Join boundless thinkers from all walks of life working together to feed the world. Take pride in working with powerful brands, including Purina Animal Nutrition, Nutra Blend, WinField United, Vermont Creamery, KozyShack, and more.

You’ll join a global team committed to everything from the seeds that go into the ground, to the technology that improves crop yields and sustainability, to the nutrition that animals need, to marketing the final product.

Technical Director

Land O’Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets. Since 1981, it has implemented integrated dairy, livestock and crops development programs in nearly 80 countries — creating lasting impact by linking farmers, businesses, and the public and private sector in local and global contexts. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc. sets it apart. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives. It supports Land O’Lakes Venture37 project implementation with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies. This gives Land O’Lakes Venture37 development projects a unique global view of agriculture, food and the power of well-functioning market systems. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports these efforts as part of its enterprise purpose of Feeding Human Progress at home and around the world.

The Venture37 Technical Director is a thought leader in the area of market systems (with agricultural biases) or resilient agriculture (livestock, dairy or climate smart agriculture) who will provide technical leadership and strategic technical support to a portfolio of agricultural market and food system projects, serve as lead technical contributor and writer on project proposals, and advocate for and represent Venture37 as an innovative, effective, agricultural development organization around the world. S/he will ensure that projects follow best practices related to agricultural systems that are in line with Venture37’s mission and values, and that contribute to market systems that are more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide technical direction to support proposals, projects, and strategies to ensure approaches are based on current evidence, research, and learning.
  • Promote technical best practices to existing projects that are consistent with Venture37’s mission and strategy.
  • Develop technical tools and resources in the areas of agricultural market systems and/or resilient agriculture.
  • Provide technical guidance related to market system and value chain assessments, feasibility studies, business plans, and apply evidence-based learning and best practices in agricultural production.
  • Identify and provide insights on emerging issues and trends in the agricultural sector, including resilience and climate change.
  • Serve as technical contributor, technical writer, technical lead, and/or technical reviewer for NBD pursuits for a variety of US and international clients (e.g. USAID, USDA, non-USG bilateral organizations, foundations, and corporate customers).
  • Develop strong customer relationships to gain insights and to influence future development priorities.
  • Collaborate with the NBD team to build and execute customer and country business plans that support Venture37 strategic growth commitments.
  • Directly manage and develop Chiefs of Party/Project Leads and provide technical guidance.
  • Oversee the development of innovative technical work plans to ensure that activities will deliver the intended impact outcomes on time and on budget.
  • Work with program technical teams to adaptively achieve technical objectives.
  • Engage closely with customers to ensure their satisfaction and to develop insights for future impact opportunities.
  • Lead Venture37 community of practice to share learnings and build team technical capabilities.
  • Develop and deliver innovative technical solutions to development challenges and market our capabilities/results to clients.
  • Seek opportunities that build the Venture37 brand as an innovative, effective, agricultural development organization in the minds of current and future customers and partners.
  • Advocate with private sector actors, donors, and international agencies to support resilient agriculture (livestock, dairy or climate smart agriculture).
  • Represent Venture37 at agriculture-focused international forums, conferences, roundtables, and other technically relevant events.

Required Experience/Knowledge

  • Master’s degree in International Development or related technical agricultural field.
  • Minimum of 12 years’ experience in designing, implementing, and/or managing international agricultural development programs.
  • Experience as technical leader of successful openly-competed USAID proposals, as well as new business experience with foundations, bilateral or corporate donor customers.
  • Proven track record of leading technical development program activities.
  • Ability to interact effectively with established networks of senior level international development professionals, donors, governments, universities, and other partners.
  • Experience leading and working with multi-cultural staff, including awareness of and sensitivity to working with multi-cultural groups in multiple socio-economic settings.
  • Proven ability to interpret M&E data and use it to adaptively manage projects.
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing, and oral presentation skills.
  • Proven teamwork and supervisory skills.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently, nationally, and internationally.

Preferred Experience/Knowledge

  • Proven track record as Chief of Party or Program Lead of donor-funded international agricultural development program.
  • Experience with integrated agriculture (e.g. gender, nutrition, youth).
  • Experience living and working abroad in countries and situations relevant to the position.