Job Listings

Soil Health Grassland Agronomist

Virginia Tech
Job Location:
Blacksburg, 24061
Laboratory and Research

Job Description

The successful incumbent will provide direct, one-on-one technical assistance and educational outreach to farmers and their private- and public-sector advisors on soil health and grassland conservation agronomy, with the goal of directly improving Virginia farming systems and associated ecosystems services. The position will be embedded in the conservation agronomy technical staff at the Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the individual will receive bimonthly feedback and oversight from the Virginia NRCS State Office.

The incumbent will recruit farmer mentors throughout the state who provide peer-to-peer farmer education and grassland conservation agronomy technical assistance to farmers. The individual will recruit, train and oversee the efforts of the mentors, provide staff training, produce group training/demonstration, field research and/or demonstration, technical resource and guidance, document development and overall educational outreach and integration of partnerships. Dr. Michael Flessner in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech is the supervisor for this position.

Required Qualifications

Advance degree in Agronomy, Crop Science, Soil Science or closely related field or bachelor's degree with significant relevant experience and training; Knowledge of grassland conservation agriculture principles and practices, including soil health management, prescribed grazing, pasture and hayland planting/renovation, weed and brush control, and nutrient management; Demonstrated excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including technical writing and public speaking. Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively, solve problems, and work effectively in a team or alone; Attention to detail, well organized and self-motivated individual; Ability to travel regularly throughout Virginia and occasional regional travel outside of Virginia.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience working with, advising, or educating farmers and their advisors in the field, preferably in Virginia or Mid-Atlantic region; Familiarity with conservation programs and agencies; Experience designing, implementing, and evaluating on-farm demonstration projects; Certified Forage and Grassland Professional (or ability to become certified shortly after employment begins).

Appointment Type


Salary Information

75,000 - 83,200

Review Date


Additional Information

The position will be embedded in the conservation agronomy technical staff at the Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the individual will receive bimonthly feedback and oversight from the Virginia NRCS State Office

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Michael Flessner at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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