Program Manager: USDA Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities

POSITION TITLE:        Program Manager (internal title: Project Manager), USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities
LOCATION:                  Remote, within the United States
DEPARTMENT:            The Wallace Center

Wallace Center is a unit of Winrock International. Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Winrock matches innovative approaches in agriculture, natural resources management, clean energy, and leadership development with the unique needs of its partners. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity, and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world


The Wallace Center at Winrock International is a national leader in sustainable regional farming and food system development. Our mission is to bring together diverse people and ideas to co-create solutions that build healthy farms, equitable economies, and resilient food systems. We envision a future where all communities have the power to nourish themselves and regenerate ecosystems through just food and agricultural systems. Since 1983, the Wallace Center has been working to affect systems change that brings benefits to the environment, to communities, and to the farmers and food businesses that are the building blocks of a just and equitable food system. Through the support of our partners and funders, we engage with organizations and individuals working on local and regional food systems development across the country. We are committed to centering anti-racism, racial equity, and inclusion in our programs, operations, and culture.


The Wallace Center is recruiting a full-time Project Manager for its five-year U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities project. The “Growing Value for Producers Through Increased Access to Markets for Climate Smart Commodities” project will support the production and marketing of climate-smart commodities through a set of pilot projects that provide voluntary incentives to U.S. growers and producers to implement improved practices. This includes specific outreach and support for underserved growers and producers, including those on Tribal lands.  Key partners for implementing this project include Riceland Foods and the Intertribal Agriculture Council.

The Project Manager is responsible for the implementation and management of the USDA award and partner management. Responsibilities include working with USDA, Winrock, project partners, and other stakeholders to ensure the delivery of projects on time and on budget, with a focus on operational excellence. The ideal candidate will be adept at adaptive management, be results driven, and have a strong aptitude for cultivating transparent and trusted relationships. Program Manager will participate in the development of strategy and direction for the project, including thought leadership, the development of project management tools, and the dissemination of lessons learned and best practices.

The Wallace Center is actively building strategies for centering racial and economic equity in our work and seeking candidates eager to forward that mission. The Center is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from candidates of color.

Essential responsibilities of the Project Manager will include:

  • •    Working in close cooperation with the Project Lead and other project staff and Winrock support units (Awards Management, Procurement, Human Resources, Information and Communications Technology, and Finance) to provide management, administrative oversight, and leadership to achieve outcomes of the project.
    •     Ensuring Winrock and USDA specific policies and practices are followed and provide guidance on relevant rules and regulations.
    •     Managing partner relationships, including sub-awardees, to ensure they are positive and productive and compliant with USDA rules and regulations and reporting requirements.
    •     Supporting the preparation of work plans, reports, working budgets, budget forecasts, implementing project planning and analyzing project successes to build on lessons learned.
    •    Contributing to monitoring and evaluation by reviewing and approving assignment information/documents and indicator tables.
    •    Contributing to outreach, by writing content, giving presentations, or participating in other activities to highlight activities, people-to-people connections, and impacts of the project.
    •    Traveling to the field to assist team members and partners with technical and operational management and implementation.
    •    Contributing substantially to Winrock’s reporting to USDA.
The Project Manager is a motivated candidate who has a demonstrated ability to manage and multitask in a fast-paced nonprofit environment. This individual should have the focus to handle complex, evolving responsibilities with a high degree of autonomy, accountability, and attention to detail.  This includes leading engagement with the USDA staff, as well as a wide range of stakeholders and partners in the domestic agriculture sector. Strong interpersonal and project management skills are needed for this position, as well as the ability to work independently as part of mixed telecommuting and office-based teams. The ability to work well in teams on multiple organizational levels is required. Experience with large U.S. agriculture and supply chain projects – particularly those that directly support underserved growers and producers – is required.
BS/BA in agriculture, soil science, animal science, economics, environmental science/policy, rural development, or related field OR at least nine years of total professional/work experience.

The preferred candidate will have at least 6 years of professional, work, or lived experience directly in one or more of the following areas:

Required Experience:

  • Experience with federal government awards – preferred experience with USDA projects focused on U.S. agriculture systems
  • Experience working with U.S. farmer groups – preferred those that meet the USDA definition of “underserved” – and product/service supplier organizations
  • A demonstrated knowledge of climate-smart agriculture practices and equitable food systems – ideally how those practices and systems operate in tribal and other underserved communities


  • Comfortable working in a flexible, high-paced environment and able to work well in teams and independently.
  • High-level cultural competency and ability to work with a broad range of partners and participants respectfully and productively.
  • Ability to manage overall project operations and workflow effectively, to track and meet deadlines for multiple tasks.
  • Strong individual and team time management and organizational abilities for completing detailed administrative, communications, and other assigned tasks.
  • Proficiency in using Microsoft Office software, including Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  • Willing to travel domestically

LOCATION: Remote, anywhere in continental US. Winrock International has physical offices in Crystal City, Virginia and North Little Rock, Arkansas, but the entire Wallace Center team works remotely.

SALARY/BENEFITS:  The salary range is $83,000 – $86,000 and will be commensurate with experience and/or level of education. Winrock offers competitive pay and an excellent benefits package.

APPLICATIONS: Interested applicants should go to the careers page at http://www.winrock.org/join-us/careers/ to submit a cover letter and current resume. This position will remain open until September 21. International sponsorship is not available.

Winrock is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all people and value diversity and inclusiveness. Winrock recruits, employs, trains, promotes and compensates regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, family care status, or any other basis protected by law.

At Winrock we have a clear mission: Empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources through unwavering dedication to accountability, equity, innovation, integrity and transformation.

Winrock knows that its success comes from the hard work and steadfast dedication of its diverse workforce. Winrock remains committed to maintaining diversity, inclusion and equity across the entire organization