Executive Assistant to the CEO
Sequoia Farm Foundation - Decatur, IL

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Sequoia Farm Foundation operates research farms in Illinois and Arizona. Sequoia is a subsidiary of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation but its application for independent 501(c)3 status as a private operating foundation is in process with the Internal Revenue Service. Sequoia partners with a number of U.S. agricultural universities on research to improve global food security. Sequoia’s current research partners include: Penn State; Purdue; Southern Illinois University; and Texas A&M. In addition to its research, Sequoia manages working farms that produce primarily corn and soybean with proceeds from crop sales funding operations and research costs.


The Executive Assistant to the CEO is responsible for providing administrative support for the Sequoia Farm Foundation and its CEO. Specifically, this includes:
Supporting the CEO by:

  • Managing travel logistics for the CEO;
  • Reconfirming all travel details in advance of trips;
  • Coordinating logistical details for Sequoia Farm Foundation events and meetings;
  • Providing general office support, including preparing correspondence, filing, mailing and shipping, and other administrative support tasks as necessary and as time allows;
  • Managing a handful of key special projects / programs as needed;
  • Coordinating with Sequoia’s Agriculture Research Specialist and Financial Manager to maintain accurate account records and farm expenses;
  • Assisting Sequoia’s Agriculture Research Specialist and Financial Manager with production of farm/acre productivity analyses;
  • Traveling with the CEO to farms in Arizona (estimated at 2-3 trips per year) and South Africa (estimated 1-2 trips per year) as needed;
  • Providing on-site support commensurate with home office support while traveling;
  • Trouble-shooting and problem-solving issues that arise in a constantly changing environment, without direct oversight from the CEO, and ability to think ahead;

Support Sequoia’s Financial Manager by:

  • Assisting with coordination of cash rent payments from lessees and activities with lessees;
  • Monitoring grain prices and executing the sale of grain as directed;
  • Maintaining and updating the asset register for insurance and other purposes;
  • Maintaining records of all input expenses by farm, such as seed, chemical, and fertilizer purchases; and creating farm and production maps as needed;
  • Assisting with farm equipment purchases and pending purchases, actual and projected income, grain contracts and proceeds, etc.;


  • Experience working for an operating farm, including family farm operations, and a familiarity with farm equipment;
  • During peak farm seasons (spring and fall) must be willing to work weekends;
  • A bachelor’s level education with a focus and/or background in agriculture preferred;
  • Prefer some experience providing administrative support;
  • Outstanding organizational and time management skills;
  • Ability to successfully multi-task and deliver in a timely manner, with outstanding attention to detail and sense of urgency;
  • Superior oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to take ownership of problems and use good judgment in decision-making;
  • Computer proficiency with Microsoft Office suite required; experience with Quickbooks a plus; will be trained on Apex farm management software and Google Earth Pro;
  • Willingness to travel to Arizona research farm 3x per year for up to 3 weeks per trip as necessary; travel domestically 25% of time; travel internationally 15% of time;
  • Ability to manage confidential information and situations with efficiency, flexibility, accuracy, and diplomacy;
  • Intellectual curiosity and a passion for the Foundation’s mission.

Additional Restrictions:
Preference given to applicants who currently reside in the greater Central Illinois area (including Decatur; Chicago; Champaign-Urbana; Bloomington, IL; Springfield; St. Louis, MO; Bloomington, IN; West Lafayette, IN; Indianapolis). Only candidates who are willing/able to be based in the Decatur, IL area full-time will be considered.