The Conservation Agronomist will work with Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) ag retail partner Cooperative Farmers Elevator (CFE) to engage landowners and farmers in northwest Iowa and surrounding areas. The purpose of this role is to provide conservation and agronomy technical assistance to local farmers and landowners. This technical assistance will result in increased farmer participation and engagement in programs and projects that improve production, profitability, and natural resource outcomes.
This ISA staff position will be officed with CFE at their location in Rock Valley, Iowa, and will work closely with CFE’s agronomy and precision team. The person in this role will provide conservation and agronomy expertise to ISA farmer members, CFE farmer members, and area landowners. This person will also provide conservation expertise to the CFE agronomy team. An important aspect of this role will be to build relationships with CFE agronomy and precision staff, local watershed projects, soil and water conservation district staff, and other conservation partners. This person filling this position must reside or be wiling to move within reasonable daily commute distance of Rock Valley.
- Serve as a conservation and agronomy technical specialist.
- Identify appropriate in-field and edge-of-field agronomy and conservation practices for soil and water resource improvement.
- Promote management practices and systems to address resource concerns, farmer/landowner conservation, production and productivity goals, and grant project goals.
- Execute on-farm research, including collection of data and management information.
- Monitoring agronomic and conservation practice performance.
- Connect farmers and landowners with financial assistance and secure necessary technical design standards for practice application.
- Build relationships and serve as a technical agronomy and conservation liaison between watershed coordinators, other local conservation organizations and CFE.
- Build relationships and coordinate projects with project sponsors and a variety of audiences in the ag retail territory including farmers, landowners, CFE staff, CCA’s, USDA Service Center personnel, local partners, and other commodity organizations.
- Successfully engage CFE staff in building relationships, conducting outreach to their farmer members in a cooperative manner, and providing conservation expertise as requested.
- Participate in ISA, CFE, and other relevant meetings, trainings, events, and field days.
- Prepare work plans, budgets, quarterly and annual reports, and support grant development and implementation.
- Coordinate with other ISA departments and staff including communications and outreach, producer services and finance and accounting.
Education & Experience
- Bachelor’s degree or higher in environmental sciences, agriculture, biological sciences, ecology, sociology, or related field.
- Minimum of three to five years of experience working directly with farmers in agronomy and/or conservation.
- Strong understanding of:
- conservation practices and financial support programs
- agricultural industry and the ag retail system
- cropping systems
- Capable of working in a team environment while working independently to achieve specific project deliverables.
- Ability to work remotely and from affiliated office locations.
- Understanding or ability to learn various computer technologies including data management programs, CRM software, and GIS software.
- Valid driver’s license required.
- Master’s degree in Agronomy, Agricultural Engineering, Environmental/Biological Science, or related field preferred.
- Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) certification preferred.