Conservation Agronomist
Fully Remote Remote, OH
Description

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.


Description


The Ag Conservation Innovations Conservation Agronomist position offers an exciting opportunity to help carry out the strategic agenda of a growing, forward-looking conservation organization. The Conservation Agronomist will work with American Farmland Trust (AFT) and an agricultural retail partner, Mercer Landmark, to engage landowners and farmers in Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana and surrounding areas. The position is for a term of two (2) years with the possibility of renewal based on performance and the availability of funds.


The purpose of this role is to provide conservation and agronomy technical assistance to local farmers and landowners through Mercer Landmark. This technical assistance will result in increased farmer participation and engagement in programs and projects that improve production, profitability, and sustainability.


The Conservation Agronomist position will report directly to AFT’s Director of Ag Conservation Innovations and will also take direction from the Sales and Marketing Manager at Mercer Landmark.  This individual will be located with Mercer Landmark at their location in Elgin, OH. The selected professional will work closely with Mercer Landmark’s agronomy and precision team as well as the opportunity to work across teams with AFT’s Ag Conservation Initiative and other external partners. The person filling this position must reside or be willing to move within reasonable daily commute distance of Elgin, OH. This position requires remote work in the field and requires up to 50% regular travel, typically in Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana. Occasionally travel outside the local area and overnight will be required.


What You’ll Be Working On

  • Provide conservation and agronomy expertise to Mercer Landmark members and prospective members as well as support the goals and initiatives of American Farmland Trust. 
  • Provide conservation expertise to the Mercer Landmark Crop Production Advisors (CPA’s). 
  • Serve as liaison between Mercer Landmark agronomy and precision staff, Truterra support staff, soil and water conservation district staff, and other conservation partners. 
  • Work closely with Mercer Landmark CPA’s to develop sustainable agronomic programs that support overall company business objectives.
  • Build relationships with organizations in the food supply chain to build locally beneficial programs that create opportunities for our member owners while meeting the sustainability objectives of our supply chain partners.
  • Utilize local resources in conjunction with the Truterra Insights Engine to identify appropriate in-field and edge-of-field agronomy and conservation practices for soil and water resource improvement. 
  • Work closely with Truterra support staff, Mercer Landmark CPA’s and member owners to increase acres enrolled in the Truterra Insights Engine and growers enrolled in carbon offerings.
  • Build strong relationship with Mercer Landmark CPA’s and member owners to increase adoption of conservation practices and systems to address resource concerns, farmer/landowner conservation, production and productivity goals, and grant project goals. 
  • Execute on-farm research, including collection of data and management information. 
  • Monitoring agronomic and conservation practice performance. 
  • Connect farmers and landowners with financial assistance available at state and local agencies such as NRCS and SWCD and secure necessary technical design standards for practice application. 
  • Help identify new watershed-level incentive opportunities utilizing Truterra to build out soil health, water quality improvement programs and regional conservation partnership proposals that leverage the Mercer Landmark network of farmers and agronomists. 
  • Build relationships and coordinate projects with project sponsors and a variety of audiences in the ag retail territory including farmers, landowners, Mercer Landmark staff, Mercer Landmark Crop Production Advisors, USDA Service Center personnel, local partners, and other commodity organizations. 
Requirements

The ACI Conservation Agronomist must be highly organized, outgoing, creative and capable of working independently and as part of a team. The coordinator must be highly motivated and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. 

Additional qualifications include: 

  • Practical understanding and application of agronomy and environmental science 
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple tasks, stay organized and follow through with limited supervision 
  • Establishing relationships with farmer clientele, project partners and collaborating organizations
  • Proactive and efficient customer service 
  • Evaluating and implementing ideas 
  • Navigating organizations 
  • Acting as a champion for change 
  • ·Communicating effectively (written and oral)
  • Detail oriented, when it comes to their own communications and those within their team. 
  • Other specific skills or qualities that are not required, but an applicant should highlight in their application if they have them include:
  • An  ability to relate to farming and the agricultural community in an inclusive manner, including farms large or small; organic or conventional; urban or rural.
  • Previous experience on farms or in related food and agricultural sectors

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE 

  • A  Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 2 years of related work experience in agriculture, agricultural communications, environmental management, natural resources planning or related fields. An advanced degree in one or more of the disciplines noted may substitute for one year of work  experience. 
  • Direct experience working with a diversity of agricultural and conservation professionals, such as state and federal agencies, farmers and farmland owners, soil and water conservation districts, commodity organizations and conservation organizations is strongly preferred. 

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

Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the ‘apply’ button below.