The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic individual to join our team in the full-time permanent position of Farm Policy Issues Coordinator.
The position is ideal for a candidate looking to share their knowledge and recommendations with respect to agricultural policies and initiatives.
The Farm Policy Issues Coordinator will contribute to the organization’s development, awareness and advocacy of sound OFA policy positions by providing background analysis on policy matters affecting Ontario agriculture, as well as providing individual members with hands-on assistance and/or advocacy in the resolution of farm-related issues. The Farm Policy Issues Coordinator will also be called upon to present their analysis and information directly to the OFA Board of Directors and other interested audiences.
Who is OFA?
OFA is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, proudly representing 38,000+ farm family members across the province. OFA is a trusted, producer-led organization that works to represent and champion the diverse interests of Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities. Our work includes government relations, farm policy development, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. We have a strong voice for our members and the agri-food industry on issues, legislation and regulations governed by municipal, provincial and federal governments.
Key Position Responsibilities and Duties:
- Policy Development, Awareness and Advocacy:
- Coordinate OFA’s policy responses to issues of concern to OFA members.
- Track the early identification, analysis and prioritization of issues with potential implications for OFA members.
- Prepare accurate and timely responses to information requests and correspondence.
- Contribute in-kind expertise towards meeting OFA’s in-house and third-party project commitments.
- Present analysis to the OFA Board of Directors and other interested audiences, including OFA’s Resolutions Committee.
- Coordinate logistics and supportive materials for the Farm Policy Research Group.
- Prepare letters and submissions outlining OFA policy positions to officials at all levels of government.
- Persuasively represent OFA and Ontario farm perspectives on initiatives to government, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders.
- Prepare letters to county and regional Federations of Agriculture with respect to OFA Board decisions on policy resolutions submitted to OFA.
- Work with staff colleagues, OFA members, county and regional Federations, and commodity groups to provide information on OFA policy positions and collect their feedback.
- Member Service and Information:
- Coordinate with OFA Farm Policy Analysts to respond to information requests from fellow OFA staff.
- Conduct detailed review, editing, tracking and monitoring of OFA materials prepared by fellow staff in order to ensure content is consistent with approved OFA policy positions as well as OFA correspondence standards and protocols.
- Identify, evaluate, monitor and promote programs and policies that enable profitable and sustainable farming.
- Manage various OFA programs and initiatives that serve members.
- Provide information and advice to OFA members on government policies and programs through presenting at meetings, preparing fact sheets, preparing website content, attending agricultural trade shows, and answering telephone and email enquiries.
- Assist OFA members who are facing complex challenges or issues related to government legislation, policies and/or program requirements.
- Communicate and explain OFA policy positions to a range of audiences.
- Collaboration and Teamwork:
- Assist fellow OFA staff in a timely manner to ensure OFA delivers an outstanding level of service to OFA members.
- Track incoming, outgoing, and the progress of requests, issues and correspondence.
- Work with OFA’s commodity group and association members as OFA staff liaison.
- Liaise with internal and external partners to deliver project objectives and outcomes.
- Participate in or liaise with external committees and/or working groups and other industry agencies as necessary to further OFA policy objectives.
- Identify and propose suggestions aimed at improving OFA’s operations and enhancing OFA membership value.
Education and Experience:
- Ten (10) years of relevant work experience or completion of a university graduate degree in a related discipline.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Articulate recommendations and findings, either in writing or verbally, in a manner appropriate for the audience.
- General knowledge of Ontario agricultural production.
- Experience serving farm business clients.
- Appreciates and understands issues facing Ontario farmers and rural communities.
- Demonstrates the ability to promote business environment enhancements that enable profitable and sustainable farming.
- Demonstrates understanding of policy decision-making processes.
- Superior research, problem solving, facilitative and organizational skills.
- Ability to quickly assess issues and gather, assimilate, analyze, and communicate policy information on a broad range of subjects affecting Ontario agriculture.
- Knowledge of government operations, structure and the public policy process at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.
- Capacity to retain knowledge about OFA policy positions.
- Exceptional written, listening, and oral communication and presentation skills.
- Demonstrates a high level of attention to details and accuracy in the accumulation and transfer of information.
- Demonstrates discretion and adheres to confidentiality in handling delicate or complex situations.
- Ability to work effectively unsupervised as well as collaborates within an active team.
- Ability to set, manage and adjust competing priorities to meet tight timelines.
- Valid Class G Ontario Driver’s License with access to a reliable vehicle.
- Bilingual (French and English) language skills are considered an asset, but are not a requirement, for this position.
Accountability: Takes personal ownership and responsibility for the quality and timeliness of work commitments. Follows organizational guidelines, professional standards, regulations and principles. Demonstrates reliability and integrity on a daily basis.
Adaptability: Adapts and responds to changing conditions , priorities, technologies and requirements . Recognizes new information and ideas with a willingness to alter opinions and behaviours. Applies versatility, reasoning and innovativeness in the face of change. Able to comfortably collaborate in a variety of situations and with diverse individuals.
Communication: Expresses and transmits information with consistency and clarity; using active listening techniques in order to effectively understand and provided feedback; summarizing information according to the audience in order to promote engagement and increase understanding.
Critical Thinking: Analyzes and interprets data and information gathered from observation, investigations, formal and informal communication, reports, legislation and others in order to develop conclusions.
Networking and Relationship Building: Effectively builds constructive, friendly, professional relationships and networks of key contacts with people and colleagues, maintains partnerships that can provide information, assistance and support.
Service Orientation: Gives superior service to both internal and external customers and members.
Teamwork: Works cooperatively and effectively with others to reach a common goal.
Job Specific Competencies
Writing skills: Communicates ideas and information in writing to ensure that information and messages are understood and have the desired impact.
Analytical Thinking: Applies systematic, logical reasoning when addressing problems or situations in order to arrive at an appropriate solution or outcome. Considers the various issues and components of the problem, develops sequential steps to address the situation and determines rational timeframes and priorities.
Decision Making: Makes concrete, well-informed and thoughtful decisions that support the overall organization . Has the ability to make quick effective decisions even when data and details are limited. When making unfavourable decisions that might have negative consequences will examine the impacts and potential implications to ensure that the decision is valid for the situation.
- Work in an office environment (OFA Guelph office – 200 Hanlon Creek Blvd.).
- Works a standard thirty-five-hour work week .
- Will be required to work flexible hours (evening and weekend) to attend meetings or events and functions.
- Will require some minimal travel and operation of a motor vehicle is required.
- May experience tight deadlines and stressful conditions at times.
- Spends a frequent amount of time sitting and looking/working at a computer screen.
- Is required to maintain high levels of concentration and attention to detail for extended periods.
- May encounter and need to manage stress at times due to competing work priorities and conflicts arising from OFA policy positions adopted without the benefit of full consensus.
- Must be able to manage frequent interruptions and multiple tasks daily.
Compensation & Benefits
- Salary range: $73,000 – $100,000.
- Hours: The current hours of work are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
- Location: Guelph, Ontario OFA office – 200 Hanlon Creek Blvd.
- Benefits:OFA’s group benefit program.
- Health care, Dental care, Vision care, Life insurance, Disability insurance, Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP), Company events, Business casual dress, Day shift.
- Pension Plan:OFA defined benefit Pension Plan upon completion of six months (6) of employment. The OFA pension plan is shared 50/50 responsibility between the Employer and the Employee.
- Vacation: 15 days (3 weeks) accrued over the course of each calendar year.
- Sick time: Sick leave benefits earned over time, and personal time, as outlined and limited by policy.
- Km $: Vehicle use will be compensated at the current rate of $0.58 cents /km for work-related mileage.
Applicants may submit their cover letter and resume, in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than February 22, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. (Late applications may be accepted.)
We wish to thank all applicants in advance for their interest; however, only those who will be considered for an interview will be contacted. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome diversity within our workforce. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities act and Disabilities Act of Canada, upon request, accommodation will be provided throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process to applicants with disabilities. You may contact email@example.com or call 1-800-668-3276 for any requests. Please note that we only recruit individuals who are legally entitled to work in Canada.