The Middlesex County Office of Planning is seeking two (2) motivated graduate students to assist staff in the coordination and execution of the County’s annual farmland preservation monitoring phase for Fiscal Year 2023.

Process to commence in April/May 2023. All on-site inspections must be conducted no later than June 30, 2023 with submission of final SADC monitoring inspection reports no later than July 15, 2023.

This will include farmland preservation monitoring preparation, notification and review of landowner questionnaire responses, reviewing Deeds of Easement and/or surveys of preserved farms, conducting all onsite monitoring inspections, data collection and updating County records as necessary, submission of individual farm monitoring inspection reports to the State Agriculture Development Committee, and related follow-up activities as necessary.

Bearing proper County identification and following landowner notification, the graduate student interns will enter privately-owned preserved farmland to conduct the physical onsite inspections for all preserved farms which the County holds the easement on. Physical monitoring will include collecting, verifying and updating all information required in the individual farmland preservation site inspection reports as well as taking and organizing photos of each property, documenting any areas of concern, and other related activities as assigned by the Supervising Planner – Sustainability and Resiliency. The interns must be courteous to any landowners/farmers whom they may encounter onsite, must not disturb farming operations, and should document any related questions or concerns expressed by farmers onsite for a response by the Office of Planning and/or interns.

The selected candidates will be required to possess a driver’s license valid in New Jersey and must be able to physically walk properties.  Use of personal vehicles for mileage reimbursement may be necessary if County cars are unavailable.

Spatial data skills/familiarity with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is preferred. Coordination with Office of Planning Data and Spatial Services staff may be required.

Middlesex County’s Farmland Preservation Program purchases the non-agriculture development rights on farmland that meets criteria established by the Middlesex County Agriculture Development Board and the New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee. The farmland is preserved by placing an agriculture preservation easement on the property, thus making it deed-restricted farmland in perpetuity. Under the current Farmland Preservation Program, the County, State and municipalities each contribute funding to purchase of the development rights on these acquisitions.

Middlesex County holds the easement on approximately 50 individual preserved farmland properties totaling approximately 3,700 acres. As the easement holder, the County must conduct the annual monitoring phase to update its records of onsite conditions and to ensure all preserved farms for which the County holds the easement are operating in compliance with the terms of the farmland preservation Deeds of Easement and that there are no violations or concerns present. This phase also includes updating County database records to reflect any changes in ownership and operations of the individual farms.

The selected candidates must be available to work up to 35 hours per week.  Hourly Rate: $15

Interested candidates should email their resume and any other relevant information to planning@co.middlesex.nj.us

To apply for this job email your details to planning@co.middlesex.nj.us