Farm Technician

Company: Institute for Applied Ecology
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Compensation: $17.27 - $20.00
Employment Type: Full-Time
Job Categories: Agriculture, Nonprofit
Region: Mid Willamette Valley
Date Posted: August 18, 2020

How to Apply

To apply for a job, you must first sign up for the site.

About Us

The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) is a dynamic nonprofit organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to conserve native species and habitats through restoration, research and education. We fill a unique niche among nonprofits and work with a diverse group of partners including federal, state and county agencies and municipalities to accomplish our mission. We maintain an open and convivial office environment with approximately 24 regular staff in our main office in Corvallis, OR and branch office in Santa Fe, NM. We are committed to diversity and equity in our work place and the communities we serve. Please see our mission and diversity statements.

Position Summary

IAE is seeking to hire a Farm Technician with a diverse skillset to implement native seed and plant farm operations tasks, including production (greenhouse, nursery, seed farm) and seed cleaning tasks. Our farm facilities are located in and near Corvallis, Oregon. Plant materials development and production work supports the conservation and recovery of rare plants (e.g., Nelson’s checkermallow and Bradshaw’s lomatium), wildlife (e.g., Fender’s blue butterfly and streaked horned lark) and habitats (e.g. prairie, coastal grassland) using a variety of restoration techniques.


Job Responsibilities

The Farm Technician will implement native seed and plant production projects to support regional habitat restoration and listed species recovery efforts. The person in this position will also assist with the coordination of volunteers, interns, subcontractors and/or technicians. In particular, job responsibilities include:

  1. Assist Farm Manager with farm operations and native plant materials production (70%)
    • Work with Farm Manager to implement all in-house native plant materials production at IAE farm facilities, including seed production fields at the OSU Farm, Forest Science Lab raised beds, OSU greenhouse facilities, seed cleaning warehouse, and other TBD locations.
    • Prepare farm fields for seeding and/or planting: operate equipment, manage weeds (including herbicide treatments), install ground cloth and irrigation.
    • Cultivate plugs for field establishment or outplanting at restoration sites.
    • Establish new fields by direct seeding or planting plugs.
    • Engage in all aspects of field and raised bed maintenance at all IAE farm locations, including but not limited to weeding, watering, fertilizing and pest and disease management. Anticipates plant needs and provides for optimal growth.
    • Harvest, dry, clean and store seed.
  2. Operate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair equipment (15%)
    • Safely operate farm and seed cleaning equipment (e.g. tractors, mowers, combine, discs, and seeders) without supervision.
    • Clean and maintain all equipment, tools, and storage areas. Perform most repairs.
    • Troubleshoot equipment problems.
    • Contribute to the development of maintenance schedules and safety protocols.
  3. Supervise/coordinate staff, volunteers and contractors (10%)
    • Coordinate work of farm seasonal or temporary staff, volunteers and/or contractors performing tasks related to crop establishment, cultivation, harvest, cleaning, and storage. Participate in the hiring of technicians and other staff.
  4. Record-keeping and reporting (5%)
    • Document farm activities and results.
    • Maintain accurate records of field work and ensure that data are entered correctly. Provide some data quality control.
    • Assist with maintenance of safety records and help ensure compliance with regulations including pesticide application records and partner requirements for safety training.
    • Contribute to writing of annual farm report. Provide plant materials production information to project reports.
  5. Other duties as assigned, which may include the following (5%):
    • Assist with tours, workshops, and presentations for funders, partners, and the public.
    • Travel out-of-town as needed to complete work program and to attend meetings and conferences.
    • Contribute to program goals and vision and collaborate with coworkers.
    • Contribute content to IAE newsletter and webpage.
    • Engage in professional development opportunities.
    • Other duties as assigned.


Minimum qualifications

  • Minimum of 2 years of experience in horticulture, plant farming, native plant propagation, or related agricultural pursuit.
  • Demonstrated ability to safely operate, maintain, repair, and troubleshoot farm equipment such as tractors, seed drills, combines, and seed cleaning equipment with minimal supervision.
  • Knowledge of seed anatomy, assessment, proper handling and storage. Able to distinguish seed from chaff, assess seed maturity.
  • Basic plant identification skills. Able to identify majority of forbs and common grasses in work areas on sight. Able to use plant keys or other resources to identify unknown plant species.
  • Positive attitude and excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Have or ability to obtain (within three months of hire date) an Oregon commercial pesticide applicator’s license (agriculture category).
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google Suite. Able to organize and manipulate spreadsheets.
  • Ability to work some weekends.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds.
  • Current U.S. driver’s license.