California Water Resources Specialist

American Farmland Trust

Washington, DC

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $75,000 to $85,000

Level Experienced


Type Hybrid

Position Type Full Time

Salary Range $65,000.00 - $75,000.00 Salary/year


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. Please see AFT’s statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.

The Position

Reporting to the Senior Agricultural Specialist, the California Water Resource Specialist, works as part of multi-disciplinary team to successfully deliver AFT’s outreach, research, policy, and technical assistance programs supporting regenerative agriculture, groundwater recharge, and farmland protection in agricultural regions in California.

What You’ll Be Working On

As an integral part of the CA regional programs team, the California Water Resources Specialist works with the California team, national initiative staff and external partners to lead the development and execution of water resources efforts in California including implementation of AFT’s San Joaquin Land and Water Strategy and advancing holistic approaches to create more resilient water and land systems across the state.

Specific duties include:

  • Managing multiple projects to help achieve AFT’s San Joaquin Land and Water Strategy goals include collaborating with other AFT staff and partners to track progress on project deliverables
  • Providing technical expertise on a broad range of regenerative agricultural projects including groundwater recharge and infiltration practices, soil health management, and other related conservation practices.
  • Providing technical assistance to farmers and ranchers through outreach, creation of farm conservation plans and implementation of regenerative agriculture practices including aiding in the layout & installation of practices and evaluation of completed practices
  • Coordinating and linking research with diverse partners to leverage soil and water research projects, including methods development as well as translation and bridging outcomes relevant to farmers and water managers so projects simultaneously inform and drive high-impact conservation practice implementation on the ground.
  • Analyzing farm conservation practice data to evaluate achievement of goals, track project/on-the-ground progress, and to aid in adaptive management.
  • Contributing to AFT’s policy support related to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and other state water policy
  • Fostering collaborations among NGOs, agencies, academic institutions, water districts, and agricultural partners
  • Representing AFT externally with stakeholders through presentations at conferences.
  • Coordinating with AFT’s communications team to actively promote work, identifying and assisting with storytelling opportunities through social media, blog posts, profiles, fact sheets, videos and other mediums.
  • Coordinating with other AFT program and development staff to develop annual program and budget goals and provide input on funding proposals, reporting and budget management.


The ideal candidate has working knowledge of California agriculture and water resource-related issues, management, and stakeholders (previous on-farm experience or related agricultural sectors is preferred) and possesses:

  • Previous experience or willingness to learn agricultural conservation planning and implementation issues and techniques
  • Interest in developing partnerships with the scientific community, farmers and ranchers, non-profits, corporations, agricultural retailers and industry, and government agencies
  • Familiarity with environmental outcomes quantification tools and methodologies preferred with prior research experience; experience analyzing conservation practice or water data to generate descriptive statistics to present information to project partners a plus
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; ability to facilitate discussions among technical and lay audiences and translate technical information into plain language to various stakeholders
  • Direct professional experience working with farmers, farmland owners, water quality monitoring and/or modeling experts, state and federal agencies, soil and water conservation districts, and others is preferred
  • Dedication to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within AFT and across agriculture and the food system
  • A collaborative, professional, and innovative approach
  • Must be highly motivated with strong interpersonal skills
  • A desire to participate in a strong team culture of shared learning, innovation and problem solving among AFT staff
  • Spanish-English language fluency preferred; other/additional language skills are beneficial.

Education & Experience

  • Undergraduate degree with a minimum of 4 years of related work experience or a graduate degree with a minimum of 2 years of related work experience in water resources, agriculture, hydrology, soil science, environmental resource management, or related fields, preferred
  • Professional experience working directly with farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural and environmental organizations and stakeholders is strongly preferred.


The salary ranges from $65,000 to $75,000 for full-time employees, commensurate with experience and qualifications.

American Farmland Trust offers a complete benefits package:

  • Medical & Prescription Coverage
  • Dental Coverage
  • Vision Coverage
  • Company Paid Life Insurance & Long-Term Disability (LTD)
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – Healthcare & Dependent Care
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • 401(k) with 10% match after six months of employment
  • Sick Leave: Regular full-time employees accrue 3.5 hours per pay period (13 “sick days” per year).
  • Vacation Leave: Accrue 15 days during the first year increasing by one day per year to 20 days per year
  • Holidays: The Company observes eleven holidays during the year (all offices closed): plus, choice of 3 other floating holidays depending on hiring date


Applications must include a resume AND cover letter to be considered. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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

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.

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Category General / Stewardship, Hydrology, Land Trust
Tags Sustainable Agriculture, Soil Science