Soil & Water Conservation Technician

Dakota County
Full Time $60,396 - $94,369 Per year MN Hennepin County Human Services, 525 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415, United States Apply before 5/19/2024 4:30


General Description

POSTING TYPE: Open-competitive
DEPARTMENT: Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
HOURS: Full Time, 40 per week
PREFERRED HIRING RANGE: $60,396 - $75,495
FULL SALARY RANGE: $60,396 - $94,369/year (107 Grade Level)
LOCATION: Farmington, Extension Center
CLOSE DATE: 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is seeking candidates for a Conservation Technician position.  The primary objective of this position is to accelerate the adoption of Soil Health initiatives through landowner outreach, project planning, contract development, and implementation of conservation practices.   The position will also assist with water monitoring, Landscaping for Clean Water Program tasks, and various education and outreach activities.  

The position will report to the Project Management Supervisor but will work in a team environment with staff from the SWCD, Dakota County Departments, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and various other partner organization including watershed management authorities.

Employment and benefits are offered through the SWCD.  The SWCD offers competitive employee benefits to include comprehensive and affordable medical and dental insurance, pension through PERA with generous employer contribution, 11 paid holidays each year, generous paid time off with accrual rates starting at four weeks per year, short-term and long-term disability insurance, and a variety of optional employee benefits designed to provide flexibility and employee wellness. 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in natural resource management, soil or crop sciences, water resources, environmental science, horticulture, agronomy, or related field


  • An equivalent combination of relevant education and experience totaling at least four (4) years.  Education and experience must be directly related to planning, coordinating, and implementing conservation or soil health practices in order to be considered;
  • Valid driver’s license 

Preferred Experience:
  • Master’s Degree in soil health, agronomy natural resource management or related field. 
  • Direct work experience with outreach activities and communicating with the public.
  • Job Approval Authority (JAA) for Ecological Conservation Practices in an agricultural setting. 

Duties & Responsibilities

These examples do not include all possible tasks in this work and do not limit the assignment of related tasks in any position of this classification. Regular attendance according to the position's management approved work schedule is required. 

  1. Provides technical assistance to landowners and agricultural operators related to cover crops, native prairie, harvestable covers, vegetated buffers, nutrient management, minimum tillage, no-till, irrigation water management, and other soil health related practices. 
  2. Promotes enrollment into local, state, or federal conservation programs and builds trusted working relationships with landowners, operators, and stakeholders.
  3. Conducts site inspections and compliance checks to certify projects.
  4. Assists with developing research and demonstration sites relating to soil health principles
  5. Increases soil health awareness through networking, partnership coordination, and assisting with workshops and events
  6. Maintains records of work tasks completed and updates project tracking spreadsheets
  7. Collects water samples and take water level readings at various locations throughout Dakota County.
  8. Assists with water monitoring databases and reporting.
  9. Assists with implementing the Landscaping for Clean Water program.
  10. Assist with natural resource inventories and assessments.
  11. Other duties as assigned.

Essential Job Functions:
Duties 1-11 are essential functions of the position. 

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities and Work Environment

  • Knowledge and understanding of basic agronomic and agricultural principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of agricultural crops and conservation practices found in Dakota County
  • Knowledge of establishing annual or perennial vegetation, management techniques, plant community types and plant identification
  • Knowledge of soil structure and sustainable cropping systems 
  • Ability to use GPS survey equipment and GIS software
  • Strong communication skills and ability to communicate technical information effectively with courtesy and tact
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively with others in a public-sector environment dedicated to customer service and teamwork
  • Ability to meet with various contacts, including local and regional government officials and employees, state agencies, consultants, contractors, public officials, property owners, interest groups and citizens. 
  • Proficient in personal computer programs, including Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams (or their equivalents).
  • Ability to ensure safety of self, co-workers and clients.

Work is performed in a County office building and outdoors. Driving is required.  Employee will be frequently required to work in outside weather conditions, being exposed to cold and hot temperatures, precipitation, direct sunlight, wind, dust, and pollen.  Work involves uncleared areas, standing/walking on uneven or slippery terrain and working near construction equipment.  Some limited weekend and evening work is expected. Lifting requirement (team lift to 50 pounds), on an occasional basis. Types of equipment used include telephone, computer, printer, copier, various water monitoring equipment, survey equipment and GPS devices.

Work Location
Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District
4100 220th Street West, Suite 102
Farmington, Minnesota 55024

  • Comprehensive and affordable medical, dental, vision, and other benefits
  • Excellent work-life balance
  • Generous paid time off (accrual rate starts at four weeks per year)
  • Eleven paid holidays and one floating holiday each year
  • Pension with a generous employer contribution

Selection Process
  • You submit an online application that includes supplemental questions
  • We assign you a score based on your qualifications 
  • Top scoring candidates are referred to the hiring manager for interview consideration
  • We conduct interviews and reference checks before extending an offer 
  • We extend an offer and conduct background checks