Agricultural Officer

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Job Title:                           Agricultural Officer

Accountable to:               Operations Director

Working with:   Project Officers

Hours:                 32 hours per week

Salary:                 £27,318.24 pro rata (equivalent to £21,854.59)

3% annual increase + pension contribution in line with Rivers Trust rate (currently 9%).

Contract:                          Fixed term, 3 years

Location:            The Don Catchment, which largely overlaps with South Yorkshire. One element of the Officer’s work will focus on the Little Don Catchment (near Stocksbridge). Travel to main office in Doncaster required periodically.

Job Purpose: 

Though the Don Catchment is often thought of as urban, over half of its area is rural. Diffuse and point source pollution from this rural land represents one of the main pressures on our river and stream ecosystems. Furthermore, while runoff from urban areas is particularly problematic in causing flooding, runoff from rural areas is also a significant contributor to flood risk. Engaging and working cooperatively with farmers, landowners and other land managers in rural areas is key to addressing some of the catchment’s biggest issues.

The Don Catchment Rivers Trust has received funding from Yorkshire Water and Highways England to appoint the Trust’s first Agricultural Officer. Working within our existing staff team, this is an exciting opportunity to work with farmers and landowners to bring about projects that provide multiple benefits (e.g. address pollution, improve habitats, slow runoff, store carbon).

There are two main elements to the Agricultural Officer’s role. The first gives the Officer considerable freedom to shape their own programme of farmer and landowner engagement in priority areas of the catchment, with assistance from the Trust. The second element is to deliver a pre-existing project that involves supporting landowners in the Little Don Catchment (near Stocksbridge) in the delivery of Natural Flood Management interventions to ameliorate local flooding.

The Agricultural Officer will also support the Don Dearne and Rother Network (the Catchment Partnership), to help member organisations increase their impact in rural areas. This may, for example, be achieved through the provision of workshops and tutorials, signposting to data, tools and funding, or by establishing mutually beneficial partnerships.

For this role you will spend a significant amount of time outside in rural locations, particularly on farms, and you will also need to travel periodically to our office in Doncaster to attend staff and other meetings. You will work in partnership with the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Natural England, local authorities, and other relevant stakeholders.

It is our intention that the Agricultural Officer post continues after the initial three-year appointment, and the Officer will help facilitate the continuation of the post through the development of new projects. We believe the post has good long-term prospects. 

The Role

The Agricultural Officer will be expected to engage positively with farmers, farming organisations and rural representatives throughout the Don Catchment.

The main objectives of the post are to:

• Represent DCRT within the agricultural community and amongst rural and agricultural stakeholders.

• Develop new project ideas and identify and, with support from the Managing Director and Operations Director, apply to possible funding for projects that improve the water environment.

• Raise awareness of diffuse pollution and sediment issues amongst farmers in target catchments.

• Provide relevant, practical advice and support to farmers in the catchment which will enable them to improve their natural resource management practices and reduce the impact of their farming activities on the water environment.

• Identify the best opportunities for implementing small-scale capital works within the catchment and codevelop projects with farmers prior to overseeing the implementation of schemes.

• Organise and deliver on-farm and promotion events for farmers demonstrating practical solutions to tackle different resource protection issues.

• Establish partnerships with farming and environmental organisations in the area including the National Farmers Union, the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, the Country Land and Business Association and Catchment Sensitive Farming

• Support the activity of the Don Dearne & Rother Network to promote farmer engagement by partner organisations.

• Provide input and advice into other DCRT projects to help consider land management issues and possible solutions.

• Promote the work, mission and vision of DCRT, whether by giving presentations to stakeholders and wider audiences, or by contributing regularly to newsletters, the website, social media and reports.

• Meet our funder requirements, which includes the Highways England funded support of landowners to deliver NFM in the Little Don Catchment, and the requirements of the Yorkshire Water Catchment Resilience Fund.

• Ensure continuous development of skills and knowledge required for the post, undergoing training and performance review as required by the Trust.

• Work within all the policies and procedures of the Trust, ensuring own compliance with the Trust’s health and safety policies and procedures and that of any staff and resources for which you are responsible.

• Comply with all legal and contractual obligations concerning the responsibilities of your post.

• Carry out any other reasonable duties commensurate with the level of responsibility of the post, as requested by the Directors and Board of Trustees

Essential Skills and Expertise

• Relevant experience in the agricultural sector and of working under your own initiative.

• Up-to-date knowledge of legislation and guidance relating to land management and funding sources for environmental improvement and how to apply for them.

• Strong project management skills including financial acumen and the ability to monitor and record progress and outputs.

• An understanding of water environments and the principal impacts influencing water quality, water level management and river processes.

• The ability to communicate effectively with farmers and representatives of partner organisations.

• A strong team player who can work remotely and relate to other DCRT staff to achieve shared work objectives.

• Excellent organisational skills and the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

Desirable:

• Experience of working with volunteers on practical tasks.

• Current licenses and tickets for machinery in order to carry out practical tasks.

• Experience of monitoring and evaluation of projects.

• Knowledge of the environmental organisations active in the Don Catchment. and their roles.

• Relevant degree or higher education qualification.

• Giving presentations to a variety of audiences.

• Negotiating and managing contracts.

• Experience of GIS.

Terms and Conditions

• The starting salary for this post is £27,318.24 pro rata (equivalent to £21,854.59 for 32 hours). This post is part time with the potential to increase hours if sufficient funding is secured, subject to the agreement of the post holder.

• The post will require frequent travel around the Don Catchment and therefore a full UK driving licence and access to a car is essential. Car insurance providers need to be made aware of this business use. Mileage expenses will be paid in accordance with the HMRC non-taxable levels and is not inclusive of the commute to the office.

• DCRT will make an employer’s contribution to your pension scheme of choice in line with the Rivers Trust pension scheme. New schemes can be set up through the Rivers Trust if desired.

• The post receives an annual holiday entitlement of 25 days plus statutory bank holidays for a FTE post, calculated on a pro rata basis for part time hours.

• The appointment of the Officer is dependent on the finalisation of a funding agreement with Highways England. We believe that the risk of this not being finalised is very low.

• It is the Trust’s intention for the post to be continued beyond the initial three-year appointment, subject to ongoing funding availability.

Key Dates:

Applications to be received by: Noon on Friday 30th April 2021.

Interviews will be held on:           13th May 2021 with an additional farm visit to be arranged on a date shortly afterwards.

Earliest start date:          Week commencing 24th May 2021

Contact:

If you have any questions about this role call Ed Shaw (Managing Director, DCRT) on 07990 027703 (Monday – Thursday).


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