Hiring: Agroecologist – The Trustees
The Trustees operate 5 production farms with over 1,500 CSA members, 4 farm stores and a Mobile Market program. We raise 100% grass-fed and pastured livestock and grow certified organic mixed vegetables, flowers and herbs. In addition to these public farms, The Trustees owns over 3,500 acres in farmland across the state of Massachusetts. The Trustees is focused on modeling regenerative agricultural practices for profitable agroecosystems that are diverse, resilient and productive.
Trustees Farm properties are open to the public through robust engagement programing such as summer camps, school trips, adult workshops and on-site culinary experiences featuring our vegetables, herbs, eggs, meats and dairy products.
We are seeking a qualified and experienced agroecologist to build capacity on our agriculture team which includes field crop production and grassland management for livestock grazing, haymaking and native biodiversity. This position reports to our Director of Agriculture, working collaboratively with and supporting both the Agriculture team and our Coast and Natural Resources team, deepening understanding and fluency of agroecological approaches and practices while incorporating into annual and daily operational work.
The agroecologist is responsible for research design, data collection and analysis as related to production agriculture, farmland management and conservation ecology. This position will work closely with our field crop and livestock managers to provide recommendations for implementing agroecological approaches to farming that balance profits, wildlife habitats, soil health, water quality, and carbon capture as well as measuring tradeoffs in conservation of native species and agricultural production.
- Agroecological research design and implementation
- Conduct data collection in all aspects of agroecological research including:
- Soil samples
- Livestock growth rates
- Grass height and stocking rates, movement
- Feed quality
- Vegetation diversity and abundance including invasive species
- Grassland bird point counts
- Water sampling
- Map, enter into database, and analyze all data collected
- Conduct analysis of data
- Present results of research in written and oral formats
- Work regularly and collaboratively with production farmers, side-by-side to understand operations, limitations and potential for incorporating new practices or asking particular questions through research
- Make recommendations and assist in implementing agroecological practices
- Application of agroecological and regenerative agricultural practices
- Support Soil Health Management Plans across farms by building fluency with agroecological approaches that support production
- Provide leadership and technical workshopping with agriculture and ecology teams
- Quantity tradeoffs and identify opportunities for symbiosis in ag production and conservation ecology
- Identify practices and principles for increasing carbon sequestration and storage on agricultural land
- Work collaboratively with partners to support and promote agroecology in the region
- Other tasks and duties as assigned, such as assisting with development of educational program content
Preferred skills and knowledge:
- Familiarity with agroecological and regenerative agricultural principles such as no-till, cover crops, agroforestry, and rotational grazing
- Experience with no-till / cover crop implementation & ability to design tailored cover crop blends to address field-level soil conditions
- Practical management knowledge to support grass production and climate resilient grasslands
- Familiarity with the impact of intensive rotational grazing systems on soils and carbon sequestration
- Management experience to support both agricultural production and conservation ecology
Data Collection and Analysis
- Ability to collect field data to assess soils, vegetation, water, and livestock
- Familiarity with current methods of statistical analysis, mapping using ArcGIS, and presentation of data
- Ability to assess and benchmark soil health in the field, conduct in-field soil sampling and interpret analysis of lab test results including:
- Soil structure, nutrients, organic matter, carbon/nitrogen ratios, cation exchange capacity, base saturation rates
- Soil biology-microbial activity and mycorrhizal fungi development
- Given a field’s current soil conditions, knowledge to recommend a path to improved soil health
- Preferred undergraduate and graduate applied coursework in agroecology, agronomy, soil health or related field
- 3+ years direct field experience on farms, ranches, grasslands or other ag production setting
- Passionate about working with farmers to improve resiliency, production and biodiversity
- Able to process complex farm management scenarios and contribute to comprehensive solutions
- Great teamwork skills and ability to integrate applied science to the craft of production farming
- Knowledgeable about funding resources available to farmers and nonprofits for agricultural research
- Ability to identify Northeast grasses, grassland birds and invasive plants
- Strong verbal communication and data presentation skills
- Ability to work closely across both the agriculture and ecology teams
- Willingness and ability to engage the public
- Experience with GIS mapping
- Willingness to pursue additional certification as needed to work in this emerging field
The duties and responsibilities described are not a comprehensive list and additional tasks may be assigned to the employee from time to time
- Applicants must provide their own transportation to job sites
- The ability to work outdoors daily, and at times, under rigorous conditions
- The ability to perform physically strenuous duties, such as hiking long distances
- The ability to work irregular hours (depending upon wildlife and weather)
- A valid driver’s license, as well as a satisfactory driving record as outlined in The Trustees’ driving policy
The salary for this position is $50,000-$75,000 annually, DOE.
About The Trustees
The Trustees is one of Massachusetts’ largest non-profits and the nation’s first conservation and preservation organization. Today, the places we care about are going fast, and the forces undermining them, including climate change, are moving faster. Our passion is to protect and share with everyone the irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures under our care. We are funded and supported entirely by our visitors, supporters, volunteers, and more than 60,000 member households.
The Trustees has been featured in the Top 100 Women-Led Organizations in Massachusetts for six consecutive years.
In addition to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, The Trustees aims to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of its team. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts who are at the core of our mission.
We kindly request that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application. Those candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.