URBAN AGRICULTURE SPECIALIST
Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Office
Raleigh, North Carolina
- Urban Agriculture Specialist (UAS) position is to provide technical, educational, and informational services to urban agricultural producers, teaching farms students, agricultural incubator participants and community gardens members, with the primary focus being underserved communities and food deserts.
- UAS manages urban agriculture requests for assistance. UAS evaluates natural resources in urban agriculture and community garden settings, works with Wake Soil and Water Conservation District Natural Resource Conservationists (NRCs) to develops/implements conservation plans on private and public lands on a voluntary basis. Plans provide land users with strategies to manage natural resources, prevent non-point source pollution (sediment, nutrients, pesticides, animal waste, etc.), increase productivity through soil health, and to improve water quantity and quality.
- UAS creates a forum for the urban agriculture community to encourage and assist in networking within the urban agriculture community. This forum is to address diverse needs by creating a communication system to share information, knowledge, and resources leading to long term solutions to problems facing Wake County’s urban agricultural community.
- UAS works with NRCs to design conservation practices and systems, survey land, lay out practices, writing scopes of work outsourced to contractors, supervise construction by monitoring work and providing construction oversight during implementation phase and reporting. UAS assists with final checkout, completing records and requests for payments if they are utilizing cost assistance programs or grant funds on conservation measures. Examples of conservation measures are row arrangement, site design, irrigation systems, grassed swales, cover crops, pollinator and beneficial insect habitats, animal waste systems, composting, season extension, riparian buffers, and nutrient management practices. Conservation measures will be designed according to US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) Field Office Technical Guide Standards and Specifications and the North Carolina Community Conservation Assistance Program guidelines. UAS reviews and updates conservation plans.
- UAS provides for knowledge transfer of natural resource conservation by collaborating and participating in grant development; researches and develops programs, informational and educational materials, and presentations; and presents at a wide variety of workshops. UAS writes articles for publication, and markets services to the public. UAS creates a document outlining the processes undertaken to start this service program, a step by step guide of all efforts throughout the year, and a section on barriers and lessons learned. This model document will to be distributed to all NC Soil and Water Conservation Districts and presented at the annual NC Conservation Employees Training. The model document will be posted on web sites and blogs maintained by Wake County, our federal, state, and local partners; and friends in conservation.
- UAS participates in training activities to obtain technical skills utilized by NRCs; learn new educational and information dissemination skills; and to incorporate knowledge of new and changing environmental regulations and programs. UAS mentors others in support of broadening their knowledge base through practice, development of training materials, and education events.
- UAS creates detailed GIS ArcView maps using collected and statistical data to promote urban agriculture and community garden development and to transfer knowledge.
- UAS participates in administrative and planning duties by developing the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District Board’s goals and individual work plans, District Plan of Operations, Annual Report, NC Agricultural Cost Share Strategy Plan, proposed budgets and attending staff meetings. Provide service to the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District Board as needed.
- UAS participates with non-profit, local, state and federal partners to collaborate and fulfill mutual goals. Maintain and develop new working relationships with environmental and agricultural groups, public and private organizations, municipalities and local working groups.
- Maintain strong working relationships with state and federal agencies, and with state, regional and national environmental organizations. Serve on short-term committees to participate in strategic planning, develop educational material and organize and implement events.
- UAS assists clients with up to date, Unified Development Ordinances, soil, wetland, hydrology, land use, drainage easement, FEMA map, GIS information and riparian buffer zone information.
To apply send resume and cover letter to the District Director at:
Wake Soil and Water Conservation District
4001 D Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC 27610