Conservation Program Manager

California Association of Resource Conservation Districts

Sacramento, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $30-$32/hour based on experience, 32-40 hours a week (flexible). This position includes health insurance benefits and paid holidays, vacation and sick time. The position is remote, but may require periodic travel to Sacramento and other regions of Califor
Deadline Jan 30, 2022
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Primary skills sought: grant writing, contract management, project management, program management, conservation agriculture, stakeholder management


The California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) is a 501c3 non-profit organization serving the 95 Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) throughout the State. Our organization works as a hub to strengthen and support a powerful statewide network of local RCDs, so they can assist communities across California in caring for our land, water, soil, air, and other natural resources. CARCD and the RCDs offer effective, locally-governed, non-regulatory ways to meet our communities’ natural resource needs and challenges, at any scale from local to statewide.

Position summary

CARCD is seeking a motivated and creative professional to manage our Soil Health and Conservation Agriculture Program. The position will implement and coordinate funding for a wide variety of agricultural and conservation related projects, work with partners to coordinate resources, document success, and seek additional opportunities. The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of California agriculture, experience with RCDs and/or local conservation, and program management experience. In addition, the ideal candidate will be able to communicate and coordinate well with a diverse set of partners, work independently and as a team, be detail oriented, and be able to communicate both to groups and in one on one settings. The position will work closely with a broad array of RCD staff, partner organizations, and government agency staff.

Position Responsibilities

Project Management – 60%

One way that CARCD serves the network of RCDs is through procuring grants and contracts at the state level for implementation by RCDs at the local level. Project management includes coordinating between RCDs and state/federal/foundation partners, coordinating implementation across multiple RCDs, and working with RCDs and partners to develop new project opportunities.

  • Coordinate with local RCDs, local and state partners, and CARCD staff
  • Administer grants and contracts with state and federal agencies, foundation funders, and RCDs
  • Track progress towards deliverables, write reports to funders, and serve as the communications hub between funders and RCDs
  • Manage budget and timeline in accordance with contracts
  • Secure and implement new contracts and agreements
  • Develop resources and educational materials on soil health and conservation agriculture issues for RCD use

Stakeholder Engagement – 20%

As the state association, CARCD engages with a diverse set of stakeholders and partners at the state and local level. CARCD advocates for RCDs at all levels and builds connections and opportunities that will benefit the RCD network.

  • Participate in statewide soil health and conservation agriculture meetings and workshops
  • Build and maintain relationships with key contacts at partner organizations, including California Department of Food and Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of California Cooperative Extension, CA Farm Bureau, universities, and aligned non-profits
  • Advocate for RCD inclusion in funding, partnership, and contracting opportunities, and work to build new avenues for RCD project development through partnerships and program inclusion
  • Serve as liaison or technical advisory committee representative to relevant partner organizations

Program Development – 15%

CARCD is continually seeking new opportunities to serve the RCD network. The soil health and conservation agriculture program area has room to grow the services and support offered to RCDs.

  • Track and research grant opportunities, maintain a catalogue of RFPs and partnership opportunities
  • Work to understand local farmer/producer needs and develop project proposals in consultation with RCDs
  • Highlight the work of RCDs and share “success stories” broadly

CARCD Team Support – 5%

CARCD is a small but growing staff that values teamwork and balances collaboration with independent work.

  • Contribute to team-wide initiatives around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Support team member goals and work objectives as appropriate
  • Seek out opportunities for cross-project collaboration and leveraging existing resources across program areas
  • Support the CARCD Annual Conference by providing guidance and support to the Executive Director in tasks related to big picture agenda, session planning, and logistics

Required Qualifications

  • At least 6 years of experience in agriculture, conservation, ecology, natural resources, or a related field. A B.S. or B.A. in a related field may substitute for 3 years of experience.
  • Working knowledge of soil health and conservation agriculture issues in California
  • Demonstrated success in building strong partnerships
  • Strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills; ability to navigate conflict
  • Excellent organizational skills, including ability to set priorities, manage time, work under pressure, and manage multiple projects while meeting deadlines
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to synthesize complex ideas into coherent, compelling communications
  • Precise attention to detail and the ability to carefully follow complex sets of instructions from funders
  • Ability to work effectively both in team settings and individually
  • Ability to travel within the State on a limited basis (COVID permitting)
  • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; desire and ability to work with a diverse community of people and staff members

Desired Qualifications

  • M.S. in agriculture, conservation, ecology, natural resources, or other related degree OR at least 2 additional years of professional and/or volunteer experience in a related field
  • Familiarity with NRCS conservation practices and Farm Bill programs  
  • Experience supervising and mentoring early career professionals
  • Track record of writing and winning grants
  • Experience with project management tools
  • Experience writing and reviewing contracts
  • Work or volunteer experience with an RCD, agricultural non-profit, NRCS, or other conservation organization

CARCD is committed to building an amazing and diverse team! If you do not specifically meet the above qualifications but believe you are well suited to this position, we encourage you to apply and include your reasoning in your cover letter. 

CARCD is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. CARCD is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment while centering equity across all aspects of our organization. We aim to identify candidates committed to these values. We encourage people of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, age, and veteran status to apply.


Application deadline is Sunday, January 30th at 11:59pm. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to with the subject “Conservation Program Manager Application”. For questions, please call Sara at 530-303-8880.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.