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Agriculture and Soil Health Resource Technician

Torrington, CT 

The Northwest Conservation District (NWCD) is an environmental non-profit organization serving 34 municipalities in Northwest Connecticut since 1953. We provide technical services and education for the conservation of land and ecosystems. We work to promote Low Impact Development (LID) and promote the adoption and application of best management practices in agriculture.

We are seeking a qualified person to conduct outreach to the farming community in cooperation with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), our partner agency. Responsibilities will include working in conjunction with NRCS staff to provide outreach to ag producers for conservation planning and support. The candidate will also be expected to work closely with watershed organization managers in northwest Connecticut to coordinate the promotion of practices that create healthy soils and clean water quality in the region.

This position is full-time (40 hours a week) and is partially funded through a grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). Please note the position is for a 12-month period with the anticipation, but no guarantee, that the grant will be renewed for a second or third term.

Responsibilities and Compensation:

 

  • Enter a self-directed on-line training program through USDA-NRCS to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to support the NRCS outreach and conservation planning efforts. NRCS and NWCD staff will provide support in this training, whenever necessary. Training time is part of the position.
  • Assist District partners, such as NRCS and watershed associations in developing relationships with ag producers with the intent of increasing interest in having conservation plans developed for their farms.
  • Participate in farm evaluations identifying areas where conservation practices can be adopted.
  • Assist other NWCD staff and partner agencies with organizing and hosting regional programs.
  • Salary range $20-$24 per hour, depending on experience.
  • Create and/or assist at educational workshops and field days to promote the conservation practices.
  • Assist land trusts and other area conservation organizations with conservation management approaches to their land holdings.
  • Assist with Conservation District educational programming and fundraising events.
  • Assist other Conservation District staff with administrative tasks, as needed.

 

Qualifications and Skills:

 

  • BS Degree – in Agronomy, Natural Resources, Environmental Sciences or similar. Must have at least one course in soil science.
  • Basic knowledge of agriculture, conservation, and water quality.
  • Willingness and ability to learn new computer skills, as necessary.
  • Ability to communicate ideas and data, creatively and effectively.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and record-keeping skills.
  • Highly motivated self-directed individual who will also be an effective member of our team.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to use own vehicle for field visits; mileage reimbursement at the current Federal rate will be provided.

Other Valuable Experience includes an understanding or familiarity with:

 

  • Agriculture in Connecticut and the major types of agricultural production being practiced in state
  • Agricultural practices
  • Obstacles farmers face in adopting new practices
  • A reasonable understanding of conventional, organic, biodynamic, and regenerative agriculture.

 

Supervision:

This position is under the supervision of the Executive Director of NWCD and the Litchfield County NRCS District Conservationist. Performance of each duty in this position will be evaluated against the requirements developed in collaboration with NRCS District Conservationist.

Application Information:

Please send cover letter, transcript and resume to Cynthia Rabinowitz, Executive Director, Northwest Conservation District, 1185 New Litchfield Street, Torrington, CT 06790 or via email to cynthiar@nwcd.org.

Please note that interviews may be conducted on Zoom. Applicants unfamiliar with Zoom should not be discouraged from applying as every effort will be made to facilitate access to a virtual interview if the need arises.

Application deadline: 10/1/2021. We hope to have a start date by late autumn of 2021.

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Posted September 10, 2021



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