External Job Announcement: NRCS Program Assistant


Title: Program Assistant
Employer: Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts
Employment Status: Full-time, Salary, Exempt
Salary Range: $41,600 – $52,000/yr, based on education and experience
Hours: 40 hours/week, Mon-Fri, 8:00am-4:30pm
Location: Westford NRCS Field Office
Posting Date: December 5, 2023 Closing Date: when filled

Position: The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) is seeking Program Assistant candidates who demonstrate strong organizational, communication, and computer skills. The Westford office location is part of the Central Massachusetts Area of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The selected applicant will work closely with the Central Massachusetts NRCS District Conservationist in delivering Program Assistance to Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk Counties and may be asked to assist in other counties in Massachusetts to provide backup coverage. (Background investigation and USDA identification card will be required.)

Job Duties and Responsibilities:
Conduct the following tasks with technical direction and direct supervision provided by the District Conservationist and oversight by MACD Executive Director:

  • Responsible for coordinating with customers, Conservation Planners, and NRCS State Office to process and track Conservation Program payments, modifications, vendor changes, and processing contract QAR Review prior to District Conservationist approval. Troubleshoot any problems that may arise.
  • Assist Field Office staff with contacting program applicants to document program eligibility; enter applications into ProTracts, monitor eligibility requirements and contract management
  • Provide program information and follow-up to customers who request NRCS assistance; maintain mailing and contact lists for program delivery.
  • Create and maintain program contract file folders.
  • Assist with meeting notices, letters, printing, copying, mailings, etc. for program delivery.
  • Attend program-related meetings to gather data and record information.
  • Maintain office filing system, including active and completed contracts, bulletins, memos, announcements, etc.
  • Monitor status of office supplies in Field Offices to order supplies as needed.
  • Maintain monthly Government vehicle usage reports.
  • Maintain records of work accomplished for reports on Farm Bill and Department of Agricultural Resources programs.
  • Assist with public outreach for marketing Farm Bill and Department of Agricultural Resources programs, including, but not limited to, displays, field days, public events, articles for newsletters and other news media contacts.
  • Perform other program-related duties and activities, as assigned. For example, assist with data collection and documentation to support Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) monitoring activities.
  • Help ensure that programs and services are carried out without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. Maintain a positive regard for civil rights in all interactions with clients and others.
  • Perform all duties in a professional manner.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Teams)
  • Ability to use Adobe Acrobat to create and design forms, letters, and templates
  • Experience with common search engines (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge)
  • Ability to learn new programs quickly and independently
  • General knowledge of State & Federal agricultural conservation programs, or ability to learn the basic details
  • Experience with maintaining filing systems, tracking equipment, ordering office supplies, operating digital postage systems
  • Strong interpersonal skills, able to work well with others, individually and in groups
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written
  • Skilled in administrative tasks
  • Organized and detail-oriented
  • Knowledge of equal opportunity and civil rights requirements
  • Valid Massachusetts driver’s license
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