- Hourly / - BiWeekly /
- Monthly / $47,407.00-$75,675.00 Yearly
An Agricultural Resource Conservation Specialist III is the full performance level of soil and water conservation work related to agricultural operations, property and land. Employees in this classification work either in the field developing and implementing agricultural conservation plans or at headquarters overseeing the implementation of cost-share funding for best management practices and providing program administration support for conservation grant programs. Employees apply soil and water conservation principles and practices and work closely with agricultural landowners, operators and regional and district staff. Employees in this classification do not supervise other positions.
Employees in this classification receive general supervision from a Resource Conservation Regional Coordinator, Resource Conservation District Supervisor or other designated administrator. Technical guidance may be provided by a USDA District Conservationist. Considerable time may be spent out-of-doors under varying climatic conditions in rural areas often requiring extensive travel and evening hours.
Positions in this classification are evaluated using the classification job evaluation methodology. The use of this method involves comparing the assigned duties and responsibilities of a position to the job criteria found in the Nature of Work and Examples of Work sections of the class specification.
The Agricultural Resource Conservation Specialist I, Agricultural Resource Conservation Specialist II and Agricultural Resource Conservation Specialist III are differentiated on the basis of degree of supervisory control exercised by the supervisor over these employees. The Agricultural Resource Conservation Specialist I learns to perform duties under close supervision. The Agricultural Resource Conservation Specialist II performs duties under close supervision at times and under general supervision at other times depending on the complexity of the specific duty being performed. The Agricultural Resource Conservation Specialist III performs the full range of duties and responsibilities under general supervision.
Coordinates with representatives of soil conservation districts, and local, State and federal agencies responsible for carrying out soil and water conservation projects, plans or structures;
May consult with other specialists to evaluate land use problems and propose solutions to problems;
When functioning as a field Conservation Specialist:
Works directly with agricultural landowners and operators to develop and implement comprehensive soil conservation and water quality plans that provide for effective erosion control and water quality improvement or water management;
Develops or secures necessary field data and associated material such as soil maps, aerial photos, and MD Property Finder to prepare plans and review project applications;
Designs or assists in designing best management practices (BMPs) such as waterways, diversions, drainage systems, animal waste management systems and other practices intended to reduce erosion or minimize pollution;
Performs related feasibility studies, field work, engineering calculations, drafting and records management; May oversee construction or implementation of best management practices;
May inspect installed practices to determine adherence to specifications;
Performs other related duties.
When functioning as a headquarters Conservation Specialist:
Reviews and recommends approval for agricultural landowners’ and farm operators’ eligibility to install BMPs under various Maryland Department of Agriculture programs such as the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share programs, Nutrient Management, Manure Transport and Cover Crop Program grant programs;
Reviews applications, agreements, claim for payment information and other required documents for completeness, program compliance and sufficient legal documentation;
Communicates with field operations staff, farm operators, agricultural landowners, and federal, State and local employees to clarify program requirements and resolve technical and administrative questions;
Monitors grantees’ compliance with federal and State program requirements and standards and arranges for periodic checks of funded and constructed BMPs;
May conduct computer and file management of projects;
May provide information about the Conservation Grants Programs to farmer groups, environmental groups, staff of local, State and federal agencies and other interested parties;
Performs other related duties.
Knowledge of soil and water conservation principles, practices, methods and procedures;
Knowledge of soil types;
Knowledge of land use factors that effect soil erosion and water quality;
Knowledge of aspects of agronomy, hydrology and engineering related to the planning and installation of soil and water conservation projects;
Knowledge of the principles and techniques of surveying and drafting;
Skill in recognizing soil erosion and water quality problems;
Skill in developing plans for conservation practices;
Skill in analyzing soil types and recognizing advantages and limitations of soils;
Skill in preparing and presenting reports;
Ability to apply laws, rules and regulations concerning soil and water conservation and grants programs;
Ability to use program manuals, forms, web-based resources and guides to assure BMPs and conservation measures meet program requirements;
Ability to make sound recommendations;
Ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with State, federal and community representatives, farm operators, land owners and the general public.
Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in natural resources, agriculture or a related field.
Experience: Two years of experience in planning, engineering or program administration work related to soil conservation or water quality.
1. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in urban or regional planning, engineering, physical geography, or the physical, chemical, and biological sciences, including 3 credit hours in soils, and one year of experience in soil and water conservation work may be substituted for the required education.
2. A Master's degree from an accredited college or university in natural resources, agriculture or a related field may be substituted for the required education and one year of the required experience.
3. An Associate of Arts degree from an accredited college or university in natural resources, agriculture or a related field and one year of experience in soil and water conservation work may be substituted for the required education.
4. Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate and two additional years of experience in soil and water conservation may be substituted for the required education.
5. Candidates may substitute planning, engineering or program administration experience in a soil conservation, water quality protection or related agricultural or natural resource program on a year-for-year basis for the required education.
6. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a commissioned officer in natural resources management and biological science classification or natural resources management and biological science specialty codes in the soil conservation field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience and education.
1. Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator’s license valid in the State of Maryland.
2. Employees in certain positions in this classification may be required to become Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Certified Conservation Planners (USDA/NRCS-General Manual, Title 180, Part 409).
Class specifications are broad descriptions covering groups of positions used by various State departments and agencies. Position descriptions maintained by the using department or agency specifically address the essential job functions of each position.
This is a Skilled Service classification in the State Personnel Management System. All positions in this classification are Skilled Service positions. Some positions in Skilled Service classifications may be designated Special Appointment in accordance with the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 6-405, Annotated Code of Maryland.
This classification is assigned to Bargaining Unit B, Administrative, Technical and Clerical classes. As provided by the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 3-102, special appointment, temporary, contractual, supervisory, managerial and confidential employees are excluded from collective bargaining. Additionally, certain executive branch agencies are exempt from collective bargaining and all positions in those agencies are excluded from collective bargaining.
This classification is one level in a Non-Competitive Promotion (NCP) series. NCP promotions are promotions by which employees may advance in grade and class level from trainee to full performance level in a classification series. In order to be non-competitively promoted to the next level in a NCP series, an employee must: 1) perform the main purpose of the class, as defined by the Nature of Work section of the class specification; 2) receive the type of supervision defined in the class specification and 3) meet the minimum qualifications of the classification.