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Internship Opportunity – Farmland Ecology Intern

Position: Farmland Ecology Intern
Type: full-time, 35 week contract, July start
Eligibility: 30 years old or younger (see below)
Organization: Ontario Farmland Trust
Location: Guelph, Ontario

About the Ontario Farmland Trust

The Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT) is a charitable organization that works with farmers, rural landowners, agricultural and land conservation organizations, all levels of government, community groups and the general public to protect and preserve Ontario farmlands. OFT receives donations of land and conservation easements to permanently protect individual farms. We also support broader land use planning policy development to advance the protection of agriculture across the province.

Job Duties

The Farmland Ecology Intern will work closely with OFT’s Executive Director, staff, and volunteers. Job duties will include:

Rural Land Stewardship (50%)

  • Conducting ecological assessments, detailing property geography, ecology, and land uses
  • Identifying various flora, fauna, and species-at-risk
  • Leading site visits on farmland, forested, and natural areas
  • Tracking routes and marking locations using GPS
  • Creating basic maps
  • Writing baseline documentation reports for newly protected properties, outlining the current conditions of the site
  • Conducting stewardship activities and site visits to monitor already-protected easement properties and maintain positive working relationships with current and future landowners
  • Participating in OFT’s Land Securement and Stewardship Committee

Fundraising, as shared by all staff (20%)

  • Researching and writing grant applications to various foundations
  • Investigating opportunities for sponsorship
  • Assisting with appeals and seasonal mailings

Farmland Protection Policy Research & Development (15%)

  • Monitoring farmland protection policy development across the Province at various levels of government: tracking improvements, policy limitations, emerging trends, and new challenges
  • Researching, drafting, and submitting OFT’s policy positions and recommendations to government, with support from OFT’s Policy & Education Committee
  • Assisting with planning the annual Farmland Forum

Outreach & Engagement (15%)

  • Distributing land securement information and promoting OFT’s Farmland Protection Program where opportunities arise (eg. speaking events, community meetings, technical working groups)
  • Planning, organizing, and attending outreach and education events
  • Responding to general inquiries about OFT programs
  • Contributing to OFT’s newsletter, blog, and social media

Required Skills & Attributes

  • A degree or diploma focused on ecology, botany, horticulture, environmental sciences, or a related discipline
  • Experience in plant and wildlife identification
  • Knowledge of land use planning, and provincial plans and policy such as the Provincial Policy Statement, Planning Act, Conservation Land Act and the Greenbelt Plan
  • Experience writing technical reports
  • Ability to use GPS and GIS
  • Willingness and ability to work outside in various weather conditions
  • Passionate about agriculture, farmland protection, and land conservation
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Motivated and able to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Team-player with a positive attitude and commitment to working cooperatively with others
  • Hands-on experience using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Experience in grant writing and fundraising considered an asset
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Access to a vehicle is considered an asset (mileage will be paid for offsite field work)

Additional Information: We have a small staff complement of three full time staff. The Intern will have a high level of responsibility and accountability right from the start. We pride ourselves in having a culture that facilitates communication, creativity, and professional development. We work closely with each intern to ensure they are gaining experience relevant to their future career goals.

This position is funded by the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative, which requires the candidate to:

  • Be a Canadian post-secondary graduate
  • Be 30 years old or younger at the start of the internship;
  • Not have been previously employed full time by the applicant;
  • Not have participated in any other Youth Employment Strategy programs (ie. Career Focus);
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • Be legally entitled to work.

Details: $17 hourly wage, 37.5 hours per week, beginning in July for 35 weeks. The weekly schedule will vary, as occasional evening and weekend work will be required. Start date is somewhat flexible.

Location: OFT office at the University of Guelph, with site visits across southern Ontario.

To Apply: Please forward your cover letter, resume, and references (in one document) via e-mail to by Monday May 6, 2019, 5:00pm EST. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

For more information about the Ontario Farmland Trust, visit

When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Apr 8 2019    ID: 53021