Student Job Opportunity – Farmland Ecology Assistant

Are you?

  • Outgoing and enthusiastic
  • Knowledgeable about agriculture and ecology (or excited to learn)
  • Passionate about land conservation
  • Team-player with a positive attitude and commitment to working cooperatively with others

The Farmland Ecology Assistant position with the Ontario Farmland Trust might be for you!

Who are we?

Ontario has lost over 2.8 million acres (18%) of its farmland in the past 35 years to urbanization, aggregate mining, and other land conversions. The rate of loss is increasing, disrupting our agricultural communities and ecosystems. The Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT) is a provincial charity that works to permanently protect Ontario’s farmland and the associated natural features. We work directly with landowners who want to protect their land for the future by establishing farmland easement agreements. A farmland easement agreement is a voluntary legal agreement between farmland owners and OFT that is placed on property title and applies to current and all future landowners, ensuring that the land is protected forever. It is the most effective tool for conserving both the rich agricultural soils on farms and the valuable natural habitat such as wetlands and forests that many species at risk call home.

Job Duties

The student will work with OFT staff.  Job duties will include:

Farm Site Visits (70%)

  • Attending farm site visits with staff and volunteers
  • Identifying various flora, fauna, and species-at-risk
  • Using GPS and camera equipment for documentation
  • Creating basic maps
  • Drafting reports that document site conditions
  • Cataloguing all site visit data

Office Tasks (30%)

  • Creating social media posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Creatively writing appeals to prospective donors and assisting with seasonal mailings
  • Researching and writing content for blog posts and newsletters
  • Researching information for various farmland protection projects
  • Data entry and improving electronic organization
  • Writing grant applications to various foundations

Required Skills & Attributes

  • Career interests and post-secondary studies in ecology, botany, agriculture, horticulture, environmental studies, geography or a related discipline
  • Experience in plant and wildlife identification
  • Willingness and ability to work outside in various weather conditions
  • Passionate about agriculture, farmland protection, and land conservation
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Graphic design skills considered an asset
  • Motivated and able to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Team-player with a positive attitude and commitment to working cooperatively with others
  • Access to a vehicle and a valid driver’s license is required (mileage will be paid for offsite field work)
  • A sense of humour 😊

Additional Information: We have a small staff complement of three full time staff.  The student 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 with each student to ensure they are gaining experience relevant to their future career goals.

With the exception of site visits, staff have been working from home.  It is important that the student be able to work productively from home, with regular check-ins and the ability to call in for video team meetings.  An ergonomically correct workstation is required.

This position is funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program, which requires the candidate to:

  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of employment;
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person with refugee protection;
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number and be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Hiring preference will be given to Indigenous students or students of a visible minority, who meet the program requirements listed above and exemplify the skills and attributes OFT is looking for.

Details: $16.50 hourly wage, 30 hours per week from April 25 – August 12, 2022. The weekly schedule will generally be Monday through Thursday, however occasional evening and weekend work may be required. Note,

Please note: This position is subject to funding approval through Canada Summer Jobs.

Location: Site visits will take place across Ontario (as far east as Prince Edward County, as far north as Simcoe County, and as far west as Huron County).  Office work will occur from home.

To Apply: Please forward your cover letter, resume, and references (in one document) via e-mail to by Monday March 28th, 2022, 4pm EST. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Download the job description here: