Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Every day, we bring together business, landowners, communities and government, in some of the most productive yet economically disadvantaged parts of California, to steward the resources on which we all depend in ways that are just and make economic sense. Because we know that common ground is California’s most important resource. Please visit our website at www.suscon.org to learn more about our work.
Sustainable Conservation’s priorities include improving California’s water supply availability and quality. One of our areas of focus involves implementing on-farm conservation practices. We work on the ground with farmers to develop practical solutions that are both economically and environmentally viable and protective of community water supplies. Professional expertise is needed to lead the development, testing, and integration of these sustainable practices on working farms.
We seek an Agronomist to contribute agronomic and farming expertise to support implementation of the Water Team’s program initiatives. This includes collecting farm level data and communicating learnings; partnering with farmers to integrate conservation practices into existing farming operations; and helping to build consensus with scientists, regulators, producer associations, and others through the sharing of technical and economic knowledge needed to achieve wide scale adoption of conservation practices. The Agronomist should have on the ground knowledge of California farming systems; experience working with growers on agronomics, irrigation, and nutrient management; a keen understanding of the needs of farming as a business enterprise; and an interest in engaging with local communities.
Location: The position will be located in Modesto, California, with periodic travel, primarily in the San Joaquin Valley, and occasional travel to our San Francisco office.
Partner with team members to identify field data collection needs and protocols, based on desired outcomes
Engage with grower partners, technical experts and communities to conduct interviews, collect information, and build relationships
Consolidate, synthesize, and input data collected from interviews into team’s information management system
Provide oversight and feedback to contractors and technical specialists needed to accomplish agronomic tasks
Communicate lessons learned from field data collection to team members
Facilitate discussions with team members and others about agronomic and farming challenges and opportunities that could affect program strategies and activities
Partner with program staff to plan and execute workshops and outreach events
Partner with program staff to advise water agencies on recharge programs
Partner with program, communications, and development staff to promote the results and impacts of the organization's work with agriculture
Participate in budget management and strategic planning
Help develop outreach communications to encourage adoption of targeted practices
Work with program staff to engage the scientific community to review empirical agronomic research in the context of on-the-ground results and to develop consensus about implementation of best practices
Maintain industry and scientific community relationships to engage and promote broader adoption of practices the organization is promoting
Education, Experience and Certifications:
Degree in Agronomy, Soil Sciences, Natural Resources or related field with at least 3 years field experience; or an equivalent combination of education and field experience
Experience building relationships with farmers and other stakeholders
Experience with cropping systems and production practices in California’s Central Valley; dairy industry experience a plus
Knowledge of monitoring equipment and on-farm irrigation systems, including surface water distribution systems
Certified Crop Advisor or Professional Agronomist certification with record of achievement providing technical solutions to farmers a plus
Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications
What we offer: A competitive compensation package based on experience, fully paid health insurance benefits (for employee, w/contribution toward dependent coverage), generous match on 401k, vacation, sick leave, plus the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day as holiday leave. Our best benefit is our culture. Our staff is collaborative, dedicated, and caring. We believe in practicing our values in how we do our work and with each other. Salary for this position: $68,000-$78,000.
Sustainable Conservation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages qualified individuals from all backgrounds to apply to our job openings.
To Apply: Please send your resume with cover letter, including desired salary to JOBS@suscon.org and include “Agronomist” in the Subject line.
Applications received by August 10th will be considered. No phone calls please.
Required Skills and Traits:
Ability to work in cross-functional team settings
Excellent interpersonal skills needed for engaging with internal and external facing stakeholders
Ability to communicate complex agronomic concepts to non-technical audiences
Commitment to principles of diversity, equity and inclusion; desire to work with communities
Strategic thinker with a good understanding of how individual field projects affect regional environmental and community objectives
Valid driver’s license and willingness to travel
Knowledge and experience implementing innovative farming practices
Ability to read, understand, and discuss complex scientific research
Multi-lingual/multi-cultural skills and/or training
Proficient in MS Office applications; experience with SharePoint/Office365 and Zoom