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Employment Opportunity: Conservation Planner

Position Purpose: The conservation planner is a professional position and requires a diverse background in resource planning, problem evaluation, and conservation practice application. See full job description below. 

Minimum Qualifications: Candidates must have a bachelor's degree with a major study in soil science or related field of biological, physical, or earth science or equivalent work experience. Course work in soils hydrology and agronomic subjects are desirable. Applicable experience in soil and water resource management may be substituted for minimum educational requirements. Certified Crop Advisor certification is preferred. Must be able to pass a USDA security background check. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Full range: $20.64/hr ($43,076/yr) to $31.27/hr ($65,269/yr) dependent on experience. Full salary range up to $45.91/hr ($95,492/yr)

Status: Regular full time, non-exempt

Benefits: Medical/dental/vision coverage (single or family), PERA, vacation/sick/holiday leave

Location: Stearns County SWCD, 110 Second Street South, Suite 128 Waite Park, MN 56387

Application Deadline: 5:00PM, July 24, 2024

Interview Date: August 5, 2024 (invited applicants only) 

Who we are: The award-winning Stearns Conservation District (SCD) is a special purpose government agency that covers Stearns County. Our mission is to support voluntary conservation actions to preserve and enhance Stearns County’s natural resources. An elected board of five supervisors provides SCD’s vision and direction for a team of 22 professionals. We are co-located with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

About Stearns County: Stearns County offers a very diverse range of natural resources, soils, and geology, ranging from the forested areas around Avon to the rolling hills of Melrose to prairies of Belgrade to the granite quarries near Cold Spring. There are over 300 lakes, and the County borders the Mississippi River on the east. Agriculture leads the economy with a strong dairy and poultry production base. There are also several colleges including St. Cloud State University and College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University. Stearns County offers a unique blend of rural charm and growing communities, with beautiful lakes, abundant outdoor recreation, and a strong sense of community spirit. It's a perfect place to raise a family, live an active lifestyle, and make a lasting difference for the environment.

Stearns SWCD work culture: We are mission driven team. We believe in hiring passionate and talented people, guiding them to succeed and providing resources needed to grow. This position would be part of the Conservation Planning Team with supervision from the award-winning Mark Lefebvre, Conservation Planning Team manager. There is also support from the Implementation and Operation Teams to maximize

We offer:

  • A commitment to maintain competitive wages and benefits

  • Mentorship from a diverse and award-winning team

  • Diversity: natural resources, land use, social, demographics, and political

  • A culture of excellence, innovation, and teamwork

  • Opportunities for remote work when well-suited to the position, season and task

Apply now by submitting:
1) Letter of interest
2) Resume
3) Transcript(s)
4) Stearns County SWCD “Application for Employment” to or the address listed below:

Stearns County SWCD
Attn: Dennis Fuchs, Administrator

110 2nd Street South, Suite 128

Waite Park, Minnesota 56387

Conservation Planner Job Description (pdf)

Application for Employment

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Stearns County SWCD is an Equal Opportunity Employer, providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

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