The Conservation Agronomist leads Illinois’ Farmer Advisor and Farmers Leading Change strategies. This position stewards and helps leverage innovative partnerships with farm service providers such as seed, chemical and fertilizer retailers, and crop consultants to implement programs and provide products and services that lead to improved water quality, soil health and agricultural sustainability. The Conservation Agronomist also works with a diversity of farmers and conservation partners to develop effective peer networks and messaging to amplify their success stories and create a culture of conservation among farmers, while also conducting outreach that provides accurate and relevant agronomic information about soil health management systems. The successful candidate will represent TNC and our projects on local work groups and at conferences and field days to convey the importance of soil health to water quality, greenhouse gas mitigation, and agricultural productivity, and will collaborate with TNC colleagues across the Midwest and North America to further develop ag strategies and programming.
This position will require up to 25% travel, a valid driver’s license and compliance with The Nature Conservancy’s auto safety program.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
- Steward, facilitate, and leverage existing relationships with members of the agriculture sector, including farmers, producer groups, conservation partners, and supply chain partners, to implement TNC programs and strategies that lead to increased adoption of sustainable practices, including soil health and nutrient load reduction management.
- Represent the Conservancy as a respected voice in agriculture.
- Facilitate meetings, trainings, and outreach efforts.
- Serve as a resource for farmers and farmer advisors relating to implementation of nutrient management and soil health BMPs
- Work closely with other programs throughout the Conservancy (IL TNC’s Science team, North America Agriculture, Midwest Division and State Business Units) for synergy, ensuring that Illinois’ efforts support and complement the broader goals of the organization.
- Help design, implement and direct multiple complex projects, setting and meeting deadlines, and ensuring project accountability.
- Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and context.
- Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
- Frequent travel domestically and/or internationally, evening and weekend hours.
- May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.