Resource Conservationist II - Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

Alameda County Resource Conservation District

Livermore, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Salary starts at $63,102, dependent on qualifications and experience.
Deadline Nov 10, 2020
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

BACKGROUND

The Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) is a Special District in Alameda County that works to implement and enhance local natural resources and biodiversity preservation and restoration efforts on private and public lands. Located in Livermore, CA, we partner with landowners and managers, local organizations, government agencies, and stakeholder groups to enhance resources on natural and working lands by providing education and outreach programs, technical assistance, project management, and coordination with partners. The ACRCD works on specific projects and shares an office with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

We seek a proven, committed, and energetic individual with working knowledge of agricultural and natural resources best practices to join our team as a Resource Conservationist II ‘Sustainable Agriculture Specialist’ (SAS). The ideal candidate will have experience with both urban agriculture and, organic farming methods including compliance with National Organic Program standards, and experience working directly with farmers and preferably managing small farms. The Sustainable Agriculture Specialist will be highly motivated to develop innovative new programs and funding in support of the ACRCD’s urban farming and the Sunol AgPark (AgPark) related programs, and will periodically have the opportunity to collaborate on other areas of work, including, but not limited to, carbon farming, healthy soils, sustainable agriculture, habitat restoration, and event and workshop management. A bachelor’s degree is required with advanced degree desirable, along with diverse, relevant experience.

TYPICAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Management of the Sunol AgPark (approximately 60%)

The AgPark, owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is an 18-acre organic farm in Sunol, CA. It is designed to integrate sustainable agriculture, natural resources stewardship, and public education about sustainable farming and natural resources conservation. The AgPark is home to 6 small-scale farming enterprises and hosts educational programs for 4th-6th grade students. In 2017, the ACRCD and SFPUC entered into a lease and management agreement for the AgPark. 

The SAS serves as the AgPark’s Manager, responsible for implementing the AgPark’s Management Plan, including lease and policy compliance, management of program budgets, contracting, management of farming licenses, overseeing and improving farmland and common infrastructure, supporting sustainable systems, educational programs, volunteer activities, and events. The SAS must have the ability to effectively engage and communicate regularly with SFPUC and ACRCD management personnel on AgPark status and issues of concern, as well as with the AgPark Advisory Committee, farmers, and educational staff.

The SAS holds quarterly farmer meetings, regularly addresses AgPark farmer concerns, and facilitates ecological and management best practices through informal technical assistance or by connecting farmers with outside resources. The SAS consults with and convenes the AgPark Advisory Committee to inform strategic decision-making, and recruits new members as needed.

The SAS works to build community between and among the farmers and the educational staff, encouraging farmer participation in the youth education field trip program for a positive and mutually beneficial relationship. The SAS also serves as administrative coordinator for the AgPark’s Education Program, administering of part-time teaching personnel and related contracts in coordination with the Education Program Coordinator and the ACRCD Chief Financial Officer. Opportunities to support new joint programs and activities will be available when the SFPUC’s Alameda Creek Watershed Center opens in 2022. 

The SAS will be responsible for overseeing infrastructure maintenance, improvements, and on-site natural resources such as the native plant hedgerows and wildlife structures. The SAS will interface regularly with SFPUC staff on these projects, including staff at the SFPUC’s adjacent Native Plant Nursery. The SAS will also provide volunteer management and oversight of ACRCD support staff assigned to assist with these and other AgPark functions.

Urban Agriculture (approximately 15%)

In recognition of the growing interest and demand for urban farm and garden resources, the ACRCD is working in collaboration with NRCS and the University of California Cooperative Extension to provide enhanced technical assistance, workshops, and financial resources to support and enhance the development and technical management of urban farms in the county. The SAS will continue to secure resources to administer our successful Urban Farm Mini-grant program and will participate in revenue development to further support the ACRCD’s expansion of services to preserve local agricultural lands.

Administrative Duties (approximately 10%)

Other duties associated with this position include budget management, invoicing, grant and contract reporting, strategic planning for ACRCD programs, and interfacing with the public and ACRCD partners.  Knowledge of Microsoft and Google Suite is essential; ArcGIS is preferred.

Additional Projects (approximately 15%)

The ACRCD is a fast-paced organization involved in numerous projects; the SAS will participate in other programs as assigned. The SAS may also develop and implement new projects with the approval of the Chief Executive Officer.

POSITION SPECIFICS

Minimum Qualifications

  • Strong written, verbal and facilitative communication skills and ability to work constructively with a variety of people with diverse interests, working styles and backgrounds
  • Comfort acting in an oversight role and diplomatically undertaking enforcement of policies as needed
  • Significant experience managing small organic farms
  • Familiarity with irrigation system repair, and organic pest and weed management protocols, experience with tractor use and maintenance a plus
  • Willingness to work out-of-doors during all seasons, lifting up to 25 pounds, carrying supplies and equipment as needed
  • Strong computer and organizational skills including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Google docs, etc.
  • Familiarity with ArcGIS and GPS
  • Highly organized and motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to meet contract deadlines, multi-task, and handle competing priorities
  • Creative, “can do” spirit, flexibility, and a strong desire to learn
  • Valid California driver’s license and current auto insurance
  • Security background check

The SFPUC AgPark is located in Sunol, CA and position is located at the ACRCD office in Livermore, CA. Remote work from home is possible on certain days due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

This is a full-time (40 hour per week) at-will position with a 6-month probationary period, with a progress review at 3 months, and performance reviews at 6 months and 1 year for the first year, and annually thereafter. This position will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer. Salary starts at $63,102, dependent on qualifications and experience. The ACRCD will consider education and experience in determining salary. Benefits include health care, dental, vision and 401(k) plan (no employer contributions).

HOW TO APPLY

APPLICATION INFROMATION

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and three professional references, including their positions and phone numbers (as a single file in MS Word or PDF format) to hr@acrcd.org no later than 5pm November 10, 2020 or until filled.

Interviews will be held November 17th and 19th. Start date will be no later than January 4, 2021.

Do not submit documents larger than 2 MB. No images, graphics or photographs. No phone calls or drop-ins, please.

Alameda County Resource Conservation District 3585 Greenville Rd. Suite 2, Livermore, CA94550 www.acrcd.org

Equal Opportunity Employer

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