The Field Outreach Specialist will work in north-central Illinois to recruit farmers and landowners to implement the constructed wetland best management practice on their farms. The outreach program will focus on one-on-one meetings and small group discussions. Training will be provided on general wetland science and the specifics of this practice. Work schedule will be somewhat flexible and in the range of 70 to 80 percent of full-time. The weekly workload will be heavier during the summer and winter months than during the spring or fall when farmers are planting or harvesting. This position is funded initially for two years with the opportunity for extension and/or increased hours based on additional funding. The Field Outreach Specialist will report to the Senior Environmental Engineer/Project Manager.
Duties and responsibilities:
- Carry out an outreach plan to identify, engage, and encourage prospective farmers to adopt the practice to meet project goals and objectives.
- Be a public ‘face’ of TWI among working farmers, representing TWI’s interests and work and communicating organizational and project goals clearly and positively.
- Develop relationships with local community leaders, agri-businesses, and farm and conservation organizations (e.g., Cattlemen’s Association, Pheasants Forever, etc.).
- Maintain good professional relationships with local and county-level staff of government and non-governmental entities related to the project (e.g., the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, local Soil & Water Conservation Districts, County Farm Bureaus, etc.).
- Assist the Project Manager in advising farmers and farm groups on the appropriate use of the constructed wetland best management practice.
- Assist in the planning and hosting of field tours and demonstration events.
- Assist with field investigations and water quality monitoring.
- Other duties as assigned by the Senior Environmental Engineer/Project Manager.
Bachelor’s Degree in agricultural science, agronomy, natural resources or a related field and/or equivalent combination of training and experience.
Experience living and/or working in rural communities in the Midwestern Farm Belt.
Experience with agriculture operations and best management practices.
Self-motivated and able to work independently while maintaining excellent communication with a supervisor.
Excellent people skills with an outgoing, tactful, positive, and collaborative attitude.
Interest in farming, improving water quality, and wildlife habitat.
Flexible work schedule for evening activities and meetings.
A valid driver’s license, clean driving record, ability to travel statewide, and access to a reliable personal vehicle (mileage would be reimbursed).
Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, web browsers, email programs, and similar basic office software.
Additional experience that is helpful but not required:
Familiarity with and/or personal experience living in the region of Illinois that is centered on Bureau County.
This is a part-time position with benefits, in the range of 70 to 80 percent of full-time.