Intermountain West Agronomy Specialist

The Land Institute
Flexible within the Intermountain West (CO, WY, etc)
Job Category
Research (Researcher)
$60,000-$70,000 / yr
Last Date to Apply
Status / Full Time, Salaried Reports to / Director of Crop Stewardship Key Relationships / Crop Stewardship team, Crop Improvement team Who We Are + What We Do The Land Institute co-leads the global movement for perennial, diverse, regenerative grain agriculture at a scale that matches the enormity of the intertwined climate, water, and food security crises. An independent 501c3 non-profit founded in 1976, the organization seeks to reconcile the human economy with nature's economy, starting with food. The transdisciplinary team of scientists, together with global partners, are developing new perennial grain crops, like Kernza©, and diverse cropping systems that function within nature's limits while researching the social transformation required for a just, perennial human future. How You’d Fit In + Stand Out At TLI, the Crop Stewardship Program is how we move perennial grains from the research station into growers’ fields, through the supply chain, into products, and onto the plates of eaters everywhere. Each member of our team contributes to relationship building, network development, strategy setting, and system design. We are seeking an Agronomy Specialist for the Intermountain West who will help us develop systems for piloting novel perennial crops in the arid, high elevation systems of the West and help build supply chains while considering multiple dimensions of sustainability, from environment to economy to innovation. This person will bring professional and/or personal experiences building networks rooted in transparency and reciprocity that span stakeholder groups from producers to food product manufacturers to local and regional environmental organizations. For this role, we are looking for someone with experience that will enhance our team’s effectiveness and ability to reach growers and coordinate with researchers in the region. They must have a strong background in field agronomy and enjoy working closely with growers to solve problems, from planting to grazing, to management and harvest. This position is dependent on external funding and is guaranteed for the life of the funding. We will work to build career pathways and networks for this person as well. The Intermountain West Agronomy Specialist will join a dynamic and growing team. We imagine that if this role is successful, we will build new partnerships, mobilize people to take meaningful action together toward a perennial future and build robust systems for scaling perennial grains on the landscape. We don’t expect harmonious agreement among all the stakeholders, but we hope to foster invitations to engagement that result in new research, products, and possibilities. The Land Institute is building a crop stewardship strategy and practice that invites new ways of thinking, governing, and participating in the food system. We will invest in collaborative partnerships to provide a model for other research hubs and grains toward advancing diverse, perennial grain agriculture around the world. Primary Responsibilities + Expectations Agronomy *Develop and implement sampling protocols based on experimental design *Collect on-farm samples and ensure coordination of sample analysis *Analyze data and produce appropriate reporting documents *Share results with TLI researchers and Intermountain West Alternative Forages working group collaborators *Collaborate with other technical assistance providers to develop shared messaging and FAQs *Assist in coordinating regional researcher working group with other working group collaborators *Develop plan and participate in pursuing additional funding *Coordinate grant writing efforts and cycles Outreach and extension *Develop technical documents to support translation of research results for lay audiences (e.g. best practices) *Monitor online grower forums for regionally relevant topics *Participate in regional working groups based on relevant research and/or stakeholder topic areas (e.g. consumptive water use, forage and grazing, grain processing, etc.) *Provide direct outreach to growers and help them to achieve success *Calibrate planting equipment maximum stand establishment *Make recommendations for fertilizer applications *Provide producers with updated information on herbicides and other methods of weed control *Scout fields for disease *Make recommendations for harvest and storage of forage Diversity and Inclusion *Participate in The Land Institute’s diversity initiatives *Support the development of diversity and inclusion initiatives in the IMW working group *Develop, maintain, and honor relationships with diverse groups and people *Build relationships with diverse partners with a mind toward further collaboration In the first year on the job, your focus will be on getting grounded in knowing and understanding the crops that TLI is stewarding in the Intermountain West as alternative forages for reduced water consumption. You will work directly with growers and researchers in the region, focusing on designing research to establish best practices for the region around establishment, irrigation practices, and forage production. Additionally, you will coordinate with regional research partners to understand and assess consumptive use of water in arid regions, with a specific focus on the Colorado River Basin. You will participate in other team and organizational learning activities. You will spend much of your time traveling to visit growers’ field sites, taking data and collecting samples during the growing season and most of the winter season will be spent analyzing data, coordinating, and planning for the coming growing season. Travel will be required for meetings and attending events, depending on organizational COVID-19 guidelines. You will also have the opportunity to become involved in other initiatives such as intellectual property management, data systems creation, or other initiatives at the organization at the discretion of your supervisor and you. Hours Generally available to work forty hours per week, via in person and digital meetings, primarily during 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Central Time on weekdays when most of our staff and collaborators are working. Some evening and weekend working hours will be needed for visiting producers. We are flexible for caregivers who might need to provide rides or support, attend appointments, or be available for caregiving. Location + Travel This role has a flexible base location in the Intermountain West but will require travel for events, field days, and meetings. Primary travel will happen in the United States, but international travel may happen on an infrequent basis. Estimated travel is up to 40% of the time during the growing season. This role will be supported with a travel budget that includes mileage reimbursement, and you will be provided with a laptop computer and vehicle. To Apply Use the website link provided. The position will be open until filled. We expect to contact applicants within 3 weeks of application with further information. Benefits The Land Institute offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary commensurate with experience. Remote-friendly work environment Paid parental leave 403(b) Retirement with employer contributions Medical, dental, life insurance Flexible Spending Account Dependent Care Paid holidays Generous PTO Complete laptop workstation and set up for remote work The Land Institute is an equal opportunity employer and embraces the opportunity to provide employment to qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. We are pleased to provide reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
You hold a Master’s degree or higher You have 3+ years of experience in agronomy You are experienced in building relationships with producers You are proficient at collecting, analyzing, and communicating data related to agronomic practices You are a self-starter who can launch new initiatives and support and improve ongoing work You are excellent at time management and prioritization Qualifications that could help you succeed: Experience operating farm equipment and implements (e.g. setting drills, calibrating sprayers, etc.) Experience developing written and visual content for producer and researcher audiences Experience managing external communications Experience in environmental sciences, plant breeding, agronomy, climate science, soil science, hydrology, or plant physiology
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