Strategic Initiatives Assistant

Practical Farmers of Iowa is Hiring a Strategic Initiatives Assistant!

Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking a diligent, respectful and passionate person to serve as a strategic initiatives assistant for the strategic initiatives team. For over 30 years, Practical Farmers has worked to equip farmers across the state (and beyond) to build resilient farms and communities. The strategic initiatives team works creatively to build collaborative projects between the private and public sectors that accomplish the goals of our farmer members on the broader Iowa and Midwestern landscape.

The strategic initiatives assistant will support that team by 1) collecting production data from farmers who are participating in cover crop and small grains cost-share programs, and entering the data into sustainability metric tools; 2) providing agronomic counseling in cover crop consultations with costshare participants; 3) coordinating all field work and in-field data collection for strategic initiatives team research and monitoring deliverables; 4) responding to farmer cover crop questions as they arise; 5) attending cover crop and small grains events in Iowa and the Midwest; and 6) writing articles, blogs and other outreach on cover crops for Practical Farmers and for distribution in other farm-related outlets. Practical Farmers offers a flexible, fast-paced work environment with opportunities for independent initiative and professional development.


  • Collect and organize corn, soybean, small grains and hay production information to fill out sustainability tools, following up as necessary with farmers through phone, face to face or in writing.
  • Enter large amounts of farmer data into sustainability tools such as the Fieldprint Calculator with meticulous consistency and accuracy.
  • Conduct cover crop consultations with beginning and advanced cover croppers to determine best management practices for their farm goals.
  • Coordinate in-field farm data collection for strategic initiatives projects such as soil sampling, tile water monitoring, cover crop biomass sampling and weed population surveys. This may involve a limited amount of direct data collection in the field.
  • Coordinate lab testing required on field samples primarily through delegating to professional labs, partner organizations and other Practical Farmers staff. Occasionally, this position may be required to run lab tests.
  • Organize data from in-field sampling and tests with high attention to detail.
  • Respond to agronomic questions from farmers about cover crops.
  • Write, edit and proof blogs, articles and promotional materials.
  • Represent PFI at field days, meetings and conferences with key partners and constituencies.
  • Staff field days and conferences as needed (i.e. moderating sessions, taking photos, helping with event set-up and clean-up, selling merchandise, taking notes).
  • Support general field crops program activities.
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications and Characteristics

  • Strong writing, public relations and other general communication skills required
  • Experience with Microsoft Word and Excel required
  • Two or more years of experience in data collection and entry in an agronomic field preferred
  • Experience with Fieldprint Calculator, Cool Farm Tool, Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool or other sustainability metrics tools preferred
  • Experience with G Suite applications (Calendar, Sheets, Drive, etc.) preferred
  • Ability to work efficiently and accurately in a fast-paced team environment
  • Ability to communicate effectively with farmers, farm leaders, staff, media, agribusiness and the general public
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Meticulous attention to detail and high organizational ability
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Ability to work independently and within a team
  • Motivated and a self-starter

This is a full-time position based in our Ames office. Annual salary range is $31,000 to $37,000, based on experience and qualifications. This position requires some travel (mostly in Iowa), a valid driver’s license, the ability to lift 50 pounds and the ability to walk long distances.

The position reports to Alisha Bower, strategic initiatives manager. Practical Farmers is a familyfriendly employer. The position includes full health care benefits, a flex plan, short- and long-term disability, life insurance and generous paid time off. Employer contribution to a 401k retirement plan is offered after one year of employment. Please apply by sending a cover letter, resume and references to Alisha Bower at by Monday, April 8, 2019.

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