Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District

Middletown, New York

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details BOE
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District is a non-regulatory natural resources management agency with a strong focus on nonpoint source pollution control – especially erosion control and stormwater/runoff control in both the agricultural and urban settings. Because our agency has a small staff, we are seeking an individual with diverse interests, abilities and skills in order to better meet the needs encompassed by our program focus areas. 


  • Completion of sixty (60) college credits from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees, which shall include an aggregate of fifteen (15) college credits in any of the following fields: environmental science, agricultural science, agricultural engineering, agronomy, natural resources management, forestry or a closely related field; OR
  • Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma and two (2) years of full time work experience in agriculture, agronomy or the application of soil and water conservation practices.

There will be a large fieldwork component, therefore applicants should be in excellent physical condition.

Work tasks and valuable skills for this position:


  • Developing, and assisting with the development of, Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Plans and related documents for participating farmers
  • conducting surveys using laser levels and similar equipment
  • planning, designing and supervising the construction of conservation and stormwater management practices
  • preparing natural resource inventories, watershed management plans and related documents
  • towing, maintaining, and assisting farmers with operation of conservation planting equipment and other field equipment
  • reviewing site plans and subdivision proposals with regard to erosion and sediment control and stormwater management provisions, implementing urban conservation measures
  • preparing articles and other documents to publicize Conservation District activities
  • representing the Conservation District at meetings, public events and similar functions
  • developing new programs to address natural resource management concerns in Orange County
  • providing soils, wetlands and related natural resource information to the public
  • assisting in the delivery of other Conservation District programs as needed, including but not limited to seedling sales, tree plantings, stream clean-ups and youth environmental education programming.

Much interaction with landusers, local officials, other agency staff and the general public will occur with this position, so interpersonal and communication skills are an important requirement. Strong writing skills are a big plus.

All of the following skills/qualifications will not be required, but we will be seeking a candidate with strengths in as many of these areas as possible:


  • civil engineering/hydrology - operating surveying equipment, creating maps from survey data, plotting profiles and cross sections, calculating runoff volumes and rates, preparing project plans, lists of materials, etc.
  • towing (primarily farm equipment)


  • computer skills - spreadsheets, word processing, GIS/Arcview, Powerpoint, MS Publisher, MS Access
  • mechanical - basic equipment maintenance such as changing bearings, bushings and other parts
  • agronomy: use of fertilizers and pesticides, crop and soil management, planting techniques
  • writing and public speaking skills

Certifications that would be desirable for a person in this position to have or to work towards obtaining include:

NYSESC – New York State Erosion and Sediment Control Certification

  • CPESC – Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control
  • CPSWQ – Certified Professional in Stormwater Quality
  • CCA – Certified Crop Advisor
  • CNMP – Certified Nutrient Management Planner
  • Pesticide Applicator

Percent of Time Spent on Various Responsibilities

The following estimates will provide the applicant with general guidance on the most important or time-consuming tasks of the job.

  • Transporting, maintaining, and assisting farmers with the operation of field equipment (primarily planting equipment)-25%
  • Planning, designing, supervising construction of, and maintaining conservation practices on agricultural land -25%
  • Grant writing, grant reports, contract administration - 10%
  • Conducting farm environmental assessments, and preparing related documents and reports (Agricultural Environmental Management Program-AEM) -25%
  • Other tasks including but not limited to urban conservation programming – including promoting Green Infrastructure/Runoff Reduction and designing urban conservation practices, responding to requests for natural resource information from the public, agricultural assessment program and farmland/open space protection program support, environmental education, alternative energy, riparian restoration, etc. – 15%

Note: these estimates are provided as general guidance only. Breakdown of time spent on various tasks may change significantly depending on workload demands, available funding, employee aptitude and other variables.

This position is subject to civil service hiring provisions. See the attached Job Classification Specification that more specifically defines the educational requirements for the position.

If a candidate is selected for the position, the appointment will be provisional until the County offers the required Civil Service test.

This position offers Sick Leave, Annual Leave, Personal Leave, NYS Retirement and Health Insurance and other benefits subject to negotiation. 

Interested parties should forward a cover letter and resume to Kevin Sumner, Conservation District Manager at the above USPS address or email address.


Interested parties should forward a cover letter and resume to Kevin Sumner, Conservation District Manager at or mailed to Orange County SWCD, 225 Dolson Avenue, Suite 103, Middletown, NY  10940.

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