Practical Farmers of Iowa's mission is equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Practical Farmers of Iowa is an inclusive organization representing a diversity of farmers. Farmers in our network raise corn and soybeans, hay, livestock large and small, horticultural crops from fruits and vegetables to cut flowers and herbs, and more. Our members have conventional and organic systems; employ diverse management practices; run operations of all sizes; and come from a range of backgrounds. These farmers come together, however, because they believe in nature as the model for agriculture and they are committed to moving their operations toward sustainability.
Practical Farmers of Iowa was founded in 1985 as an organization for farmers. We use farmer-led investigation and information sharing to help farmers practice an agriculture that benefits both the land and people.
Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking an outgoing and driven professional to join our staff as habitat and farm transfer coordinator. For over 30 years, PFI has equipped farmers to build resilient farms and communities through farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing, on-farm research and strategic partnerships.
This new, full-time position will work with PFI staff, farmers, landowners and external partners to coordinate and execute farmer-led events and research related to on-farm prairie, edge-of-field conservation practices and habitat management. This person will create a network of farmer and landowner leaders in on-farm prairie and habitat, including a conservation and habitat committee. This person will also build networks with farmland owners and organize regional events to strengthen PFI’s farm transfer program.
Liz Kolbe, Horticulture and Habitat Programs Manager
Habitat work (approximately 75% of focus)
- Organize and staff PFI’s conservation and habitat field days, conference programming and workshops
- Build a network of farmers and stakeholders to promote farmer-to-farmer learning about on-farm conservation practices, prairie and habitat management
- Creatively seek opportunities to link farmers with resources to support on-farm conservation and habitat projects
- Carry out PFI’s conservation and habitat-related on-farm research and demonstration projects, including facilitating project selection, working one-on-one with participating farmers and collaborating organizations, and writing research reports
Farm transfer work (approximately 25% of focus)
- Organize and staff PFI’s regional farm transfer learning circles, field days and workshops
- Build a network of farmers and stakeholders to help each other create and implement farm transfer plans
- Link farmers and landowners with farm transfer resources
- Help feature farmers’ experiences with farm transfer in newsletters, blogs and other media
Applicable to both focus areas
- Coordinate and meet with external partner organizations in Iowa and beyond
- Communicate about PFI to a wide audience
- Seek grant opportunities and write proposals to fund related programming
- Other duties as assigned
Qualifications and Characteristics:
- Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, natural resources, environmental science or related field strongly preferred; master’s degree preferred – or equivalent experience in the fields of conservation, natural resources, ecology, environmental science or related field. Individuals with different professional backgrounds and degrees who have knowledge and passion for the work are also encouraged to apply, and will be considered for the position.
- Comfortable working with a wide audience of farmers and stakeholders
- Excellent communication skills and a positive work attitude
- Self-motivated and outgoing; willing to initiate contact with farmers, landowners and agriculture professionals
- Experience, knowledge and appreciation of Iowa’s ecosystems, prairie and habitat management for species diversity, insects, mammals and birds
- Working knowledge of edge-of-field and in-field practices for soil and water quality, and pollinator and beneficial insect health
- Experience and knowledge of agricultural land ownership and transfer issues
- An understanding of Iowa agriculture and ag issues in Iowa
- Experience organizing events
- Experience writing outreach pieces
- Experience writing grant proposals and grant reports
- Experience developing and conducting field research
- Ability to work well with others and build partnerships
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to manage several tasks at once
- A passion for integrating conservation into working agricultural lands, and for diverse landscapes
This is a full-time position based in our Ames office. Salary is competitive, based on experience and qualifications. Practical Farmers offers a flexible, fast-paced work environment with opportunities for independent initiative and professional development.
This position requires travel (mostly in Iowa), a valid driver’s license, the ability to lift 50 pounds and the ability to walk long distances. The position reports to Liz Kolbe, horticulture and habitat programs manager. Practical Farmers is a family-friendly employer. The position includes full health care benefits, a flex plan, short- and long-term disability, life insurance and generous paid time off. Employer contribution to a 401k retirement plan is offered after one year of employment.
How to Apply
Please apply by sending a cover letter, resume and professional references to Liz Kolbe at email@example.com by Oct. 21, 2018.