’ll Be Working On

Specific tasks include:

  • Identifying, tracking and reporting on state conservation and farmland protection programs and policies using internet-based research tools;
  • Identifying and collecting state and local laws and sample documents for inclusion in the organization’s online resource collection—the Farmland Information Center (;
  • Completing other policy research tasks as assigned.

Required Qualifications

The ideal candidate possesses a relevant Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience; some graduate-level coursework in planning, public policy or legal education is required. The ideal candidate will have an interest in public policy and agricultural conservation and familiarity with land use issues. The ideal candidate will also have:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Policy research experience and ability
  • Familiarity with Excel required
  • Familiarity with Office365 including Excel, SharePoint & Teams.
  • High level of ethics, integrity, transparency, and trustworthiness.
  • Keeps commitments, maintains confidentiality.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate effectively with individuals and teams.

Education & Experience

  • Currently enrolled in a law or graduate-level program with a focus on public policy, land use planning, agriculture, and/or conservation. For law students, 2L, 2LE, 3L, 3LE, and 4LE candidates are preferred.
  • Minimum of 3.30 GPA is preferred
  • Knowledge of agriculture and conservation practices and/or farmland protection is preferred

Why you should apply

  • Be a part of a purpose-driven, committed, knowledgeable, high-performing, experienced and fun team
  • A diverse and inclusive work environment
  • A cause and mission you can be proud of
  • Competitive compensation
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling

Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then visit this URL and complete the online application. Please include a resume and cover letter with the application.