Dakota Rural Action (DRA) is seeking a dynamic individual to join our team. This position is located in or near Mission, SD and the work will focus on the communities and people living within the Rosebud Reservation.

The newly hired organizer will have the opportunity to work with staff and members of a fast growing grassroots organization working in South Dakota. DRA’s portfolio of work includes local and regional food systems, fighting pipelines and extractive energy projects and policy, supporting sustainable agriculture, working to train beginning farmers and food entrepreneurs while fighting factory and industrial agriculture via a theory of change dependent on community leadership. DRA’s work centers racial equity and social justice.

DRA has an office in Brookings (main administrative office) with satellite offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. This is a full time position.

DRA organizes at the grassroots level to build a strong base of members who work together to make change at the local, state, and national arenas. DRA is a democratically run organization with decision making at the Board of Directors, chapters, and committees levels.

Current realities in the world illustrate how important grassroots organizing and people power are to communities thriving, DRA is positioned to continue expanding upon our nearly 40 years of community engagement. In an effort to bring in a wide range of experiences and voices DRA is interested in both well seasoned organizers and folks new to organizing. In either case, additional training will be provided by DRA staff and allied organizations we rely upon to provide staff and leader training.

The Mission SD base organizer will focus on building a DRA Chapter with specific duties that include:

  • One on ones with many community members to learn about issues, leadership and interest in the formation of a chapter.
  • Building an organizing committee to work with you to build the chapter.
  • Reach out to existing organizations to learn about what they do and what role a DRA chapter can play in the community.
  • Build membership and leadership the chapter can rely upon.
  • Voter registration.

In addition to the specific areas listed above each organizer will have a work plan that may include the following:

  • Working directly with state and national networks and coalitions who are advancing DRA priorities and campaigns where appropriate.
  • Lead Staff person for a local DRA Chapter.
  • Build DRA membership and base of support utilizing grassroots organizing tools.
  • Directly ask people to join and/or donate to Dakota Rural Action.
  • Build chapter membership.
  • Work with chapter members and leaders to develop local chapter issues and campaign plans.
  • Encourage chapter members to participate in DRA’s statewide issue committees.
  • Build chapter leadership for the chapter and for the statewide organization including new leaders who will move into leadership positions.
  • Help ensure good communication between chapter leadership and members; the board of directors, DRA staff, and other chapters and committees.


  • Skilled in group dynamics and group decision-making process.
  • Driven by a strong sense of justice and understanding of racial equity.
  • Ability to work effectively in networks and coalitions.
  • Excited about meeting and working with new people.
  • Knowledge of South Dakota and its people is a plus.
  • A strategic thinker and planner.
  • Someone who can motivate people to take action.
  • Must be a team player.
  • Must have a driver’s license and be able to drive.
  • Possession of personal vehicle.

Salary and Hiring date:

Starting salary is $45,000 and depends on experience. Generous benefits included.

Send resume, writing sample, and three references to Frank James, Director, PO Box 549, Brookings, SD 57006, fejames@dakotarural.org, 605.697.5204. If you have any questions please contact Dakota Rural Action.

Application deadline: Open until filled, applying immediately encouraged.

Dakota Rural Action (DRA) organizes people and builds leadership while developing strong allied relationships. We protect environmental resources, advocate for resilient agriculture systems, and empower people to create policy change that strengthens their communities and cultures.

We envision an active and engaged membership promoting healthy, beautiful, and just food, agriculture, and energy systems that protect clean air, water, and soil for all the current and future inhabitants of South Dakota.