Salary: $81,007.00 – $94,482.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Job Number: 2023-5-6815-06035
Department: Dept. of Natural Resources
Opening Date: 05/03/2023
Closing Date: 5/18/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

Are you interested in a career that allows you to both responsibly manage natural resource land and generate revenue for the greater good? The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for an Agricultural Program Manager to manage, sustain, and protect the health and productivity of its agricultural Trust lands and assets to meet the needs of present and future generations. This includes working with and providing direction to the regions to generate agricultural revenue on behalf of the trust beneficiaries by managing State Trust Lands consistent with the trust mandate and the department’s strategic priorities pertaining to agricultural lands. This position administers the statewide Agriculture Leasing Program within the Product Sales and Leasing Division of State Uplands. This position plays a key role in setting program direction, overseeing implementation of program and department priorities, streamlining business practices, generating $4 to $5 million in annual revenue through commodities sales, identifying program challenges and working with the Agriculture & Water Resources team and region staff to determine and implement solutions on complex issues pertaining to the leasing program. This position is designated as the agency expert for agricultural leasing and management on state uplands and has primary responsibility for drafting policy and procedures, developing business management plans, providing consultation services to other agency programs, working with other agency experts on strategies for resolving complex program issues (including litigation), and managing statewide program projects.  Another important element of this position is working within the agency to develop strategies to implement the program and communicate those strategies internally and externally using outstanding communication skills. This position will represent the agency when speaking to local and state agencies, non-profit associations, and the general public so adapting communication strategies to different audiences is crucial. To be successful in this position you need to have an understanding of natural resource management techniques and experience with leasing, but you also need to be willing to collaborate, use creative problem solving, and supervise other professional staff.


  • Drafts and recommends changes to leasing policies, procedures, guidelines, and programmatic guidance for statewide applicability;
  • Develops and updates business plans for the management of agriculture, grazing, and commodity sales for state trust lands;
  • Reviews agreements to ensure conformance with department policy, laws, regulations and other state, federal and local laws. Ensures agreements are accurate and legally enforceable by seeking and coordinating review by surveyors, engineers, appraisers, attorneys, risk manager, title staff and other experts;
  • Directs division staff and is the sole manager responsible for the selling of dryland commodities (approximately 4- 5 million annually);
  • Provides guidance and expertise to staff in resolving lease management issues;
  • Works with the Assistant Division Manager to develop statewide deliverables for the agricultural leasing program in biennium budget planning;
  • Identifies training needs and develops statewide training programs;
  • Tracks and reports progress on statewide program milestones and deliverables;
  • Represents the program on agency and external committees.
  • Provides program input in the creation and implementation of an automated workflow system which auto-populates leases and supporting documents and tracks document progress through the approval process;
  • Supervises an IT Journeyman whose primary duties include development and management of the NaturE and AIMS Systems for the Agriculture and Upland leasing programs;
  • Supervises an NRS3 position that manages the day to day activities for lease documents including recording revenue for lease payments and manages assessments paid by the Department from land management activities;
  • Supervises the FA3 position which manages the daily accounting of share crop and production rent leases.

Required Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree involving major study in an agricultural related field, business, or other natural resource field;
  • Five years’ experience in Natural Resources or similar program management;
  • Experience drafting and interacting with experts such as legal counsel on documents including but not limited to contracts, compliance orders, and other complex documents;
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain productive working relationships, respond effectively to changing needs and priorities, efficiently allocate resources, and create and implement program improvements;
  • Experience in negotiating and complying with leases and other complex agreements;
  • Knowledge of agriculture water resources, complexities and issues;
  • Skills in personnel management including performance, training, motivation, and discipline;
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and follow through;
  • Familiarity with budget documents and tracking revenues and expenditures related to the Program;
  • Facilitation skills;
  • General computer skills.
  • Effective communications, both verbal and written;
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships;
  • Ability to make solid program recommendations;
  • Ability to negotiate solutions to complex issues;
  • Ability to influence staff to be creative, tactical and strategic with their work;
  • Ability to think, plan ahead, and manage staff;
  • Ability to influence future direction for the program;
  • Demonstrated flexibility in dealing with people and program needs.
  • DNR Core Competencies: 
    • Personal Accountability 
    • Value Others 
    • Compassionate Communication 
    • Inspire Others 
    • Commitment to Excellence 

Special Requirements and Conditions of Employment:

  • This position will require frequent travel with overnight stays on an occasional basis.
  • A valid driver’s license and have two years of driving experience. This position requires driving as an essential function. Finalists and/or interview candidates will be asked to provide a driving record from all states in which they have held a license during the past three years.
  • Employees of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are required to complete their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines (be fully vaccinated against COVID-19) or be approved for a medical or religious accommodation as a condition of employment. Please note, any offer of employment is contingent and no start date will be approved until you have either verified your vaccine status or have an approved accommodation. “Fully vaccinated” means the following: An employee is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax) or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen) authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the FDA or listed for emergency use, or otherwise approved by the World Health Organization. 

Desired Qualifications: 

  • Master’s degree in an agriculture or related field;
  • Experience conducting financial analysis of irrigated agriculture conversion opportunities and agricultural land acquisition opportunities;
  • Working knowledge of DNR leasing programs, functions, and business needs; Experience working with agricultural land and trust land management law. 

Please contact Kari Fagerness at or e-mail us at

Application Requirements

  • To be considered you must apply online at You must complete the entire online application to be considered for the position.
  • Attach a letter of interest describing how your experience and qualifications relate to the position profile and the position required, desired and special requirements.
  • Attach a resume describing your experience and qualifications.
  • Provide three to five professional references – you may attach a document, use the References text field in the online application, or include with resume.
  • Important: Do not attach any documents that include photos or private information (social security number, year of birth, etc.).
  • Complete all supplemental questions.

For more information and to apply:

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