Job Listings

Technical Specialist, Climate-Smart Practices - Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture

Virginia Tech
Job Location:
Blacksburg, 24061
Extension and Outreach

Job Description

The Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture is a coalition of organizations, led by Virginia Tech, which will implement an $80 million, three-year project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). This project will be implemented across four states - Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Virginia - and will feature payments to farmers to adopt climate-smart agriculture practices to increase resilience and climate adaptation. Farmer payments and enrollments will be managed by implementing partner organizations in each of the four states and several non-implementing partners will support the program in various ways. Virginia Tech faculty will conduct a rigorous research agenda to evaluate efficacy of implementation strategies. Under the three-year pilot program, Virginia Tech and its partners will help producers in the four states prove the value of paying farmers and ranchers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship practices that deliver public value through carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emission reduction, improved soil health, water quality improvements, water conservation, and other environmental services. We aim to create a national model for incentivizing and rewarding farmers for adopting climate-smart practices. More information on the program can be found at this link:

The Technical Specialist, Climate-Smart Practices will provide training and technical support for all Alliance partners to support the use of COMET-Planner, COMET-Farm, and Fieldprint tools and serve as the point of contact for all USDA-NRCS Conservation Practices inquiries from partners. The Technical Specialist will report to the Project Director.

The base location for this position is Blacksburg, VA. Travel to Blacksburg on a routine basis will be required. The position is open to hybrid or remote; however, the remote location must be within a reasonable commuting distance (i.e., Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Washington D.C., West Virginia).

Key responsibilities include:

  • Providing guidance to partners to respond to USDA-NRCS conservation practices questions from producers.
  • Providing user support and technical assistance for COMET and Fieldprint tools.
  • Serving as a resource for questions regarding carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission evaluations, and other related environmental benefits.
  • Developing and delivering audience-specific training tools, including train-the-trainer materials to support the efforts of technical assistants in state partner offices.
  • Lead GHG data aggregation, curating, and reporting for the project.
This position is restricted to a three-year timeframe and contingent on funding.

Required Qualifications

  • A master's degree in agronomy, soil science, crop science, environmental science or closely related field OR a bachelor's degree (in the previously referenced fields of study) and substantial professional level experience or expertise.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of crop and/or animal agriculture.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of farming and farm management practices.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of field operations and management and resulting impact on GHG emissions and related environmental benefits and detriments.
  • Virtual and in-person training development and delivery experience.
  • Excellent presentation skills.
  • Strong technology skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills.
  • Highly proficient general computer skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in agronomy, soil science, crop science, environmental science, or closely related area (inclusive of soils coursework to be verified with college transcript) completed or in progress.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of climate-smart agricultural practices and commodities, GHG mitigation and related environmental benefits of agriculture, and private markets in agriculture.
  • Demonstrated experience working with COMET-Farm, COMET-Planner, and Fieldprint tools.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of USDA-NRCS conservation practices.
  • Demonstrated experience using USDA's Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

$55,000 - $66,500; commensurate with experience

Review Date

March 1, 2024

Additional Information

Please include cover letter with resume.

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 Jamie Lucero at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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