Berrien Conservation District

Managing your Natural Resources

Vacancy Announcement: MAEAP Technician

Berrien County Conservation District is hiring a Technician to carry out the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The MAEAP Technician is responsible for delivering on-farm technical assistance in Berrien County, MI. Technical assistance includes conducting farm-specific risk assessments, coordinating local, state, and federal agency resources to help farmers reduce environmental risks; and assisting farmers in making progress toward MAEAP verification. The MAEAP Technician is also responsible for collaborating with Conservation District staff to promote MAEAP and educate diverse audiences on the importance of sustainable agriculture.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES
  • Coordinate all aspects of MAEAP in Berrien County and be fully familiar with, and adhere to, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant agreement and guidelines for conducting the program at a local level.
  • Promote and conduct on-farm risk assessments for farmstead, cropping, livestock, and forest wetlands and habitat Systems. Assist landowners in developing emergency management plans for their farmsteads and action plans to address any environmental risks identified.
  • Conduct an on-farm field day that highlights MAEAP and qualifies for MAEAP Educational Credit. The educational event should highlight the program, address potential agricultural risks, and introduce sustainable farming practices to reduce risk to the environment.
  • Assist producers in responding to Right to Farm complaints, to bring them into conformance with Michigan’s Generally Accepted Agriculture Management Practices (GAAMPS).
  • Maintain accurate records in an online database as well as on paper.
  • Work closely with the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) to provide the technical assistance necessary for producers to access Farm Bill cost-share funds.
  • Collaborate with Conservation District staff and external partners to promote MAEAP and educate diverse audiences on the importance of resource protection in Berrien County.
  • Promote other stewardship practices and program aspects through displays and booths, newsletter articles, group presentations, demonstrations, public service announcements, news releases, radio programs, social media, and other means.
  • Provide timely monthly reports and updates to MDARD and the Conservation District’s Board of Directors.
  • Promote and conduct water screening events and assist producers with water sampling.
  • Support and participate in Conservation District programs and activities as needed.
  • Perform other essential activities as required by the MDARD grant agreement or as assigned by the Conservation District Manager.
STANDARDS OF PERFORMACE

Success is measured by the degree to which:

  • MDARD grant requirements are met, including training, reporting, goal setting and achievement and on-farm assistance
  • Written reports are complete and on time and database records are maintained to high quality
  • Program promotional materials or articles are of high quality and distributed in a timely manner
  • Public awareness of the MAEAP program increases along with awareness of the importance of sustainable agriculture
  • The number of farms and forests engaged in MAEAP increases
  • Local and regional agricultural initiatives benefit from the contributions and leadership of the MAEAP technician
WORKING LOCATION AND CONDITIONS

The position is based in Berrien Springs, Michigan. This location has a diverse variety of agriculture including row crops, fruit, vegetables, grapes, hops, and livestock. Work time is split between office work and field visits on farms. The Conservation District office is co-located with NRCS. The MAEAP Technician will frequently be on farms, which may involve traversing uneven terrain, wetlands or working around livestock in a wide range of weather conditions. The MAEAP Technician may occasionally be in the vicinity of agriculture crews using hand tools, power equipment, and harvest machinery.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE

Formal Education:

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or natural resources management or other related degree from an accredited college or university.

Related Work Experience:

  • Experience in agriculture or natural resource fieldwork is preferred.
  • Knowledge of and experience working with agricultural producers and practices is preferred.
  • Experience collaborating on, developing, and delivering agriculture education programs to a variety of audiences in diverse settings.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Excellent work ethic
  • Proficient use of PC and Microsoft Office Suite
  • Working knowledge of databases and computer networks preferred
  • Able to work both independently without direct supervision and as part of a team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Exhibit excellent social and interpersonal skills; relates effectively to diverse clientele and groups
  • Working knowledge of ArcMap preferred
  • Able and willing to work efficiently outdoors in varying conditions and terrain
  • Able to lift and handle materials up to 30 pounds without assistance
  • Able to work flexible hours, including some evenings and weekends
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license and safe driving record and have a reliable personal vehicle for work activities.
COMPENSATION

The MAEAP Technician is a full time, 40 hours/week. Starting salary will be $21 to $22 per hour. Benefits include paid federal holidays and a vacation and sick leave allotment. Personal vehicle use will be reimbursed at the government mileage rate.

TO APPLY

Provide a cover letter, resume, transcripts (unofficial are acceptable), and list of three references, and email to Nancy Carpenter at the Berrien County Conservation District at Nancy.Carpenter@macd.org and put “MAEAP Tech application” in the subject line. Any questions pertaining to the position may also be directed to Nancy Carpenter via email or by calling 269-471-9111 x3. Position will remain open until filled.

All Berrien County Conservation District programs and services prohibit discrimination based on race, color, nation origin, religion, sex, age, marital or family status, political belief, sexual orientation, or disability.