Since 1976, 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. NCAT is a national, non-profit organization providing trusted, individualized technical assistance, hands-on training opportunities, practical educational resources, and peer-to-peer learning networks on nationally acclaimed projects in food, agriculture, energy, and climate resilience. Headquartered in Butte, Montana, NCAT has offices in 10 states. NCAT works to foster and promote sustainable technologies and systems, especially for the benefit of economically disadvantaged individuals and communities. NCAT is committed to advancing racial equity and inclusion in its work and organization.
NCAT is seeking a full-time Sustainable Agriculture Specialist to join our team in California. The primary duties of the Specialist are to support underserved producers in California in improving soil health and conservation planning on the lands they work, along with integrated crop and livestock production, organic certification, and successful business management. The Specialist will work closely with producers identifying as Latino/a throughout California to evaluate their operations, identify and prioritize on-farm opportunities for improved soil health management, and develop comprehensive conservation plans that meet the standards set forth by NRCS. This position requires strong technical writing and verbal communication skills, fluency in Spanish, respect for and appreciation of culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse populations of farmers, knowledge of USDA organic regulations, regenerative soil management, as well as knowledge of NRCS conservation planning, practice standards and guidelines.
The successful candidate for this position will be required to set up and work from a remote office in one of California’s primary agricultural regions, and be willing and able to travel frequently to farms, events, workshops, and training as needed throughout their specified region. (Candidates located near the NCAT office in Davis, CA have the option of an office located in that shared office space).
QUALIFICATIONS: This position requires a Bachelor’s (BA/BS) degree in soil science, agriculture, environmental science, natural resource management, or a related field, along with at least three years of relevant professional experience, or an equivalent of education and/or experience. Must be fluent in Spanish, both written and spoken. The ability to communicate in languages spoken by other farmer groups is also desirable. Previous work experience with agricultural industry, extension, or non-profit organizations is preferred.
DESIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
- Commitment and passion for the NCAT mission;
- In-depth knowledge of soil science, the five soil health principles, USDA organic regulations and the certification process, regenerative agriculture philosophies, and NRCS conservation practices;
- Experience working with land managers and agricultural producers in conservation planning, whole-farm planning, organic and food safety certifications, soil health and/or carbon farming planning and implementation;
- Knowledge of California’s climate, soils, ecology, and farming contexts;
- Knowledge of NRCS conservation practice standards and guidelines;
- Experience in grant-writing;
- Excellent attention to detail, and strong technical writing and communication skills;
- Exceptional ability to communicate with and build constructive, professional relationships with farmers, ranchers, community organizations, government agencies, partners, private contractors, resource professionals, and the general public;
- Self-directed and organized, with the ability to work independently to meet multiple deadlines;
- Ability to coordinate groups and teams, and manage time effectively on multiple projects;
- Ability to conduct on-farm field work in challenging terrain, weather, and climatic conditions while carrying up to 30 pounds;
- Excellent organizational and time management skills;
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office, GIS software, and software such as COMET Farm Planner;
- Knowledge of California ecology, native plants, soils, and climates;
- Ability to identify and pursue additional or alternative funding sources for priority projects and partnerships;
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills;
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team setting;
- Willingness and ability to travel throughout the region, including flexible work hours, evenings, weekends, and some overnight travel.
- Promote and support NCAT’s mission;
- Conduct outreach to small and historically underserved producers in both English and Spanish, and embed equity within NCAT’s outreach efforts;
- Travel frequently to conduct on-farm site visits to evaluate land, soil, water, and other natural resources;
- Work closely with farmers to understand their conservation needs, goals, values, resources, and production contexts;
- Provide regionally appropriate technical assistance for sustainable conservation practice adoption to producers via in-person site visits, as well as by phone, email, social media, workshops, and field demonstrations;
- Develop comprehensive conservation plans that align with NRCS standards and guidelines;
- Create educational and outreach materials promoting conservation practices, such as written articles, tip sheets, workshop content, blogs, podcasts, press releases, short educational videos, and public presentations;
- Assist in planning educational activities and events such as field days, trainings, and the annual Latino Farmer Conference;
- Collaborate and maintain productive and professional relationships with producers, partner organizations, government agencies, research institutions, and other partners in the organic and regenerative agriculture movements and industries;
- Cultivate peer-to-peer learning communities for producers and landowners to share knowledge and experiences;
- Assist in creating written and visual content for periodic progress reports and press releases;
- Maintain an understanding of the full range of compatible agricultural and conservation programs in California, and effectively connect producers to these opportunities;
- Maintain an understanding of current and emerging research on organic production, regenerative agriculture, soil health, and conservation practices, and effectively educate producers about these practices;
- Maintain detailed records of all conservation plans and activities;
- Pursue grants and funding opportunities to support ongoing NCAT mission-based activities.
SALARY AND BENEFITS:
This salary is $65,000 – $75,000 annually depending on location, qualifications, and experience. Excellent benefits include a 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.
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 should 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 homepage.