The mission of the York County Planning Commission (YCPC) is “guiding sustainable development and preservation to improve quality of life in York county communities.” This includes improving and maintaining the natural environment. YCPC administers an array of planning activities and programs to implement its mission, one of which is the Countywide Action Plan for Clean Water (CAP). This Plan is dedicated to reaching the countywide nitrogen reduction target assigned by the PA Chesapeake Bay Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan and improving York County waters. There are many ways to achieve healthy water including, but not limited to, stream restorations, buffer plantings, stormwater basin retrofits, and planning for and implementing agricultural best management practices (BMPs).
About the Position:
The Agricultural Outreach Coordinator is a part-time, two year, grant funded position to assist with implementation of a Pilot Project to Advance Agricultural Outreach and BMP Implementation in the Codorus Watershed. There are 3 parts to this pilot project:
- The Coordinator will form a Codorus Watershed Partnership of Ag consultants/agribusinesses to help design and spearhead the best outreach approach to support the advancement of soil and water conservation practices, better environmental stewardship, and water quality improvements. The Coordinator will work with the Partnership to bring together the pilot area landowners/farmers and municipalities to strategize ways to achieve water quality goals, while supporting the farming community.
- The Coordinator will establish positive relationships by meeting one-to-one with landowners/farmers to introduce the CAP and Ag BMP benefits resulting in greater awareness of regulatory compliance and implementation of conservation practices.
- The Coordinator will be responsible for planning an educational field day at a local farm to demonstrate Ag BMPs, equipment, and financing opportunities. An outcome of the field day will be issuance of a voucher to 10 farmers who are interested in working with an Ag advisor to receive guidance on how to implement Ag BMPs and soil health practices. The Coordinator will work with the voucher recipients and others to help build a pipeline of Ag BMP projects, identify potential champions, and provide a proven program to replicate in other watersheds.
- The Agricultural Outreach Coordinator is a position within the YCPC and is responsible for engaging with farmers in a targeted Codorus subwatershed to build CAP awareness and the need for agricultural nutrient reduction practices to meet water quality goals. This position reports to the YCPC Director.
- The Agricultural Outreach Coordinator position may be filled by either an individual or a consulting firm based on who can best accomplish the tasks identified for the Pilot Program. The Coordinator must possess a working knowledge of the agricultural industry in York County and, ideally, be familiar with the farmers within, and agricultural businesses serving, the Codorus Watershed. The Coordinator will engage with the Ag community to increase their knowledge and understanding of the CAP effort, as well as the benefits of Ag BMPs. Engagement also involves working directly with landowners and farmers to encourage and incentivize implementation of nutrient reduction BMPs, such as cover crops, no-till, and precision nutrient management.
- The Coordinator serves as a liaison to farmers, municipal officials, other conservation organizations, state and federal agencies, and the private agricultural sector. The Coordinator is also responsible for promoting conservation and manure/nutrient management plans on farms lacking such plans, and, where plans exist, helping to implement them. NRCS Planning Certification and Act 38 Nutrient Management Certification preferable, but not required. The suitable applicant must have planning experience in both Conservation Planning and Manure Management.
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