Agriculture and Rangeland Program Manager

Website Sierra Resource Conservation District

About Sierra RCD: A non-regulatory, non-taxing, nonprofit, Special District of the State of California; the mission and function of the SIERRA RESOURCE CONSERVATION DISTRICT (Sierra RCD) is to take available technical, financial, and educational resources, whatever their source, and focus or coordinate them at the local level, to meet the present and future natural resource needs of the local land user. Offices are in Auberry and Fresno, CA. More information can be found at www.sierrarcd.com

Sierra RCD service area covers the eastern half of Fresno County and has two main programs in operation that interact with local land users and landowners: the Forestry and Watershed Program which predominantly focuses within the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Agriculture and Rangeland Program which focuses within the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Central Valley floor.

The Agriculture and Rangeland Program (A/R Program): The Sierra RCD A/R Program is committed to supporting Fresno County’s productive community of farmers and ranchers by providing technical assistance related to soil and water conservation practices, particularly historically underserved producers and farming communities, and partnership support services that will improve farm and ranch productivity while strengthening the agricultural industry and its resilience to climate change.

Responsibilities and duties:  The Agriculture and Rangeland Program Manager is responsible for guiding the overall A/R Program. This requires coordinating the implementation of all projects and their interdependence to reach the objectives and goals of the A/R Program, while operating in alignment with the values of Sierra RCD. The Program Manager performs a wide variety of functions to lead, direct and support all projects and staff working within the A/R Program. The Program Manager works closely with the Executive Director and Senior District Development Staff on developing and implementing strategies that will lead the A/R Program to success.

Principally, on a day-to-day basis, the Program Manager will work closely with the Fresno County Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on facilitating applications for financial and technical assistance on specific conservation practices – including under the San Joaquin Valley Land and Water Conservation Collaborative (SJVLWCC) with the American Farmland Trust (AFT) funded by the NRCS; and also provide on-farm consultation support for the A/R Program’s California Underserved Producers (CUSP) Program funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), regarding soil and water conservation practices, identifying agricultural issues, and helping determine appropriate resolutions that include practices in alignment with regenerative agriculture principles.

Other duties include, but are not limited to:

·         Establish and maintain mutually beneficial working relationships with aligned agencies, organizations and other entities that provide relevant expertise and technical or financial assistance for farmers and ranchers, including economic relief assistance.

·         Work with colleagues and partner agencies, organizations, and other entities, to plan, coordinate and broaden outreach efforts for all program-related projects and events.

·         Work with Sierra RCD colleagues, partner agencies, organizations and other entities, farmers, and ranchers (including tenant farmers and landowners) to identify barriers to adoption of conservation and regenerative agriculture practices and develop common sense, economically viable solutions.

·         Represent Sierra RCD at public meetings, and occasionally make presentations on the work of Sierra RCD at events and workshops.

·         Provide regular updates to Executive Director and Senior Staff on progress, challenges, and successes.

·         Participate in developing grant proposals that would benefit the A/R Program; and

·         Report to the Board of Directors monthly.

Essential Education and Experience:

– Undergraduate degree, or equivalent professional experience, in agriculture, natural resource management, water resources, resource conservation, or related fields.
– Working directly with farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural and environmental professionals, organizations, and stakeholders.
– Experience in a leadership role on project management.
– Experience in grant writing, implementation, reporting, and budget management.
– Proficiency with MS Office, spreadsheets, databases, and word processing; and
– Ability to work independently, multi-task and prioritize in a dynamic work environment.
Desirable Qualifications:

·         Multi-lingual proficiency.

·         Understanding of the unique circumstances and history of the agricultural industry and culture of California’s Central Valley.

·         Demonstrated ability to work with landowners, farmers and/or ranchers, to make improvements or conduct operations for one or more of the following: soil erosion, soil health, water conservation and distribution, irrigation systems, and wildlife habitat enhancement.

·         Received training in one or more of the following areas: NRCS Conservation Planning, Carbon Farm Planning, Regenerative Agriculture Practices.

·         Experience with drip/micro irrigation system evaluation.

·         Experience providing technical assistance on cover crop planning and implementation.

·         Understanding of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and potential impacts on agricultural landowners and users in the Central Valley as it is implemented.

Reports to: Executive Director

Commitment: Starting at $50,000 per year – or higher commensurate with experience and desired qualifications. This is a full time, non-exempt position. Initially, this position will be stationed full time at a Fresno office for training. Subsequently, flexibility will be possible and can shift to a hybrid schedule of in-office and remote work.

To Apply: This position is OPEN UNTIL FILLED. Initial round of resume review begins Monday, October 10, 2022,   Please Submit Letter of Interest and Resume to Karin Roux via email: kroux [at] sierrarcd.com.

To apply for this job email your details to kroux@sierrarcd.com