The National Center for Appropriate Technology or NCAT has been helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources since 1976. NCAT is a trusted, practical, connector for individuals and businesses who are working to leave our world better than we found it. Through individualized technical assistance, hands-on training opportunities, in-depth educational resources, and peer-to-peer learning networks, NCAT works to foster and promote sustainable technologies and systems, especially for the benefit of economically disadvantaged individuals and communities. NCAT’s work includes nationally recognized projects in energy, agriculture, food, and rural development.
NCAT is seeking a Carbon Farm Planner to help woolgrowers in the Northern Great Plains plan and implement conservation practices that improve climate resilience, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The primary duty of the planner will be to work closely with woolgrowers in South Dakota to complete detailed Carbon Farm Plans (CFPs) for their properties that identify and prioritize on-farm opportunities for carbon capture and storage. Planners also provide technical assistance for the implementation of practices identified in the plan, verify implementation and assist with project monitoring, and coordinate climate-smart agriculture efforts with local partner organizations and agencies. Planners will also act as connectors between the ag community and groups offering resources for improving soil health, drought resiliency, and climate adaptation.
The successful candidate for this position will be required to set up and work from a remote office in South Dakota and must be willing and able to travel frequently throughout their specified region to farms, events, workshops, and trainings as needed. (Candidates located near NCAT’s Headquarters in Butte Montana have the option of an office located in the NCAT HQ Campus.)
This position requires a BA/BS degree in agriculture, environmental science, natural resource management, or related fields and a minimum of five years of farming experience. Applicants with equivalent but different combinations of education and experience will be considered. While not required, preference is for candidates with experience in animal (especially sheep) agriculture in the Northern Great Plains; experience in building soil health through regenerative ranching and farming; and demonstrated competence/certification in whole farm planning, such as NRCS conservation planner certification. New hires are required to successfully complete the Carbon Cycle Institute’s Carbon Farm Planning Training and Curriculum and become a Certified Carbon Farm Planner within 6 months of hire. (NCAT will provide the Carbon Cycle Institute’s Carbon Farm Planning Training for Certification. The training requires 2-4 hours/week for a period of 3 weeks.)
DESIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:
- Commitment and passion for the NCAT mission;
- Strong knowledge of animal agriculture in the Northern Great Plains and familiarity with ag-related organizations and government agencies;
- Familiarity with concepts of sustainability and regenerative agricultural practices;
- Experience working with land managers and agricultural producers in conservation planning, whole farm planning, climate adaptation planning, soil health planning, and/or carbon farming planning and implementation;
- Competence in GIS mapping, data management, and using software such as the Web Soil Survey and the Rangeland Analysis Platform;
- Competence with Microsoft Office and Google Suite;
- Knowledge of Northern Great Plains ecology, native plants and wildlife, soils, and climate;
- Excellent attention to detail and demonstrated verbal and written communication skills;
- Exceptional ability to communicate and build constructive, professional relationships with farmers, ranchers, community organizations, government agencies, partners, private contractors, Tribal staff and citizens, resource professionals, and the general public;
- Ability to recognize and successfully pursue additional or alternative funding sources for high-priority projects and partnerships;
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills;
- Self-directed and organized with the ability to work independently to meet multiple deadlines;
- Exceptional ability to work productively both independently and in a collaborative team setting;
- Ability to coordinate groups and teams and manage time effectively on multiple projects;
- Ability to sit, walk, and listen for up to 8 hours per day;
- Ability to conduct on-farm fieldwork in challenging terrain, weather, and climate conditions while carrying up to 30 pounds;
- And the willingness and ability to travel around the state, region, and on occasion out of the state. Travel may involve flexible work hours, including evenings, and weekends, and some overnight travel may be required.
- Promote and support NCAT’s mission;
- Provide regionally appropriate technical assistance for conservation practice adoption to woolgrowers via in-person site visits as well as by phone, email, social media, workshops, and field demonstrations;
- Serve as point person to work collaboratively with agricultural producers, staff of NCAT and the Carbon Cycle Institute, and technical assistance providers such as staff of NRCS, Conservation Districts, Watershed groups, and university extension agents to develop technical CFPs that reflect farmer goals and include a suite of recommended NRCS-conservation practice standards with quantifiable GHG or carbon sequestration benefits;
- Collect data and prepare quarterly project reports towards outcomes and goals, such as implementation acres, practices implemented, quantifiable GHG benefits, farm productivity, and the marketing and sales of agricultural products grown using climate-friendly practices;
- Create educational and outreach materials such as tip sheets, workshop content, public presentations;
- Assist with written and visual content for periodic progress reports and press releases;
- Assist in arranging educational activities, such as field days, pasture walks, Climate Resilience Demonstration Days, and one regional capstone conference;
- Cultivate peer-to-peer producer learning communities;
- Develop and maintain positive, productive, professional relationships with producers, coworkers, partner organizations, agencies, research institutions, and Tribes as part of program delivery;
- Maintain understanding of the full range of compatible agricultural and conservation programs currently available in the region, and effectively connect producers to these opportunities;
- Carry out diversity and inclusion efforts, including outreach to small and historically underserved producers to embed equity within NCAT’s outreach efforts;
- Present at conferences, producer association meetings, stakeholder meetings, and other appropriate forums;
- Contribute content for promotional communications and outreach activities, such as blogs, podcasts, press releases, earned media pushes, and video production;
- Participate in creation and/or delivery of promotional and educational media related to climate beneficial practices for woolgrowers;
- And stay abreast of current and emerging research in the field of agricultural conservation planning, soil health, wool production, and agricultural practices that have proven GHG benefit.
SALARY AND BENEFITS: $52,000-$58,000 annually depending on work status, qualifications, and experience. Excellent benefits include flexible schedule, paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays, health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, a cafeteria and 401(k) plan and a pleasant, professional environment.
APPLICATION PROCESS: Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate can be identified. Early applications are encouraged. Applicants are encouraged to visit www.ncat.org and attra.ncat.org to learn more about NCAT. NCAT employees interested in the position should email Human Resources a letter of interest as soon as possible. All persons interested in being considered for the position must submit an NCAT application and upload a resume and cover letter through BambooHR. Please submit a current resume and a cover letter highlighting experience and skills relevant to the listed qualifications. Resume and cover letters can be uploaded at: https://ncat.bamboohr.com/careers. Simply choose the position you are applying for and then click “apply for this job” to upload the required resume and cover letter. Questions about the application process can be directed to:
Kriss Sullivan, Director of Human Resources
NCAT’s mission is to help people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources. Our work brings together diverse partnerships and communities to help reduce poverty and protect our natural resources. We strive to be a multicultural organization that embraces the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical ability, religious or political belief and marital or veteran status. Diversity creates healthy communities. Special consideration will be given to applicants who are reflective of the communities that we serve. NCAT is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
For additional information about NCAT please visit our website at www.ncat.org.