A Day in the Life of a Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist


It’s a big job title, but the job has a laser focus

By Joey Racso

If you reached out to any one of Pheasants Forever’s Precision Ag & Conservation Specialists (PACS) and asked them what they were doing today, there is a good chance you would get a different answer from each one. But the focus is always the same: Helping producers be more efficient, and helping them use conservation practices to make it so.

What does a day-in-the-life of a Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist look like? 

Well, it depends. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever now has thirteen PACS in ten different states, and the day-to-day for each can vary. You may find Chaz Holt in southern Georgia walking cotton fields, Scott Stipetich discussing field buffers for water quality Wisconsin, Josh Divan analyzing yield data for corn and soy within the John Deere Operations Center in Iowa, or Emily Spolyar working to address saline soils in North Dakota.

Regardless of the where we work, we all strive for the same goal: to help farmers and landowners make better land management decisions based on their own data that will:

1. Improve and create wildlife habitat on their operation. 
2. Improve the profitability and sustainability of their operation.

Utilizing precision ag technology, we sit down with a farmer. Utilizing their own data, we analyze their farm on an acre-by-acre basis alongside them. Not only do we help to identify marginal acres, we help validate those acres by examining the economics.

By looking at input costs and yield data, and understanding the goals of the operation, we can determine which acres are profitable and which acres are not. Our focus is to provide farmers and landowners with the economic benefits and confidence to make decisions based on the best available information to implement conservation practices such as perennial cover, wetland restoration, cover crops or pollinator habitat.

Turning Red Acres Green - Before

Turning Red Acres Green - After

For each PACS, a large part of connecting with these farmers and landowners means working with equally passionate and dedicated partners. Our partnerships in the agriculture sector and beyond help connect us with growers within our footprint that may not have otherwise considered working with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. Working together with our partners, we bring forward options that not only provide environmental and wildlife benefits, but economic benefits for that operation.

Whether you grow cotton in Georgia, soybeans in North Dakota, or sorghum in Kansas you can count on a Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Precision Ag & Conservation Specialists to provide you with personalized customer service to assist you through every step of the conservation solutions process to become a more efficient sustainable operation. Every day we look for new ways to help you succeed and operate at your highest potential while helping to find the best place for conservation on every farm.

So, what does a day in the life of a Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist look like? Well, again it depends. But at the end of the day, being a Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist is about being a part of the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever boots-on-the-ground team delivering our habitat mission through voluntary conservation.

Joey Rasco is a Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist for Pheasants Forever in North Dakota.