CAFF Job: Ecological Pest Management Field Technician – San Joaquin Valley


Contractor Title:     Ecological Pest Management Field Technician – San Joaquin Valley
Location:     Based out of Modesto with regular travel throughout the San Joaquin Valley
Compensation:     Full time at $27 per hour ($56,000 annually); significant travel stipend
Duration:     2 year contract
Reports To:     Ecological Pest Management Program Specialist
Start Date:     February 2021


The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build sustainable food and farming systems through policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs that create more resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems. CAFF is a membership organization guided by a board of directors that includes family farmers and others who are passionate about food, farming and the environment. CAFF runs regional food systems projects such as Farm to Market and Food Safety projects, as well as Ecological Farming programs including the Climate Smart Farming Program and the Ecological Pest Management Program. See for more information.

Position Summary

The Ecological Pest Management (EPM) program is CAFF’s newest on-the-ground program. CAFF seeks an Ecological Pest Management Field Technician for the San Joaquin Valley to support the implementation of a large research and demonstration project in walnuts: Promoting Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems (BIOS) in Walnuts in Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.

The EPM Field Technician will work with CAFF’s EPM Program Specialist and UC Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to support the data collection component for biologically integrated pest management demonstrations in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. The BIOS for Walnuts project will set up six demonstration sites (3 in the Sacramento Valley, 3 in the San Joaquin Valley) to demonstrate, investigate and promote key integrated pest management practices including mating disruption technique for key pests such as codling moth, navel orangeworm (NOW), and biological control of spider mites. The field technician for the San Joaquin Valley, will largely be based in the Northern San Joaquin Valley with some travel to the Sacramento Valley.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist Program Specialist with setting up mating disruption demonstration sites: lures and traps according to protocol and site maps in commercial walnut orchards
  • Carry out weekly field monitoring of codling moth and NOW: take trap counts of hanging traps and record data
  • Assist Program Specialist with setting up biological control research plots: setting out sticky card traps according to protocol and site maps
  • Carry out weekly field monitoring of two spotted spider mites and natural enemies: leaf brush sampling, sticky cards and sweep nets (in cover crop) and record data
  • Carry out tree nut sampling to evaluate infestation rates of codling moth and NOW and record data
  • Coordinate Program Specialist, UC IPM Advisor, growers and PCAs to carry out field work 
  • Assist in setting-up and hosting extension meetings including field meetings
  • Other duties as assigned



Bachelor’s degree in entomology, agricultural science or related fields


  • At least 1 year of professional experience in agriculture preferred
  • Experience in field monitoring insect pests 
  • Experience following research protocols in a field setting preferred
  • Experience working in nut tree orchard systems preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Interest in sustainable agriculture and family farms in California.
  • Experience in data collection and input preferred.
  • Ability to follow research protocols.
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, as well as collaborate with others in a team setting.
  • Ability to work on occasional weekend and/or evening commitments.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel; proficiency in Google Suite.
  • Applicant must have access to vehicle to carry out field work at multiple demonstration and research sites. Must be able to provide valid driver’s license and valid auto insurance.

Physical Abilities

  • Ability to work for multiple hours in a field setting.
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time working at a computer.
  • Requires a full range of physical mobility, such as bending, stooping, lifting (up to 50 lbs), turning, carrying objects, and grasping.

CAFF’s policy is that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation.


To apply:

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of two references with the subject line “Ecological Pest Management Field Technician – San Joaquin Valley” to by February 1, 2021