Water Quality (Extension Assoc)

The Ohio State University

Wapakoneta, OH, USA 🇺🇸

Job Title: Water Quality, Extension Assoc

Department: FAES | Agriculture and Natural Resources

Job Description
Plan and provide educational programs and applied on-farm demonstrations on relevant local water quality issues that consider the agronomic productivity of the farm and mitigate environmental impacts of phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients, plus soil erosion that affect water quality at the edge of the field. Work in cooperation with Extension Educator(s) to assist in planning and implementing pro-active educational programs using innovative educational methods, both internally and externally, utilizing local and university sources. Evaluate programs to improve future design and educational outcomes. Develop and manage a communication plan that utilizes traditional and social media to promote use of appropriate nutrient management technologies and BMPs, and to showcase current research knowledge. Maintain a high level of visibility and facilitate communications with a wide range of clientele including urban audiences, traditional and non-traditional learners, elected officials, agricultural and non-agricultural stakeholders, and environmental and special interest groups to promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resource issues. Develop an Extension program focus that specializes in one aspect of water quality (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, organic nutrient utilization, or soil health). Provide one-on-one consultation to farmers, consultants, seed and fertilizer dealers, agency professionals, and environmental professionals on the use of modern nutrient management practices including precision agriculture, modern N and P fertilizer placement options and equipment, and cover crops. Work directly with individual farmers on evaluating and adopting new practices and technologies appropriate to local growing conditions. Provide advice on implementation of practices such as cover crops, drainage water management, buffer strip, and other nutrient trap practices. Relate production conservation information on nutrient drawdown in high soil test fields, soil compaction, soil health, controlled traffic in production field, and tillage practices including no-till and strip-till. Assist in identification of low ROI production areas appropriate for conversion to conservation uses. Work individually with farmers on identification of appropriate cost-effective Best Management Practices (BMPs) for use. Refer to appropriate technical resources for design and cost share assistance. Work with locally organized farmer-led watershed peer-learning groups where farmers can share experiences and develop projects related to the adoption of appropriate technologies for improving nutrient management practices based on the local situation. Where these groups do not exist, look to develop. Maintain working knowledge of equipment cost-share opportunities, of EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program), of cooperatively-owned equipment and retailer capabilities in their watersheds, and refer clients to those opportunities and resources. Demonstrate through cooperative on-farm visits and educational activities the ability of available agricultural technologies to improve crop production and reduce environmental impacts. These include but are not limited to aerial imaging, active soil sensing, remote sensing, variable nutrient rates based on production zones, and yield monitoring to create production and profitability zones. Utilize as-applied nutrient verification to document nutrient rates and placement with yield maps to document crop outcomes. Demonstrate the benefits of BMPs to farmers and assist with implementation of BMPs in low productivity areas of fields to improve water quality and profitability. Collect farm production, and economic and water quality data in association with installed BMPs to develop ROI information and case studies on conservation practices for production and water quality outcomes. Assist farmers with making fertilizer recommendations utilizing tri-state nutrient recommendations. Generate cost return data for applying agronomic rates of manure in-season. Assist in the understanding of manure nutrient value and how it can be used to meet nutrient needs and soil health goals. Utilize OSU developed tools (FARM, Plots, P index, Fertilizer Recommendation) and commercially available software in support of sharing research findings and educational activities. Publish data and project outcomes in eFields and peer-reviewed resources to make available BPM evidence more broadly available to farmers, practitioners, and technicians.

Position is located in Auglaize county (Wapakoneta, Ohio) but will also be responsible for a particular geographic group of other counties.

Minimum Education Required
Master’s Level Degree or equivalent combination of education and experience

Required Qualifications
Preference will be given to candidates with an earned Master’s degree in agricultural engineering/technology, agronomy, soil science, environmental science, hydrology, or other educationally-related area. Strong written/oral communication skills and experience working with diverse clientele and organizations are both required. Demonstrated success in working as part of a team and initiating collaborative partnerships is sought. Leadership ability and strong teaching and subject matter expertise in at least one area of agriculture is necessary with the ability to establish or support agribusiness opportunities. Must be willing to work flexible hours with minimal supervision.

Additional Information:

Ohio State is focused on enhancing the health and safety of our community. Therefore, the university is requiring every student, faculty and staff member to be compliant with Ohio State’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

By the start of employment, all newly hired employees must receive at least the first dose of a two-dose series or a single dose of a one-dose series COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals who choose a two-dose series vaccination must receive the second dose within 45 days of their start date. Proof of vaccination will be required at time of hire.

Candidates may request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement. Campus employees may also request an exemption for personal reasons. Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, College of Medicine or OSUP Employees are not eligible for personal exemptions. All exemptions are subject to Ohio State’s approval and subject to change, including revocation, due to legal and regulatory requirements.

Location: OSU Extension – Auglaize (1505)

Position Type: Regular

Scheduled Hours: 40

Shift: Varying Shifts

Final candidates are subject to successful completion of a background check.  A drug screen or physical may be required during the post offer process.

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The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, protected veteran status, or any other basis under the law.

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