Operations Director - Heifer Ranch

Job ID 1137

Program / Project Management Perryville, Arkansas


Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.  

About Heifer  

Heifer International (HI) started life as Heifers for Relief in 1944. Its founder, an Ohio farmer named Dan West, was a Church of the Brethren relief worker, who, working with Quakers and Mennonites, directed a program where hungry children were given rations of milk. He quickly came to realize that was just a short-term solution however and the gift of a cow that could provide milk long term for a family was the answer. West took the idea to his neighbors and to his church which led to the formation of the Heifers for Relief Committee in 1939 later to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pursue the idea as a national project. The model has since evolved significantly and today, Heifer International has (India/Nepal/Bangladesh/Cambodia operations in 21 countries around the world, working alongside local farmers and business owners supporting them and their communities as they mobilize and envision their futures.   

Since its inception, and today as a leading organization in the NGO community, Heifer has been recognized as a leading partner; one that provides hope and a secure future for so many and to date, Heifer International has helped close to 37 million farming families across the Americas, Africa and Asia. In the past five years alone, 2.7 million families have closed the living income gap or are close to doing so. Scaling Heifer International’s signature programs will support an additional 10 million people to reach a living income by 2030. To achieve this, Heifer International relies on passionate, committed, and highly skilled staff.    


Heifer International's mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. The Heifer USA team believes in holistic farming practices that benefit the planet, consumers, and farmers. To be successfully in this role, we are in need of an experienced Operations Director who embodies servant leadership to spearhead operations at Heifer Ranch—a 1,200-acre regenerative farm in the Ouachita Mountains near Little Rock, Arkansas. The Ranch serves as a hub for research, development, and farmer training in sustainable practices, with 30 guest rooms offering lodging, dining, agri-experiences, and conferences. 

Major Responsibilities:  As the Ranch Director, this multifaceted role will be centered around strategic leadership, operational excellence, and collaborative management:  

A. Hospitality Excellence and Event Oversight (30%)  

  • Directly manage Heifer USA staff at the Ranch, including overseeing food service, lodging, and agri-tourism. 
  • Ensure an exceptional guest experience and foster a culture of excellence. 

B. Operations and Strategic Integration (30%)  

  • Oversee seamless day-to-day Ranch operations, ensuring coherence with Heifer's global efforts. 
  • Collaborate with the Director of Programs and Director of Regeneration to position the Ranch as a pivotal asset in Heifer's work. 
  • Ensure alignment between Ranch initiatives and Heifer's global initiatives. 

C. Agricultural Leadership and Innovation (20%)  

  • Supervise and support agricultural staff responsible for horticulture and pastured livestock enterprises. 
  • Manage research and development projects in regenerative agriculture. 
  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Regeneration who oversees the land management of the Ranch and is responsible for land use and ecosystem health. 

D. Maintenance and Facilities (20%)  

  • Oversee maintenance staff to ensure well-maintained and safe facilities. 
  • Manage budgets for maintenance and capital expenditures. 
  • Ensure cost-effective delivery of contracted services. 

Minimum Requirements:  

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in a relevant field such as Hospitality, Sustainable Farming, or Business Administration 
  • Ten years of proven experience in senior management within the food, farming, agriculture, or hospitality and at least five (5) years of supervisory experience  
  • Exceptional communication skills 
  • Living on or near the Ranch 

Preferred Requirements:  

  • Bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish 
  • Experience in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations 

Critical Proficiencies:  

  • Strong leadership and team-building skills 
  • Effective prioritization and task monitoring 
  • Experience managing diverse teams and operational aspects 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills 
  • Ability to empower employees to make decisions 
  • Skill in establishing standards, providing feedback, and holding individuals accountable 
  • Visionary aptitude with influencing and negotiating skills 
  • High integrity 

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:  

  • Diplomatic interaction within diverse groups 
  • Adaptability in rapidly changing environments 
  • Flexibility and willingness to improvise 
  • Ability to supervise, delegate, and train 
  • Willingness to work non-standard hours and travel as needed 
  • Capability to handle emergency situations effectively 
  • Comfort with using laptops for data analysis, communication, and reporting 
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 40 pounds 
  • Working with sensitive information and always maintaining confidentiality 

Salary Information:  
The expected base salary range for this position is $106,540 to $123,333 USD annually. Placement within the range will be based on the experience and competency level of the candidate. 

What we offer:  
Heifer International offers a variety of benefits for U.S. based employees working 30 or more hours per week.  
• Health and wellness benefits including Flexible Spending Account and/or Health Saving Account  
• Employee assistance program  
• 403(b) retirement plan (match 1% employee to 2% employer up to a maximum of 4% match +3% employer discretionary contribution regardless of employee contribution)  
• 22 vacation days in addition to 12 statutory and discretionary holidays, and 10 sick days per year  
• Employer-paid life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D)   
• Professional development and annual merit increase opportunities  
• Optional critical illness insurance, legal assistance plan and pet protection  
• And more! Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer.