Agronomist

Job Listing No: 9740000

Agronomist

New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts                  Job Listing:  Agronomist for the NH Soil Health Initiative                                    Up to a 3 year position    Salary commensurate with experience, base of $45,000 per year, plus expenses    Territory: Cheshire, Sullivan, Grafton, Coos counties, NH                Position Purpose:  The soil health initiative associated with this position is a component of the Long Island Sound Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (LISW-RCPP), funded by a grant from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  The overall mission is to carry out on-farm technical assistance and conservation planning activities to support successful implementation of new practices that will improve soil health and protect water quality in Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River watershed.   The position will also provide technical support to the New Hampshire conservation districts, NRCS, watershed groups, Cooperative Extension and other soil health partnership organizations.  What we are looking for:       Strong and effective communicator, both verbal and written      Excellent interpersonal skills, particularly an ability to work with both farmers and professionally manage relationships.      Ability to prioritize a heavy and varied workload, deliver results on a timeline, and provide reports on a monthly basis.      Learn on-farm recording tools such as FarmOS and GoCrop software, become proficient with NRCS decision support tools, and work with GIS equipment and mapping software. Job Description:  The agronomist for the Soil Health Partnership will provide technical assistance, and will work closely with private, EQIP-eligible landowners and farmers in the Connecticut River Watershed of New Hampshire to help improve on-farm outcomes.  Specifically, this individual will expect to spend 50% of time in-the field with a focus on farm practices that will improve water quality while improving soil health and farm resilience to extreme weather events.  The applicant should be conversant with NRCS and its programs.  With that in mind, we anticipate that the individual will complete NRCS Conservation Planning Training.  They will also need:      skill and good rapport in communicating with landowners and farm operators.      to possess and demonstrate knowledge of national conservation programs      enthusiasm for innovative agricultural practices and sharing knowledge      the ability to plan and implement conservation practices including nutrient management, soil health evaluation, tillage practices, cover crops, and conservation crop rotations      skill in applying erosion prediction technology;      skill in using applicable site vulnerability assessment tools  The position entails working with the four county conservation districts located in the watershed:  Cheshire, Sullivan, Grafton, and Coos.  In addition, the job will involve participation with other key partners such as, but not limited to:  the UNH Cooperative Extension, the NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food, the NH Dept. of Environmental Services, the CT River Watershed Council, the CT River Farmers Alliance, and some of our corresponding partners across the river in Vermont.  Our districts work closely with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (UNHCE), and often share workshop and demonstration projects within their respective counties.    Core Responsibilities:         Support farmers in the watershed and create farmer to farmer forums for agricultural knowledge exchange.   Record practice success and activities in collaborative on-line record keeping system, and work with NHACD to generate natural resource maps to prioritize efforts and measure progress.       Coordinate collaborative demonstration projects, and assist in soil health data collection, and convene quarterly Soil health Partnership meetings to facilitate and improve the impact of partner projects.      Cover Crop Solutions – providing farmers information on cover crop mixes and timing for seeding and termination.  Working with other partners to review trials and provide the best current thinking to growers, and, at the request of NRCS, help with practice certification and coordination of cover-cropping practices, including the aerial seeding program.      Nutrient Management Planning – developing, reviewing, and helping landowners understand the plans.      Reduced Tillage – expand the adoption of no-till, reduced and minimum tillage strategies to reduce sediment and runoff to surface waters and improve soil health.  Work with farmers to educate them on NRCS programs available for reduced tillage, what the equipment requirements would be, and provide data through FarmOS or GoCrop to improve NRCS recommendations.      Crop Rotations – provide technical planning to farmers on crop rotations and provide resource analysis on soils to recommend corn and hay rotations.      Riparian Buffers – identify and plan riparian buffers to protect water quality and reduce erosion on crop fields.  Work with district managers to coordinate volunteer planting to reduce installation costs for producers.      Regularly report to the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts Board of Directors, and the 4 county district managers.      Others as they come up! Qualifications:       Strong on-farm experience and comfort with farm equipment and row-crops.        A Bachelors or Masters degree in Agronomy, Soil Science or related natural resources field.      A minimum of three year’s technical experience in the field.      Strong interest in and knowledge of farm equipment, cover crops, soil health management practices, nutrient cycling and water quality.      Physically able to work safely under sometimes adverse environmental conditions.      Willingness to travel extensively within the 4 counties of the CT River watershed in NH.      Must have and maintain a valid driver’s license, reliable personal vehicle, proof of insurance along with a satisfactory driving record.      Must pass a United State Department of Agriculture background check. Letters of application must be received by February 28, 2017 for consideration.  Interested candidates should send a letter of interest outlining qualifications, along with a resume by clicking apply. The New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  

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