Sustainable Agriculture Director

Agriculture · Basalt, Colorado
Department Agriculture
Employment Type Full-Time Housed
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor
Compensation Total Comp $80,000 inclusive of housing

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Sustainable Agriculture Director

About ACES:  Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is a non-profit environmental science education organization with three locations in the Roaring Fork Valley: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, and the Catto Center at Toklat. Since 1968, ACES has been meeting its mission of “educating for environmental responsibility.”


ACES works to contribute to a national agenda for increased environmental awareness. Our programs focus on ecological literacy, regenerative agriculture, forest and ecosystem health, land restoration, and environmental civic leadership and they reach over 140,000 individuals every year. We teach daily in schools from Aspen to Rifle, provide kids camps, adult classes, guided hikes and field programs for all ages, public lectures, and community events. ACES also works diligently to directly affect climate change education, awareness and action, as well as action on other current environmental issues. ACES collaborates with land trusts, public agencies, and other nonprofits to achieve our mission. Ideal candidates are committed to continuing ACES’ culture and organizational authenticity.


Position Summary:  The Sustainable Agriculture Director will lead, influence, and manage all of the operations at Rock Bottom Ranch (RBR). The Director will oversee: all ranch staff; agricultural and land stewardship activities; school and community programs through a partnership with the ACES Education and Community Programs teams; and events and donor relations with the Development Team. The Director will continue RBR as the Roaring Fork Valley’s hub for small-scale, economically viable, and replicable sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

The following duty statements are illustrative of the essential functions of the job and do not include other non-essential or marginal duties that may be required.  ACES reserves the right to modify or change the duties or essential functions of this job at any time. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:


Leadership -  Grow RBR’s reputation and leadership as a nationally renowned destination in sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices.


Agriculture Operations and Land Stewardship - Support the agriculture team to accomplish vegetable, livestock, and land stewardship goals. Support agriculture production; lead and oversee the Farmer Training Program; ensure agriculture tools and infrastructure are current, safe, and in working order; support agriculture-related donor projects; manage natural lands and maintain conservation agreement operating plans. Also, support landscaping plans across numerous guest and staff areas across the property. 


Education and Community Programs - Working closely with the Education Director and Senior Community Programs Manager to continue and advance education and community programs. Enhance customer engagement and the overall guest experience for ranch visitors and program participants. 


Events and Development - Working closely with the Development Director to continue and advance donor events (Farm to Table Dinners, Burlap Dinners, and Harvest Party, among others), farm tours, and donor education and cultivation.


Site Maintenance -  Maintain an inviting environment for ranch guests and visitors through grounds, trails, and buildings maintenance. Ensure continual operation and annual maintenance of various office, housing, electrical, mechanical, and energy systems on the property. Maintain and improve overall appearance and cleanliness of the site and buildings. 


Inspire, Manage, and Oversee Ranch Staff - As a member of ACES’ senior staff team, provide daily supervision of all RBR staff. Continue ACES’ culture of trust, communication, and DEI goals.  Continue to build team cohesion among programs. Provide constructive and timely feedback to staff. Hire staff as necessary (with coordination and final approval of ACES CEO and HR Director). Optimize staffing levels and motivate staff to ensure that productivity is concurrent with workloads and organizational goals. Conduct performance reviews.    


Financial Management - Manage the RBR budget in collaboration with the CEO, ACES Finance Director, and the program teams. Generate income from agricultural products, events, and community programs. 


Strategic Planning - Participate, lead, and execute strategic plans and capital projects with the assistance of the Senior Staff teams. 


Marketing -  Support all marketing efforts ranging from programming, annual reports, and agriculture content contributions (newspaper articles, blog posts, etc.)


Customer Service - Provide a welcoming and educational environment for all guests.


Other duties as assigned to further the mission of ACES.

Desired Qualifications:

  • College education in relevant field, such as agriculture, biology, environmental science or ecology. While a college degree is necessary, individual reputation, relevant knowledge and experience will be key criteria.
  • Experience supporting, leading, and managing a staff. Minimum three years of experience.
  • Experience and expertise in working on a farm/ranch and/or experience working with farm animals. Minimum three years of experience.
  • Experience and expertise in working with gardens and greenhouses. Minimum three years of experience.
  • Craftsman skills to build and repair small-scale ranch projects.
  • Excellent written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills, comfortable with public speaking and effectively interfacing with senior management, Board members and staff.
  • Must have exceptional time-management skills to manage projects on a tight timeline with a high level of attention to detail, quality, professionalism and teamwork.
  • Flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader.
  • Must be self-motivated, internally driven and able to problem-solve and make decisions that balance input from the senior management team while moving tasks forward in an efficient and expeditious way.
  • Must maintain a high level of integrity and professionalism.
  • Creativity to fashion a welcoming educational environment within a limited budget.
  • Financial prudence to effectively manage a budget.
  • Commitment to and experience with sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices.
  • Pasture management and four-season farming knowledge.
  • Proven ability to build productive relationships by positively interacting with co-workers and the public.
  • Well-developed computer skills. Google suites, Square 


Physical Requirements

  • Ability to conduct activities involving moderate standing, walking, and substantial sitting
  • Ability to lift boxes weighing 25 pounds
  • Ability to hear and respond to phone calls and conversations
  • Ability to work at a desk for prolonged periods of time

Environmental Conditions

This position’s duties are performed both outdoors and within an indoor office environment.

Reporting Relationships

This position is a member of ACES’ Senior Staff and reports directly to the CEO of ACES.



This is a full-time (40 hours/week), year-round position based at Rock Bottom Ranch, Basalt, Colorado.


Benefits and Compensation

The total compensation package includes housing, utilities, internet, and base salary for a total value of $80,000. Other benefits include:  Medical Insurance Plan, Dental Insurance Plan, matching Retirement Savings Plan, Health Reimbursement Account, Flexible Spending Account, Premium Only Plan, Paid Time Off, a Recreation Benefit, and a Discount on items in the ACES gift shops and on ACES classes.


Start Date

When filled.

Please do not make any phone calls to the ranch regarding this position.   


ACES employees work with school children, therefore ACES conducts background checks for criminal history and motor vehicle records. 


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. ACES does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, genetic information, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and organizational need. 



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  • Location
    Basalt, Colorado
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time Housed
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor
  • Compensation
    Total Comp $80,000 inclusive of housing