Mason and Thurston Counties – Small Farms Professional Worker

Working Title: Small Farms Professional Worker

Develop and implement public outreach programs and provide technical assistance to address small farm related water resource issues and production issues.


Organization and Location: WSU Mason County Extension (Shelton, WA), Mason Conservation District (Shelton, WA), and WSU Thurston County Extension (Olympia, WA)


Reports To: Directors of WSU Thurston County Extension and WSU Mason County Extension, in coordination with Mason Conservation District


Primary Responsibilities:


20%    Program Development

Ø  Assist in the identification of educational programs to improve the ability of prospective, beginning, and experienced farmers to create and operate sustainable agricultural and food enterprises. Also, assist in the identification of educational programs to promote sustainable living to the public.

Ø  Assist in the development of educational programs, as well as materials to support the programs. Programs include but are not limited to: Cultivating Success courses; topical hands-on workshops (e.g. Backyard Poultry, Mushroom Cultivation and Identification, Honeybee-keeping); and farm walks and field days.

Ø  Coordinate program activities with other WSU programs, Mason Conservation District, and external organizations.

Ø  Identify and pursue funding opportunities to implement identified potential programs.


60%    Program Implementation

Ø  Provide technical assistance for the implementation of conservation practices and solutions to problems with water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, erosion, drainage, and irrigation.

Ø  Develop resource conservation plans that address soil, water, animal, plant and air resources that satisfy the planning criteria for the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

Ø  Coordinate and implement conservation educational programming that highlights conservation principles  and activities that can be implemented by constituents in Mason, Thurston, and surrounding counties.

Ø  Initiate new and innovative outreach programs to promote conservation and natural resource stewardship.

Ø  Provide logistical support for educational programs, including but not limited to: identifying and arranging appropriate speakers; developing and compiling educational materials; contacting program participants and conducting follow-up surveys of participants; and preparing sites for farm walks and field days.

Ø  Provide support for agriculture- and food-related research activities of the Mason and Thurston County directors, including but not limited to: helping to conduct mail and internet surveys of agricultural operations; and helping to establish, manage, and harvest on-farm crop research trials and collect data.

Ø  Provide effective management and support for volunteers relative to carrying out programs.


5%      Fiscal Management

Ø  Manage purchasing and expenditures so that they are in accordance with the established budgets.


15%    Reporting and Program Evaluation

Ø  Develop required grant-related reports.

Ø  Report activities in the WSU WORQS reporting system.

Ø  Prepare written summaries of information related to evaluating the programs.

Ø  Participate in Mason County Extension Office, Thurston County Extension Office, and Mason Conservation District staff meetings.

Ø  Write press releases and articles related to program activities and accomplishments.


Supervisory Responsibilities: Supervise volunteers and interns, AmeriCorps staff, and conservation crews.


Minimum Qualifications:


Ø  A bachelor’s degree in an environmental or agricultural field.

Ø  One year of experience in providing educational programs.

Ø  Demonstrated ability to use a computer and common software packages, including the Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe products.

Ø  Strong organizational skills.

Ø  Demonstrated ability to work independently.

Ø  Demonstrated ability to work as a team member with staff and volunteers.

Ø  Demonstrated ability to interact with the public in a professional manner.

Ø  Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively using oral, written and listening skills.

Ø  Knowledge of water quality issues in the region.

Ø  Knowledge of land and water stewardship natural resource conservation practices and their implementation.

Ø  Knowledge of agricultural production systems in the region.


Work Conditions/Physical Work Environment:


Ø  Office and field environments with occasional listing of 50lbs or less.

Ø  Must have a valid driver’s license and a reliable, insured vehicle. 



To apply for this position email or send: (1) a one-page cover letter explaining why you’re right for this job, (2) your resume, and (3) three professional references to:

Lucas Patzek, Director of WSU Thurston County Extension

WSU Extension, 5033 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia WA 98502

lpatzek@wsu.edu; 360-867-2153