Farm Sustainability Specialist

Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2020
 Full Time
 Large scale
 Business Management
 Other
 Research
 Farming Practices
 Energy
 Technology
 All - Cropping
 Dairy

Position Description

If a company is going to make a difference in today’s world, it’s going to have to think differently.

At Organic Valley, our philosophy and decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth. We’re a mission-driven cooperative, owned by family farmers, and we’ve been leaders in organic agriculture from the very beginning. Once pioneers of organic agriculture, we’re now an established leader. Organic is all we do. We are driven by our mission to promote regional farm diversity and economic stability by the means of organic agricultural methods and the sale of certified organic products.

Summary of Role:

The Farm Sustainability Specialist executes projects and initiatives that support the Cooperative’s Climate Action Plan and are designed to reduce the Co-op’s Scope 3 emissions. The Farm Sustainability Specialist will work closely with the Sustainability Manager – Strategy & Resource Development to prepare grant incentive applications and manage the implementation of on-farm practices and improvements in support of such projects.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Facilitate and coordinate the planning, development and implementation of Scope 3 emission reduction projects on member farms in support of the Co-op’s Climate Action Plan.
  • Assess new potential farm sustainability projects, including initial farmer intake and project scoping.
  • Research funding opportunities for members and prepare associated project funding strategies. 
  • Prepare and submit funding applications on behalf of members under the guidance of the Sustainability Manager – Strategy & Resource Development and in collaboration with the Farm Resources Coordinator.
  • Keep current on climate smart farming practices such as energy efficiency, solar energy, improved manure management and regenerative soil health practices as well as associated funding programs.
  • Prepare communication and outreach materials for staff and members related to Farm Sustainability incentives, projects and initiatives.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Prepare Solar Site Assessments in collaboration with the Farm Resources Coordinator.
  • Utilize MS Teams for project tracking and communication.
  • Participate in department and sub-department team meetings.
  • Attend events on behalf of CROPP, such as CROPP Annual Meeting and the annual Farm Resource department gathering.
  • Travel to CROPP member farms as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in sustainability, agriculture or environmental science or relevant field with at least four years of relevant experience.
  • At least two years’ experience in the research, writing and management of government and private grant applications for agriculture.
  • At least two years’ experience in project management.
  • Working knowledge of agriculture and organic farming systems, including dairy, required.
  • Understanding of climate smart farming practices. 
  • Knowledge of climate smart funding programs and agencies such as the NRCS and Conservation Districts.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with farmers.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and ability to learn the cooperative’s databases for farmer contacts.
  • Competency in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams a plus.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Attention to detail a must.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel on an occasional basis.
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