Full-Time Farm Resource Specialist
Nature & Purpose of the Position
The position of Farm Resource Specialist exists to assist livestock farm owners in Pierce County in planning and applying natural resource conservation practices using State Natural Resource Conservation Service of Washington conservation practices. This holder of this position will focus their efforts in sub-basins of the Puyallup Watershed in Pierce County specifically selected as priority areas for improvement. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work directly with 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 water quality, soil health, and endangered species recovery in a growing region. The person hired for this position is directly responsible to the District’s Farm Planning and Agricultural Assistance Program Director.
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 Farm Resource Specialist is to work directly with livestock farm owners and operators within the district. The measurement of success is conservation practices applied on the land 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:
- 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 livestock farms, with emphasis on water quality improvement, soil conservation and health, nutrient management, and fish and wildlife habitat improvement. General knowledge of Pierce County and its residents, including their problems and concerns is necessary.
- Write our farm management plans per year and assist and encourage livestock farm owners and operators in implementing these 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 Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), District rate cost share funding, and grant writing. Once funding is secures, you will provide project oversight and assistance with best management practice implementation through coordination with District or NRCS engineers, permitting agencies, and the farm operators.
- Work collaboratively with government agencies and non-profit partners to carry out the mission of the District, and communicate with livestock owners, government and tribal representatives, and others that may be interested in promoting conservation district programs on livestock farms.
- 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 four educational events for livestock farm owners and operators per year within the District’s boundaries and specifically within your geographic area of focus.
Secondary Job Responsibilities
- Assist in execution of the District’s annual Tree Sale with the help of other staff members.
- Participate in one of the district’s internal cross program teams.
- 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.
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 are seeking candidates who excel in relationship-building, are results-oriented, have the ability to multi-task, prioritize actions, and who 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.
- Skill in using Arc GIS mapping software.
- Conservation Planning certification from the NRCS.
- Proficiency in Spanish and/or a history of working with the Hispanic farming community.
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 weekends and/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. Conservation Planning certification from NRCS desired.
Compensation & Benefits
You will have a yearly salary between $35,792-$57,643 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. This is a full-time, salaried and non-exempt position.
Pierce Conservation District is an equal opportunity employer and we make efforts to recruit people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply for open positions.