Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Project Officer: Farming Smarter Toolkit

By Madeleine Penkett

8th September 2021

FFCC is recruiting a Project Officer: Farming Smarter Toolkit for its Cumbria inquiry.

This role will suit you if you want to support farmers to adapt and build resilient businesses as direct payments are phased out.

The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission works across the UK through a network of inquiries at a national and local scale. Our place-based inquiries comprise, so far, three inquiries in England – in Cumbria, Devon and Cambridgeshire – and one each in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

In Cumbria, we are recruiting a Project Officer to develop and trial a Farming Smarter Toolkit to support farmers to adapt their businesses as direct payments are phased out. The purpose of the project is to upskill upland farm businesses in environmental management and farm business finance, with a focus on integrating food production with enhancing public goods and improving financial resilience.

The Project Officer will report to the Cumbria Inquiry Chair and Coordinator, and will be supported by a steering group and network of partners – including NFU, Foundation for Common Land, Nature Friendly Farming Network, the Farmer Network, Federation of Cumbria Commoners, amongst others – who will provide support with toolkit design, communication and training.

This role will suit you if you have:

  • A strong understanding of upland farming systems, farm economics and public goods.
  • Outstanding project management, organisational and administrative skills, with the ability to prioritise, multitask and coordinate workshops and events.
  • Experience of developing effective working relationships with a diverse and authoritative group of stakeholders.
  • Experience of designing and delivering training and/or knowledge transfer.
  • A shared sense of purpose for our mission, with commitment to finding practical solutions to the climate, nature, health and economic crises.

To learn more about the role, please download the Job Description at the top of this page.

Closing date: 23:59 on Thursday, 23rd September

Term: 1 year freelance contract (with option to extend)

Hours: 10 days per month

Contract value: £16,200.00 (inclusive of any applicable VAT) over the contract’s length.

Location: Home based, ideally in or close to Cumbria. The post holder will be required to travel to Ambleside for regular meetings, and within Cumbria to meet with farmers, partners and stakeholders.

To apply: Please send your CV and a one page cover letter, explaining why you are suitable for this role and your reasons for applying, to