Location: Fully Remote
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and helped thousands of farm families make a go of it (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities.
We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day.
We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, expression or identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which we have facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Direct corporate engagement with farms in supply-chains offers a unique opportunity to involve more farmers in implementing and delivering conservation on-the-ground. AFT will work with companies to build holistic soil health management systems across their currently enrolled farms as well as on new farms in the proposed project area. AFT will utilize a targeted one-on-one approach to provide technical assistance to farmers to benchmark current management, develop continuous improvement plans and implement soil health management practices.
We are seeking to fill a Dairy Supply Chain Conservation Technician position; based in Western KS. This position is grant-funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and is for a term of two (2) years with the possibility of renewal based on performance and the availability of funds. The Conservation Technician position offers an exciting opportunity to help the farms located in the feed shed of the MVP Dairy, LLC (a McCarty VanTillberg Partnership) reach their conservation goals.
The selected professional will report directly to the Ohio Agriculture Stewardship Manager, working closely with the Director of Ag Conservation Innovation to engage farmers in adopting sound farming practices capable of protecting environmental quality and responding to the growing impacts of climate change.
What You’ll Be Working On
- Building and maintaining relationships with farmers and non-operating farmland owners as well as state and federal agencies, agricultural service providers, conservation leaders, and others to develop and implement strategies to facilitate adoption of conservation practices on farmland. Specific activities will include direct outreach to the farmers and landowners of rented farmland.
- Developing innovative educational programs, work with farmers and landowners directly to assess land for potential conservation activities, and foster partnerships and collaborations.
- Evaluating activities related to stated water quality, soil health, and watershed awareness goals and ensuring adherence to Measurement and Evaluation Plan (MEP) guidance.
- Coordinating water quality data collection efforts and serving as a liaison for project partners.
- Working closely with individual landowners to evaluate the economic impact of prioritized soil health practices by quantifying two economic outcome indicators –yield and profitability –related to implementation of conservation practices.
- Other outreach opportunities including coordination of educational workshops that bring in agriculture retailers and area scientists to educate conservation service providers, landowners, and farm operators about economic, soil health and wildlife response to implemented practices.
- Engaging farmers, landowners, and other stakeholders in identifying barriers to conservation adoption and develop common sense, economically viable solutions to overcome such barriers.
- Representing AFT at public meetings, field days, and educational events.
Required Qualifications & Experience
The Conservation Technician must be entrepreneurial and a capable problem solver. The ideal candidate is highly motivated, creative, and possesses:
- A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 2 years of related work experience in agriculture, environmental management, or natural resource planning. An advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted may substitute for two years of work experience.
- Experience and understanding of the dairy industry supply chain.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Ability to foster effective partnerships with Extension Educators, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA and state agency personnel, farmers, landowners – including women landowners, and others is highly valuable.
- Experience with public outreach, community engagement, and communications are preferred.
- Experience with Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART0 system, GIS Toolkit mapping, CPA-6 notes, Tech-Note 18, Wildlife plans and Soil Inventory Reports.
- Familiarity with the Microsoft Office Suite, Teams & SharePoint required – additional experience with ArcGIS is preferred.
- Previous experience in agricultural conservation planning and implementation issues and techniques is required.
- Direct professional experience working with farmers, farmland owners – including women landowners, state and federal agencies, soil and water conservation districts, conservation organizations and others – is strongly preferred.
- Previous on-farm experience or related agricultural sectors is also preferred.
Access to personal vehicle is required for travel to areas within the project demographic area. Annual mileage is estimated at 6,000 miles. Additional inter-state travel may be required. Business related mileage and other related travel expenses are reimbursable.
Why you should apply
- Be a part of a purpose-driven, committed, knowledgeable, high-performing, experienced and fun team
- A diverse and inclusive work environment
- A cause and mission you can be proud of
- Competitive compensation & Benefits
- Remote work opportunities
- Flexible scheduling
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