SOIL HEALTH COORDINATOR

Linn County

Cedar Rapids, IA Agribusiness / Customer Service $21.26 to $ hourly

The Soil Health Coordinator is responsible for administering the Indian Creek Soil Health Partnership Project within the Indian Creek Watershed. Responsible for initiatives within the watershed that focus on building alliances between stakeholders and increasing awareness of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy by researching, planning and conducting outreach programs, developing conservation plans with agricultural producers, and improving soil health through implementation of planned practices. Assists with the implementation and administration of local, state and federal conservation programs in partnership with the Linn Soil and Water Conservation District. Work with diverse stakeholder groups including Indian Creek Watershed Management Authority board members, local public officials, conservation groups, landowners, farmers, businesses and the general public. Possesses an understanding of conservation practices, the nine step planning process, an ability to determine appropriate methods and programs to both inventory and address soil and water resource concerns, and increase technical assistance within the watershed. Work is performed under general supervision of the Linn County Soil Conservation Department’s Resource Conservationist. Knows the County’s Customer-Centered Culture principles, the County’s Mission, Strategic Plan and Core Values and demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction for all customers on a regular basis. Develops resource management and conservation plans and provides technical assistance to agricultural and other landowners for implementation of best management practices in order to positively impact soil health and water resources in the watershed. Recommends practices to be implemented and increases the use of practices such as cover crops, buffers, no-till or strip till cropping and various livestock practices, along with traditional practices such as ponds, terraces, waterways, stream bank stabilization and/or riparian practices, and other structural or management practices. Researches, plans, and conducts educational and outreach programs to raise awareness of soil health and water quality issues, the Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS), and practices to address identified resource concerns. Initiatives will include, but are not limited to, newsletters, workshops, presentations, field days and individual landowner contacts. Implements outreach activities to underserved agricultural populations within the watershed. Creates Indian Creek Watershed e-newsletter and distributes to landowners twice per year. Makes landowner contacts each quarter to pursue implementation strategies from the watershed plan. Establishes watershed evaluation methods/baseline to assess soil quality benefits on agricultural land. Gathers baseline landowner knowledge of soil health, the NRS and associated practices. Develops site-specific water quality monitoring plans for identified areas. Develops partnerships in the Indian Creek Watershed. Engages the ICWMA, the Linn County Conservation Board, local commodity groups, the Linn County Fair, local FFA groups, the Nature Conservancy, Pheasants Forever, Trees Forever, Indian Creek Nature Center and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation on a quarterly basis. Evaluates partner engagement outcomes, soil health conditions, water quality monitoring results, conservation planning efforts, and practice adoption. Communicates Soil Health Partnership results by summarizing landowner contacts, pre- and post-survey awareness results and outreach activities on the ICWMA website and reported in the newsletter. Meets all program and project objectives and submits all required quarterly and annual reports to NRCS and partnering agencies in a timely manner as specified. Performs all other related duties as assigned. Knows the products they personally produce and the customers of each product. Listens to the “Voice of the Customer” and closes gaps between customer expectations and experience whenever possible.


QUALIFICATIONS:   Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, environmental sciences, public administration or a related field and three (3) or more years of recent (within the last five (5) years) experience in an area related to the field of study required; or an equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Significant knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques used in resource management and conservation plan development as described in the USDA National Policies and Procedures Handbook. Ability to apply measures identified in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Knowledge of federal, state and local laws/regulations pertaining to conservation and resource management. Knowledge of technical and engineering standards of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Ability to identify and develop key partnerships and cultivate good relationships with other governmental and non-governmental entities including private property owners. Ability to evaluate and quantify the potential impacts of various conservation and resource management practices. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing by preparing clear reports, demonstrating interpersonal skills and making formal presentations to stakeholders both within and outside of normal business hours. Demonstrated skill in developing an objective-driven educational campaign for producers and other stakeholders to learn about conservation practices designed to improve soil health and water quality. Ability to engage and motivate landowners and operators within  the watershed to achieve conservation practice installation goals. Ability to walk or stand for long periods of time on uneven surfaces in variable weather conditions at remote locations under physically demanding circumstances. Must have the ability to function effectively both independently and as a team member of the Linn County Soil and Water Conservation District and the ICWMA. Ability to use computer, surveying and mapping skills to facilitate enrollment in conservation programs, resource analysis and public outreach. Ability to meet identified objectives and performance goals through evaluation and implementation of project priorities through effective time management. Valid State of Iowa Driver’s License required. Must pass a County physical examination, which includes a drug test after offer of employment. Regular work attendance required.

SHIFT:                         8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.                   Monday – Friday

Evening and weekend hours may be required.

Job ID: 67045

Posted 13 days ago

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