The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (“OFA”) currently seeks a Farm Policy Analyst to join OFA’s Farm Policy Research Group.
The Farm Policy Analyst is responsible for providing policy research, monitoring and analysis on assigned research topics. This position provides staff support to internal OFA committees and the OFA Board of Directors as well as provides individual members with hands-on assistance and/or advocacy in the resolution of farm-related issues. The Farm Policy Analyst also represents the OFA by participating on industry and government committees and working groups with the goal to influence policy and program changes for the benefit of OFA’s members.
Key Position Responsibilities and Duties:
A. Policy Development, Awareness and Advocacy:
- Conduct analysis of existing and proposed policies to assist OFA’s Board of Directors to set sound policy positions.
- Monitor and analyze current and emerging issues related to assigned policy files.
- Contribute to the development of OFA Member surveys about policy matters.
- 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 Policy Advisory Council.
- Prepare letters and submissions outlining OFA policy positions to both federal and provincial government officials.
- Prepare letters to County/Regional Federations of Agriculture with respect to OFA Board decisions on policy resolutions submitted to OFA.
- Work with OFA Members, County/Regional Federations, OFA’s Policy Advisory Council, and Commodity Groups to provide information on OFA policy positions and collect their feedback.
- Persuasively represent OFA and Ontario farm perspectives to government, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders.
- Respond to media enquiries by explaining OFA’s various policy positions with contextual background information.
B. Member Service and Information:
- Identify, evaluate, monitor and promote programs and policies that enable profitable and sustainable farming.
- Manage various OFA programs and initiatives, which serve Members and further OFA’s policy objectives.
- 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 facing complex challenges/issues related to government legislation, policies and/or program requirements.
- Communicate and explain OFA policy positions and information about government research, programs and initiatives from an OFA perspective to a range of audiences.
- Prepare/Review/Edit content of draft OFA News Releases, OFA Commentaries and OFA electronic/print materials as required.
C. Collaboration and Teamwork:
- Assist fellow OFA staff in a timely manner to ensure OFA delivers an outstanding level of service to OFA Members.
- Assist fellow OFA staff increase their knowledge and awareness of OFA’s policy research activities.
- Identify and propose suggestions aimed at improving OFA’s operations and enhancing OFA membership value.
- Collaborate with government officials and others to facilitate understanding and awareness of issues.
- Build and maintain a broad network of industry contacts to facilitate understanding and awareness of agricultural policies, programs, and initiatives.
- Liaise with OFA’s Commodity/Association Members as OFA’s staff commodity liaison.
- Liaise with internal and external partners to deliver on project objectives and outcomes.
- Participate on or liaise with external committees and/or working groups and other industry agencies as necessary to further OFA policy objectives.
The Farm Policy Analyst will continue to seek opportunities to further their knowledge related to the policy issues on their portfolio. They also will continue to seek to improve their skills through various learning opportunities.
Ten years of relevant work experience or completion of a university graduate degree plus at least three years relevant work experience.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- The ability to quickly assess issues and gather, assimilate, analyze and communicate policy information on a broad range of subjects affecting Ontario agriculture.
- The development of knowledge specific to land use and/or rural planning, municipal bylaw development and enforcement, and Normal Farm Practises.
- Exceptional written, listening, and oral communication and presentation skills.
- Knowledge of agricultural programs and policy initiatives in Ontario.
- General knowledge of Ontario agricultural production.
- Understanding of the relevant legislation and regulations.
- Understanding of perspectives of competing and complementary consumer and producer groups.
- Knowledge of government operations, structure and the public policy process at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.
- Demonstrates a high level of attention to detail and accuracy in the accumulation and transfer of information.
- Demonstrates discretion and adheres to confidentiality in handling delicate or complex situations.
- Appreciation and understanding of agriculture in Ontario and the nature of the farming culture.
- Ability to work effectively unsupervised as well as collaborate within an active team.
- 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; uses active listening techniques in order to effectively understand and provide 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
- 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.
- Negotiation: Gains support for ideas, proposals, and solutions from others; helps others to understand complex initiatives and sensitive situations to resolve disagreements and conflicts; considers others’ opinions while holding strong to firm directions and goals.
- Organizational and Environmental Awareness: Shows commitment to the organizational vision and strategic goals by acting in accordance with organizational expectations and through having a solid understanding of the internal environment. Uses knowledge of organizational practices, policies and procedures to solve issues and accomplish goals. Complies with and enforces organizational policies, procedures and practices.
- Problem Solving: Demonstrated ability to break a situation down into smaller pieces to identify key issues; figuring out cause and effect relationships in order to solve them using logic and analytical methods to come to a realistic solution.
- Strategic Thinking: Analyzes and interprets the strategic direction of the organization, has a clear and firm understanding of the vision, mission, values and objectives of the workplace, uses that information to develop responsibilities, tasks, goals and initiatives that align with long term plans and growth.
- Works in an office environment from the OFA Head office in Guelph, Ontario. However, an alternative employee work location within Ontario would be considered, provided the employee is available three consecutive business days per month at the OFA’s Guelph office.
- Usually works a standard thirty-five-hour work week.
- May be required to work flexible hours (evening and weekend) to attend meetings or events and functions.
- May experience tight deadlines and stressful conditions at times.
- Spends a frequent amount of time sitting and looking 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.
- Some travel and operation of a motor vehicle is required.
In accordance with OFA’s COVID-19 Vaccine policy, new employees are required to be fully vaccinated, (valid medical or Ontario Human Rights Code exemptions permitted), against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.
Applicants may submit their resume, along with a cover letter expressing their salary expectations, in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 4 pm.