About the Role
The Berrien County Conservation District is seeking a Regenerative Agriculture Technician to provide technical assistance to landowners and promote holistic management practices on working lands of Berrien and Cass Counties. This position will be part of a regenerative agriculture team in southwest Michigan, where there is a diverse variety of agriculture, including row crops, orchards, vegetable crops and more. This project is funded by a grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The Regenerative Agriculture Technician will provide outreach and education. Services to accomplish this will include farm or property site visits, providing technical advice to landowners and farmers implementing conservation practices, developing conservation plans, and providing guidance on Farm Bill program sign-ups. Projects will focus on agriculture operations and their intersection with natural resources.
The current project focus is on promoting the ideals of regenerative agriculture and holistic land management through field days, workshops and on-the-ground conservation activities. The Regenerative Agriculture Technician promotes water quality and soil health improvements by guiding landowners to implement practices such as filter strips, field borders, buffers, cover cropping and managed grazing, no-till practices and more. The Regenerative Agriculture Technician will utilize current research and NRCS conservation planning standards to help landowners better understand, plan, manage and conserve their natural resources. Over the long term, this position offers room for growth and creativity in interdisciplinary projects for a candidate who can recognize natural resource needs in the community, create a plan of action to address those needs and pool resources to implement that plan. As a main approach to helping facilitate and fund these landowner projects, the Regenerative Agriculture Technician will work directly with NRCS to complete landowner applications. This position covers two counties, Berrien and Cass, and will require working with NRCS and Conservation District staff at both office locations, in addition to working with the landowners.
Job Status: Hourly, full-time, grant funded.
Term: Approximately 30 months, through June 2026. Potential to extend dependent on applicant’s ability to manage projects and successfully obtain future grants.
Benefits: Paid federal holidays, vacation and sick leave. $100 allowance per month along with $35 cell phone reimbursement. Group insurance available for purchase.
Schedule: Monday – Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm. Occasional evenings or weekend days
Location: Berrien Springs, MI, with hours also at Cassopolis, MI.
Start Date: Immediately
Closing Date: Until filled.
Provide, on-site technical advice to private landowners for the implementation of conservation practices. Work closely and maintain a good working relationship with other resource management professionals, both public and private, in support of a holistic approach to the management of natural resources, building local partnerships to achieve land management goals.
Assist the District Conservationist (DC) with monitoring progress of contract implementation, reviews, processing contracs, and general correspondence.
Learn program rules and regulations concerning administration of applications and contracting procedures for each Farm Bill program under NRCS responsibility.
Organize and promote peer-to-peer learning among farmers to incentivize implementation of regenerative agricultural practices through workshops, seminars and farm field days.
Compile current research on regenerative agriculture and holistic management to utilize i outreach events as outlined above and market or promote implementation of said activities on private lands.
Track grant deliverables and client interactions accurately using StepL model, Conservation Desktop, Excel or similar programs; report progress via monthly staff reports, annual grant program reports.
Support Conservation District programs and assist with office walk-in clients, answering telephones, general office up-keep, major events such as tree sale, annual meeting and other duties as assigned by the BCCD Manager.
Promote District events, Farm Bill programs and general conservation education through
website, newsletters, other media, demonstrations and workshops.
Prepare and provide presentations to groups on soil and water conservation topics, as
Work cohesively with NRCS and assist clients with utilizing Farm Bill programs including, as needed, application processing, contract development and administration, application ranking and document preparation for program selections
Bachelor’s of Science in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management or a related field.
A minimum of two years of experience in agriculture, field biology, or other conservation fieldwork.
Self-directed, creative problem solver with a sense of humor and ability to connect with landowners.
Excellent computer skills and ability to navigate on shared computer network and Google Drive workspaces, utilizing specialized planning programs (GIS-based), modeling software.
Possess technical knowledge of natural resource management as applicable to private lands and farms.
Excellent organizational, time management, written and verbal communication skills.
Able to work efficiently in and outdoors in varying conditions and rough terrain; able to lift 50 pounds.
Must maintain a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
Occasional travel for trainings and meetings is required, including overnight.
Must be able to pass a Federal Background Security Check.
Must have a reliable vehicle. Mileage is reimbursed at the federal rate.
Familiarity with agricultural operations and the ability to quickly learn Farm Bill programs. Able to utilize pertinent scientific research and disseminate that information to appropriate audiences.
Experience collaborating on, developing, and delivering conservation education programs to a variety of audiences in diverse settings.
Experience writing grants and related grant reporting or ability to learn quickly.
Send cover letter, resume, unofficial transcripts and three professional references as a single PDF to Nancy Carpenter, Manager of Berrien County Conservation District, at email@example.com with "Application – Ag Tech” in the subject line.
Please direct any questions to Nancy Carpenter, Manager, at 269-471-9111 ext. 3.
Learn more about Berrien County Conservation District and projects at www.berriencd.org.
About the Company
Conservation Districts are local government agencies that provide technical and financial assistance for private landowners (including farms) that want to implement conservation activities or practices on their land. Berrien County Conservation District (BCCD) staff positions and projects are grant-funded, making for an innovative and challenging workplace. The Conservation District office is co-located with federal partner Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and this position requires a good working relationship with NRCS.