Rural Development Manager
The Rural Development Manager (“Manager”) manages the Rural Development program to increase access to United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD, a key partner for this program) and other rural development funding programs. Reporting to the Policy Director, they will work directly with communities and participating land trust partners to develop project proposals and secure loans, grants, or agreements for projects. Over the next two years, the Manager will scale this program from being primarily focused on western Montana to addressing rural development needs in communities throughout the Heart of the Rockies region.
The Manager’s primary responsibilities are to conduct outreach to communities and land trust partners about available programs and funding, help communities and land trusts identify which funding programs best support their community’s individual needs, provide technical support for USDA RD and other rural development programs, and manage a “seed fund” used by local communities for grants and local fundraising matching funds.
This position supports rural development in the Heart of the Rockies region and its communities that are facing changes in land use, wildlife populations, climate, and economic stability. The creation of this position was a deliberate effort to acknowledge that economic and social issues are often at the heart of rural community concerns, and conservation of natural resources relies on the retention of working land and people. Conservation must support the thriving rural communities that are directly dependent on natural resources. By marketing and implementing USDA RD and other rural development programs in high conservation interest areas, this staff member will work to bridge the gap between conservation, economic, and social values.