Job: Crop Farm Specialist at Pierce CD

From the Pierce Conservation District (Washington State) website:

Nature & Purpose of the Position

The position of Crop Farm Specialist exists to assist both organic and conventional crop farm owners and operators in Pierce County in planning and applying natural resource conservation practices using State Natural Resource Conservation Service of Washington conservation practices.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work directly with working landowners to solve natural resource concerns using creativity, best practices and through long-term relationships with these clients. This is an exciting opportunity to work on some of the most pressing natural resource challenges related to soil health, farm viability, endangered species recovery and water quality in a growing region. The person hired for this position is directly responsible to the District’s Farm Planning and Agricultural Assistance Program Director. This is a full-time, salaried and non-exempt position.

About the Pierce Conservation District

Pierce Conservation District is government that works. We work strategically and passionately to conserve and restore the natural resources of Pierce County. Our work improves both rural and urban communities to benefit the health and well-being of our citizens. We work in five core program areas: Farm Assistance, Water Quality Improvement, Habitat Restoration, Urban Agriculture, and Environmental Education. The District works for clean water, healthy soil, salmon recovery and local food access for all. When you join the Pierce Conservation District staff, you join a team of talented and committed people who are mission-driven and care deeply about improving our environment and our community.

Primary Job Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of the Crop Farm Specialist is to work directly with crop farm owners and operators within the district. The measurement of success is conservation practices applied in the field to improve water quality and soil health, improve fish & wildlife habitat, and that work to the advantage of the farm operation. Duties include the following:

  • Provide leadership for developing and carrying out a program of crop farm resource management, including water quality and soil health improvement, wildlife and fisheries enhancement, and agricultural management. General knowledge of Pierce County and its residents, including their problems and concerns is necessary.
  • Provide leadership for developing and carrying out a cover crop educational program utilizing the district’s new no-till drill with the outcome being a significant increase of Pierce County crop farmers reducing soil tillage and implementing cover crops on their fields.
  • Perform outreach and build trusting, long-term relationships with farm owners and operators to let them know about conservation district programs and services and to discuss with them needed conservation practices to provide technical assistance to and develop resource management plans for crop farms, with emphasis on soil conservation and health, water quality improvement, nutrient management, irrigation efficiency, agricultural drainage, and fish and wildlife habitat improvement.
  • Assist and encourage crop farm owners and operators in implementing their management plans using standard Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) specifications and designs and by helping to secure funding for individual conservation practices through the district’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), District rate cost share funding, and grant writing.
  • Work collaboratively with government agencies and non-profit partners to carry out the mission of the District, and communicate with crop related businesses, government and tribal representatives, and others that may be interested in promoting conservation district programs for crop farms.

Secondary Job Responsibilities

  • Assist in developing educational materials for land users and organizations in the form of brochures, informational articles, visual presentations, newspaper and newsletter articles, etc.
  • Organize and conduct at least six educational events for crop farm owners and operators per year within the District’s boundaries.
  • Assist in execution of the District’s annual Tree Sale with the help of other staff members.
  • Prepare reports on activities and progress as directed by the Farm Planning & Agricultural Assistance Program Director or the District’s Executive Director.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Farm Planning & Agricultural Assistance Program Director or the District’s Executive Director.

Qualifications

The person in this position must have a bachelor’s degree with academic training and/or experience in agricultural operations or natural sciences or related fields. Significant job experience may be accepted in lieu of a degree. At least two years of experience in similar working environment. We’re seeking candidates who excel in relationship-building, are results-oriented, the ability to multi-task, prioritize actions and have strong project management skills. You should have:

  • Interest in and commitment to natural resources enhancement and public education.
  • Knowledge of a broad range of soil and water conservation principles, techniques, methods and practices to apply and install conservation systems which involve complex and diverse agricultural and other land uses.
  • Advanced computer software skills. Ability to use Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, and MS Publisher in an efficient and effective manner to write reports, keep track of work progress, prepare educational and informational materials and record field data.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate individuals to adopt and implement resource management practices on their property and ability to explain or demonstrate to farm owners and operators methods of installing those conservation practices.
  • Proficiency in written and oral communication techniques to address groups, to prepare and explain conservation plans, prepare informational articles, and to prepare summary work reports.
  • Ability to operate a motor vehicle for transportation to and from the field.
  • Ability to work closely and collaboratively with others in a public office environment.
  • Ability to organize and plan own schedule of activities related to work plan goals approved by the Farm Program Director.
  • Ability to maintain accurate records regarding time-keeping and authorized expenses.
  • Service-oriented attitude and constructive problem solving skills.

Desired Skills

  • Basic skill in using Arc GIS mapping software.
  • Conservation Planning certification from the NRCS.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions

Office and outdoor environment, travel to a variety of farms to conduct work and may be exposed to typical hazards encountered at such work sites. Ability to work outside in all kinds of field conditions and weather. This is a full-time position consisting of 40 hours/week. Position will require some work on Saturdays or after regularly scheduled work hours.

Licenses, Certificates & Other Requirements

Valid Washington State driver’s license at time of appointment with maintenance thereafter, or evidence of equivalent mobility.

Compensation & Benefits

You will have a monthly salary between $3,182- $3,826 depending on qualifications and experience. Benefits include retirement, 100% of premiums paid for medical/dental/vision for you and your dependents, as well as accrued paid sick leave, annual leave, ten paid holidays per year, ORCA card, and an annual training budget.

Pierce Conservation District is an equal opportunity employer and we make an effort to recruit people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply for open positions

To Apply

APPLY NOW – CLICK HERE

Fill out the form, attaching both a cover letter and resume complete with three (3) professional references.

Applications open until: Monday, August, 7, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time

Projected Start Date: September 18, 2017

Contact Information

Rene’ Skaggs, Farm Planning and Agricultural Assistance Program Director
(253) 845-9770 x 106 or renes@piercecd.org

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