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Communications Manager, RIPE Partnership

Agriculture / Life Science, Communications / Public Relations / Marketing

Communications Manager, RIPE Partnership

  • 522892
  • Virginia, United States
  • CALS Global
  • Agriculture / Life Science
  • Communications / Public Relations / Marketing
  • Administrative & Professional
  • Virginia Tech University

Job Description

The RIPE Partnership is a coalition of organizations, led by Virginia Tech, which will implement an $80 million, three-year project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). This project will be implemented across four states—Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Virginia—and will feature payments to farmers to adopt climate-smart agriculture practices to increase resilience and climate adaptation. Farmer payments and enrollments will be managed by implementing partner organizations in each of the four states, and a number of non-implementing partners will support the program in various ways. Virginia Tech faculty will conduct a rigorous research agenda to evaluate the efficacy of implementation. Under the three-year pilot program, Virginia Tech and its partners will help producers in the four states prove the value of paying farmers and ranchers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship practices that deliver public value through carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reduction, improved soil health, water quality, water conservation, and other environmental services. We aim to create a national model for incentivizing and rewarding farmers for adopting climate-smart practices. More information on the program can be found at this link: https://vtx.vt.edu/articles/2022/09/cals-80millliondollar-grant-for-climate-change.html

The Communications Manager will play an integral role in rolling out the program, creating strategies and tactics to alert farmers of the program, communicating the value of the program to key stakeholders, and marketing the impact of the two lead organizations executing the program. A successful communications and marketing campaign will be an integral part of helping secure further programming for a potential nationwide program based on this pilot project.

The base location for this position is Blacksburg, VA. Travel to Blacksburg on a routine basis will required. The position is opened to hybrid or remote; however, the remote location must be within a reasonable commuting distance (i.e. Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. area).

Key responsibilities include:
● Collaborate with two lead organizations - as well as more than a dozen other partner groups in four states across the country - to generate the strategy and promote the program
● Create and execute a comprehensive multi-year communications and marketing strategic plan, including a robust social media plan
● Collaborate with website design agency to develop comprehensive website that markets the program, solicits applications for the program, and serves as a clearinghouse for information on the program
● Develop marketing efforts to promote program leader institutions and Lead media relations efforts to garner attention to the program
● Coordinate and oversee contract writers, photographers, videographers
● Lead branding efforts for the program, including overseeing proper branding, securing vendors, and delivering marketing deliverables
● Identify key stakeholders, and develop and execute tailored communication and marketing plans on the best way to communicate and market the impact of the program to them
● Use analytics to share impacts of communications strategy and realign tactics as needed
● Write speeches, Op-eds, news releases, and other materials as needed
● Other duties as assigned

This position is restricted to a three-year timeframe and contingent on funding.

Required Qualifications

● Bachelor’s degree with substantial and relevant professional experience
● Background in creating and executing strategic communications and marketing plans
● Impeccable English writing and editing skills
● Media relations expertise
● Social media experience
● Experience with oversight of website content development
● Project management experience

Preferred Qualifications

● Relevant experience related to agriculture

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

January 2, 2023

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Tommy Thompson at tlthomps@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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