Through our Farm-Based Research projects, PASA is advancing an inclusive definition of sustainable agriculture that focuses on measurable outcomes, rather than a prescriptive set of practices.
That’s why we facilitate research projects among our members—who farm at diverse scales and employ a vast array of strategies—that measure the dimensions of sustainability they care about: the health of their soils, the nutrient-density of their products, and the financial viability of their farm businesses. Measuring these sustainability indicators let us establish benchmarks for what’s typical—and what’s possible.
With access to these data, farmers can see in measurable terms whether their production and business models are achieving intended results. They can also see where they stand relative to their peers, and collaboratively develop new management ideas to move the sustainability dial forward. At the same time, we can use our home-grown data to communicate the positive impacts our member farmers have on their communities and environment to consumers and stakeholders.
Started in 2016, PASA’s Farm-Based Research program is growing rapidly and now currently serves over 50 farms engaged in four research projects: Soil Health Benchmark Study, Diversified Vegetable Financial Benchmarks, Pastured Livestock Production Efficiencies, and Environmental Footprints of Grazing Dairies.
The Research Coordinator will help grow these research projects and build capacity to serve an expanding network of farms with essential data resources. This is an exciting opportunity to work directly with innovative farmers and grow a change-making model for agricultural research and education.
· Recruit participants for PASA research projects by delivering presentations, conducting direct phone and email outreach, and making farm visits.
· Coordinate soil sampling protocols for our Soil Health Benchmark Study.
· Work with farmers to ensure accurate and timely collection of farm management records.
· Maintain systems for data storage and quality control.
· Consult with farmers on interpretation and application of research.
· Contribute to analysis and presentation of research results.
· Contribute to resources and events that connect participating farmers and help them apply and extend research data.
· Contribute to outreach products, including articles, webinars, and presentations.
· Contribute to grant writing.
· B.S. or M.S. in an agricultural or environmental science field.
· Previous experience working for an agricultural business or organization.
· Excellent communication skills. Must be comfortable talking to a range of personalities and people, effective at public speaking, and capable of conveying technical information to different audiences.
· Excellent organizational abilities. Must have the mindset and computer skills to ensure that various streams of data are kept organized and interpretable.
This is a full-time, two-year, grant-funded position with intention to transition to permanent status, based on funding. Starting compensation will be $38,000 to $45,000 annually, depending on skills and experience. While remote work arrangements are possible, candidates should reside within a reasonable driving distance to be able to work from the Millheim, PA office as required. Regular full-day travel to visit farms and partners throughout Pennsylvania is expected, with occasional overnight trips. This position will be supervised by PASA’s Education Director, Dr. Franklin Egan.