Ecological Pest Management Field Technician – Sacramento

Contractor Title: Ecological Pest Management Field Technician

Location: Based out of Sacramento with regular travel, particularly to Clarksburg and Lodi

Compensation: Full time at $28 per hour ($58,240 annually)

Duration of Contract: 2 years

Reports To: Hanna Kahl, Ecological Pest Management Program Specialist

Start Date: May 2023

CAFF is a California-based membership organization that includes family farmers and other community members passionate about local food, farming, and the environment. As a farmer-serving organization, we recognize the historic and lasting inequities in the California food and farming system. We believe farmers of color, and other historically oppressed people, should have the opportunity to create and participate in a food and agriculture system that aligns with their needs, values, identities, knowledge systems, and communities. We commit to advancing racial, gender, and environmental justice in our larger systems, as well as in our own workplace. Currently our programming is focused in four areas: Farm to Market, Policy & Advocacy, Farmer Services, and Ecological Farming. To learn more about CAFF, our history, and our core values, visit

Contract Summary

CAFF seeks an Ecological Pest Management Field Technician to support the implementation of a large research and demonstration Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) project and technical assistance for small-scale farmers. The EPM field technician will work with CAFF’s EPM Program Specialist and EPM team to support the data collection component for biologically integrated pest management demonstrations in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. The BIFS project will set up eight demonstration sites (4 in the Sacramento Valley, 4 in the San Joaquin Valley) to demonstrate, investigate and promote key integrated pest management practices including releases of predatory mites, use of predatory arthropod food sprays, and use of volatile predatory arthropod attractants for control of spider mites. The field technician will also support the Developing Sustainable Pest Management Project. This will involve: providing one-on-one technical assistance, tracking technical assistance efforts, listening and compiling IPM challenges and needs, providing incentives and implementation assistance for IPM practices, and organizing and maintaining farmer forums. The field technician will ideally be based in the Greater Sacramento Area with regular travel to the Northern San Joaquin Valley and some travel to the Sacramento Valley.

Description of Services

  • Assist with setting up biological control experiments (applications of predatory mites, food sprays, and predator attractants) according to protocol and site maps in commercial walnut and winegrape farms
  • Carry out weekly field monitoring of spider mites and natural enemies (using visual observations and yellow sticky cards)
  • Enter and organize data from weekly field monitoring and from participating growers
  • Assist in planning field days and/or listening sessions with diverse grower groups
  • Collaborate and regularly communicate with PCAs, growers, researchers, and industry to share
    data, solve problems, and document challenges via phone, zoom, or farm visits as needed
  • Meet growers new to the EPM program and identify points of potential collaboration
  • Regularly attend grower meetings
  • Assist in developing educational materials such as podcasts, videos, fact sheets, case studies,
    and peer-reviewed scientific publications
  • Other duties as assigned

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Bachelor’s degree in entomology, agricultural science or related fields or relevant equivalent in work experience
  • 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 or vineyards preferred
  • Bilingual skills in another language preferred (preferably Spanish)
  • Demonstrated ability to enhance and effectively deliver programs to diverse audiences through your understanding of self, language, culture, and community
  • Interest in sustainable agriculture and family farms in California
  • Ability to follow research protocols
  • Experience in data collection and input preferred
  • Experience in arthropod ID preferred
  • Strong communication skills (both verbal and written)
  • Comfortable meeting farmers, listening to needs, collaborative problem-solving, and following up
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, as well as collaborate with others in a team setting
  • Event coordination
  • Ability to work on occasional weekend and/or evening commitments
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel; proficiency in Google Suite
  • Ideal but not necessary: Proficiency in WordPress, Canva, and Action Network
  • 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 Contractor – Sacramento” to by April 30, 2023