Conservation Agronomist

Organization icon

The Nature Conservancy

Location icon

Peoria, IL, United States

Clock icon

27 days ago


Peoria, Illinois, USA

IL 301


The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there are lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”


For conservation practices to be adopted at the scale necessary to meet Illinois’ ambitious water quality goals, limit climate change, and sustainably feed a growing world population, they must be practical solutions that work for individual farms and fields. Ensuring that conservation solutions solve real issues farmers face, while providing environmental benefits, will be key to long-term adoption.

The Conservation Agronomist will implement The Nature Conservancy’s agricultural strategy and initiatives in the State of Illinois, working closely with the agriculture sector on issues related to water quality, soil health, and climate change. The Conservation Agronomist, with the Agriculture Program Director, will proactively engage with farmers and local/regional members of the agricultural sector and conservation partners, including the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership.


The Conservation Agronomist leads Illinois’ Farmer Advisor and Farmers Leading Change strategies. This position stewards and helps leverage innovative partnerships with farm service providers such as seed, chemical and fertilizer retailers, and crop consultants to implement programs and provide products and services that lead to improved water quality, soil health and agricultural sustainability. The Conservation Agronomist also works with a diversity of farmers and conservation partners to develop effective peer networks and messaging to amplify their success stories and create a culture of conservation among farmers, while also conducting outreach that provides accurate and relevant agronomic information about soil health management systems. The successful candidate will represent TNC and our projects on local work groups and at conferences and field days to convey the importance of soil health to water quality, greenhouse gas mitigation, and agricultural productivity, and will collaborate with TNC colleagues across the Midwest and North America to further develop ag strategies and programming.

This position will require up to 25% travel, a valid driver’s license and compliance with The Nature Conservancy’s auto safety program.


  • Steward, facilitate, and leverage existing relationships with members of the agriculture sector, including farmers, producer groups, conservation partners, and supply chain partners, to implement TNC programs and strategies that lead to increased adoption of sustainable practices, including soil health and nutrient load reduction management.
  • Represent the Conservancy as a respected voice in agriculture.
  • Facilitate meetings, trainings, and outreach efforts.
  • Serve as a resource for farmers and farmer advisors relating to implementation of nutrient management and soil health BMPs
  • Work closely with other programs throughout the Conservancy (IL TNC’s Science team, North America Agriculture, Midwest Division and State Business Units) for synergy, ensuring that Illinois’ efforts support and complement the broader goals of the organization.
  • Help design, implement and direct multiple complex projects, setting and meeting deadlines, and ensuring project accountability.
  • Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and context.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • Frequent travel domestically and/or internationally, evening and weekend hours.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • BA/BS degree and 5 years of experience in conservation, agriculture or agronomy, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience working with the agricultural community.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation and agriculture – especially nutrient management, soil health principles, and conservation drainage practices.
  • Ability and willingness to apply science to decision making and guide activities.
  • Ability to interpret field data and communicate to non-scientific stakeholders.
  • Experience managing projects, including managing finances, with a wide variety of partners, both internal and external.
  • Experience convening, communicating and negotiating effectively with partners and stakeholders.
  • Experience completing tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Knowledge of state and federal cost-share programs - Experience working with USDA programs and/or working with soil and water conservation districts
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English.
  • Experience using common software applications such as Word, Excel, web browsers, etc.
  • Ability and willingness to apply science to decision-making and guide activities.
  • Ability to interpret field data and communicate to non-scientific stakeholders


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, we impact conservation throughout the world!

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan to include employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, well-being, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply for job ID 51826, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on August 5, 2022. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.

This position has a starting salary range of $65,000 - $75,000 annually.