The Barton County Conservation District in Great Bend is seeking a talented and experienced Conservation Agronomist to advance agricultural practices and environmental outcomes in a multi-county area. Applications will be taken until Nov. 25, 2020. Email resume to the Barton County Conservation District Board of Supervisors, c/o Veronica.Coons@ks.nacdnet.net. Salary range is $45,000 to $60,000 annually, depending on experience.
A qualified applicant for the BCCD Conservation Agronomist position can expect to serve as a conservation leader in the area, fostering public-private partnerships with a host of players from ag retailers and crop consultants to state and federal conservation agencies and others helping to advance voluntary, incentive-based approaches to private lands conservation. The applicant will also lead efforts to enhance coordination, training and information for the farming community with a goal of providing public and private sector organizations an opportunity to provide integrated and complementary conservation assistance to their shared customers.
The Conservation Agronomist will:
Report to the Barton County Conservation District Board of Supervisors, and will work closely with the conservation district, other conservation districts and NRCS staff.
Work closely with area ag retailers and crop consultants within the Great Bend Co-op retail area, and will represent the BCCD at public meetings and events.
Information and Education:
• Work closely with ag retailers to help them understand natural resource concerns, as identified by NRCS, and conservation programs and practices designed to address those resource concerns.
• Provide training opportunities to agricultural retailers and other agriculture organizations on state and federal conservation programs to improve awareness, farmer access to assistance, and on-the-ground coordination with CDs and agricultural organizations.
• Provide training and information to CDs and NRCS field offices on modern production agriculture systems, including precision ag, nutrient and pest management, and other agronomic services that improve productivity while minimizing natural resource concerns.
• Build conservation expertise and capacity at both the CD and agricultural retailers in the area to drive adoption of on-farm stewardship practices.
• With partners, develop and implement workshops and field days designed to educate farmers, farm-related and farmer-led organizations on best practices and other innovative conservation systems that benefit natural resource quality and farm productivity.
• Serve as a leader in the multi-county area to advance public-private partnerships through state and federal conservation programs, including NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program, Source Water protection assistance, and Conservation Innovation Grants.
• Assist the NRCS Field Office Staff in providing on-site technical assistance to private landowners under contract with USDA for the implementation of conservation practices.
• Work closely and build and maintain a good working relationship with CD and NRCS staff, agricultural retailers and crop consultants, and other resource management professionals, both public and private, in support of a holistic approach to the management of natural resources.
• Assist clients with applying for financial assistance through USDA Farm Bill Programs and other state/local conservation implementation and incentive programs. Assist with application processing, contract development, application ranking and document preparation for programs.
• Assist contract holders with technical guidance regarding implementation of their
• Assist the NRCS Field Office Staff with monitoring progress of contract implementation, reviews, processing contract modifications and payments, and general correspondence.
• Learn program rules and regulations concerning administration of applications and contracting procedures for each Farm Bill program under NRCS.
• Use agency-specific software related to mapping, planning & implementation.
Bachelor’s degree in agronomy, environmental science, soil science, horticulture, viticulture, or a closely related field is preferred, OR a minimum of 5 years specialized work experience in a natural resource management field may be substituted for education.
An awareness of and working knowledge in: Principles and practices of sustainable agriculture.
Soil management practices including conservation tillage, cover cropping, conservation crop rotation, and amendment applications.
Erosional processes and best management practices for water quality protection.
Strong communication skills, including both written and public speaking and presentation skills
Strong computer skills
Excellent organizational skills
Desire to embrace the mission of the conservation district
Willing to travel over a multi county area
Willing to maintain a flexible work schedule, with occasional work on weekday nights and week