Hiring: Conservation Planners – Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts (MACD)

Employer: Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts (MACD)

Position/Title: Conservation Planners (Two Positions)

Employment Status: Full Time, Exempt, $35,000 to $45,000. Salary based on education and experience.

Hours: 40 hrs/wk approx. 8:00a.m.-4:30p.m.


  • Worcester County Position #1 dedicated to serving clients in Worcester County, will be headquartered in Holden, USDA NRCS Field Office.
  • Hampden/Hampshire Position #2 dedicated to serving clients in Hampden and Hampshire Counties will be headquartered in Hadley, USDA NRCS Field Office.

These positions will be under the supervision of the NRCS District Conservationist with programmatic responsibility to the respective County Conservation Districts and MACD. Travel to and work from other field offices in MA may be required.

Posting Date: December 27, 2016 Closing Date: January 13, 2017

Contact: Jeff LaFleur, Executive Director.

Conservation Planner

As Conservation Planner (CP) working for MACD, incumbent shall provide assistance to land owners, communities, conservation districts, the MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in carrying out coordinated soil and water conservation planning and delivery of farm assistance programs. These positions will also include assisting NRCS with nutrient management planning and assistance.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Assist landowners in identification of specific federal and state programs designed to assist in the viability, conservation and management of land use for food and fiber production, or the preservation of natural resources.
  2. Work with farmers and landowners in the selection and application of suitable nutrient management practices and soil and water conservation practices as needed to address individual resource concerns.
  3. Receive referrals, contact farmers and make field conservation planning visits.
  4. Develop a variety of conservation plans involving rural and agricultural areas that require interpretation of soil, water and environmental data to develop sound land use.
  5. Furnish necessary planning assistance resulting in a conservation plan that documents farmer’s or landholder’s decisions.
  6. Provide resource planning, assistance and information on problems such as erosion, sedimentation, flooding, drainage, land use, waste management, wildlife habitat, wetland restoration and water management.
  7. As conservation plans are written, contact farmers to develop a systematic application schedule for practices included in the plan. Provide assistance in layout and on-site installation of practices.
  8. Check completed practices to determine that specifications are met. Complete field sheets and recommend acceptability of completed practices to the District Conservationist for final certification.
  9. Advise landowner/operator on completion of proper maintenance.
  10. Utilize NRCS conservation Toolkit database with farm bill program information, applicant files, eligible practices, cost lists and contract details.
  11. Assist in maintaining workload registers with information from contracts for needed follow-up, and in carrying out basic functions of the follow-up schedule.
  12. Establish and maintain program files and documents for program delivery and documentation.
  13. Maintain mailing and contact lists for program delivery.
  14. Attend program related meetings to gather data and record information.
  15. Assist with a public region-wide and targeted outreach campaign for marketing Farm Bill and Department of Agricultural Resources programs, including, but not limited to: simple visual displays for local meetings and conferences, field days, public events, articles for newsletters and other news media contacts. Work with NRCS Public Affairs Specialist in developing needed brochures and other outreach information. Assist with meeting notices, letters, printing, copying, mailings, etc. for program delivery.
  1. Maintain a daily record of activities; prepare and maintain field office records; and assist in the compilation and develop of required reports.
  2. Successful applicant must obtain NRCS planner certification within 2 years of start date. MACD and NRCS provide training opportunities to accomplish certification.


  1. Professional knowledge of concepts, principles, methods and techniques of natural resources conservation, and ability to develop resource conservation plans.
  2. Knowledge of soils properties and characteristics sufficient to interpret land use potential and deficiencies and to advise organizations, landowners, communities and users on sound erosion control and drainage techniques.
  3. Education: Education that provided specialized knowledge and skills in soil and water conservation is more valuable than education that imparted broad but general knowledge and skills. Courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, soil genesis, plant physiology, plant science, and field crops are examples of specialized courses. Courses in the physical sciences or engineering such as geology, civil engineering, and hydrology also meet the soils, crops, or plant science course requirements where such courses included a complete introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils.
  1. Ability to produce work products using MS Office applications, Knowledge and experience with Geographic Information Systems helpful.
  2. Skill in organizational and administrative tasks.
  3. Skill in both oral and written communication
  4. Perform other related duties and activities as assigned.
  5. Ability to work well with others, individually and in groups.
  6. Knowledge of equal opportunity and civil rights requirements of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Employment Act. Deliver programs and services that are carried out without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, physical/mental disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. Maintain a positive regard for civil rights in all interactions with clients and others.
  7. Possess a valid driver’s license and a working motor vehicle for use during performance of duties.
  8. Variable driving hours. Mileage reimbursement consistent with GSA schedule.
  9. USDA security clearance to be obtained.

Email Cover Letter detailing degree, course credit and professional qualifications, resume and 3 references to by 5:00 PM, Friday, January 13, 2017. Please indicate which position you are applying for.

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