Farm Bill Biologist, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Cambridge, IL

Job Title: Farm Bill Biologist II or III

Organization: Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Location: Cambridge, IL

Position Overview: This position will be an employee of and supervised by Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever (PFQF), with daily instruction, quality assurance, training, and workload prioritization provided by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the PF Senior Farm Bill Biologist. One vacancy is available. The work area will include Rock Island, Henry, Warren, Knox, Mercer and Henderson Counties, with the primary duty station located in the Cambridge USDA Service Center. Occasional service to counties outside the primary work area may be required to address annual workload variance and assist teammates and partners. The biologist will work in joint capacity with NRCS, IDNR, and other partners to promote, accelerate enrollment, coordinate, and implement the conservation provisions of the Federal Farm Bill and other related wildlife conservation programs. This position will also meet with local chapters of Pheasants Forever and other local partners to influence habitat management efforts and participate in statewide habitat meetings. 

Duties:

  • Provide technical assistance (wildlife habitat focus) and guidance to private landowners, government agencies, non-government organizations and other groups primarily through federal Farm Bill programs. Training provided jointly by NRCS, IDNR, and PFQF.
  • Communicate program requirements, complete site visits to determine eligibility, and develop contract documents for applicants and participants of Farm Bill conservation programs and other local and state programs.
  • Review plans and specifications for feasibility for implementation under Farm Bill program contract rules, etc.
  • Specific activities for CRP may include evaluations and conservation planning for new and re-enrolled contracts, mid-contract management and maintenance evaluations and recommendations, and status reviews. 
  • Provide on-site landowner technical assistance for conservation practice implementation. 
  • Coordinate and conduct training sessions which include workshops and tours for landowners and resource professionals.
  • Occasional travel both in and out of state for conferences, training and other work related events
  • Work with local PF/QF chapters to assist with habitat program education and outreach and provide technical assistance for habitat projects.
 

Qualifications:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with landowners and partner agency staff. 
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision and with diverse clientele.
  • Knowledge of wildlife ecology, grassland, wetland and early succession habitat management including the ability to utilize various habitat management tools in the development of management plans. Specific knowledge of grassland/farmland associated wildlife species’ habitat requirements is desirable.
  • Strong background in prescribed fire, both implementation and education.
  • Knowledge of conservation and wildlife programs provided by federal Farm Bill (WRP, CRP, SAFE, EQIP, CSP, etc), other state, & local entities.  In addition, knowledge of how these programs are implemented in an agricultural landscape is desired.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills, time management, and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and ArcGIS is required.
  • Valid driver’s license required; use of personal vehicle required with a mileage reimbursement provided.
  • Must be able to obtain USDA Federal Security Clearance.

Education and Experience Preferred:  Any combination of training and/or experience that will enable the applicant to possess the required knowledge, skills and abilities. A Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Management or closely related natural resources field is required.  Proven experience working with USDA Farm Bill programs is preferred. The ideal candidate will exhibit a balance of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills required to implement voluntary conservation programs on private lands. Practical and/or professional experience in farming and agricultural disciplines is highly beneficial. The successful applicant must enjoy working with private landowners and producers to achieve their conservation objectives. 

Start Date: August 

Salary/Pay:  $39,700-$49,213 Commensurate with experience and qualifications + Benefits and 401k match (5%)

Application Deadline: July 31

How to Apply: Please combine your cover letter, resume, and 3 references into a single Word document or PDF file before clicking on the blue APPLY icon at the bottom or upper right corner and uploading to the “Resume” area of your application. For a complete list of current job openings, visit the Recruitment website (company benefits are also available to view here).  

If you have questions about the position, contact:  Katie Kauzlarich-Stockman, Illinois State Coordinator, (309) 264-1678.