Extension Agent I, II, or III – Residential Horticulture (70427)

Florida, United States
Salary Not Specified
Feb 11, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

The Univ. of Florida (UF) is a Land Grant institution with core values of unique purpose, excellence, integrity, collaboration and partnership, lifelong learning, diversity, responsiveness, innovation, communication, and global reach. IFAS employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff statewide. IFAS Extension employs 375 Extension Agents and has an office in each of Florida’s 67 counties.

Our mission in the Florida Cooperative Extension Service is to partner with communities to provide quality, relevant education and research-based expertise to foster healthy people, a healthy environment, and a healthy economy. We are the resource that helps educate Floridians to address issues related to agriculture, horticulture, natural resources, youth development, families and communities.

As an Extension Agent, you will work jointly for UF/IFAS Extension and Sarasota County. You will provide teaching for and management of Sarasota County environmental and community horticulture extension programs and you will lead the county’s Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Program. There are currently more than 200 MGVs with an established structure of committees, numerous projects, and a commitment to transforming the extension landscape into an Educational Outreach Garden destination. You will be located at the County Extension Office in Sarasota.

What you will do:

  • Collaborate with MGVs on educational programs and projects.
  • Provide annual training of new MGVs.
  • Supervise staff and mange budgets.
  • Collaborate on the development and maintenance of the extension demonstration landscape and other demonstration gardens in the county.
  • Serve as a subject matter expert on homeowner and neighborhood horticulture techniques and skills, including Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ and gardening.
  • Teach diverse audiences in engaging and innovative ways.
  • Partner with other faculty to develop and carry out programs and technical assistance in the area of residential landscape best practices for individual homeowners, homeowners’ associations, and land developers and policymakers making landscaping decisions at the neighborhood scale.
  • Offer traditional in person programs and site visit consultations, as well as work with the latest program delivery methods like virtual webinars, videos, and social media.
  • Work in close partnership with the Florida Friendly Landscaping™ Program Specialist and network with other agencies and groups on cooperative educational programs.
  • Write articles, fact sheets, blogs, and social media posts, develop multi-media presentations, and create posters/exhibits.
  • Seek program enhancement grants and extramural funding.
  • Maintain an active and functional program advisory committee to assess clientele needs and program direction.
  • Collaborate on projects and programs with peers, direct report(s), and volunteers in a respectful way that supports a culture of teamwork and values the contributions of all.
  • Actively participate the 4-H Youth Development program (about 5% of your time).
  • Submit all required faculty reports.
  • Participate in appropriate professional organizations.
  • Create and follow a personal professional development plan.
  • Attain promotion and permanent status per state extension faculty guidelines.
  • Work closely with the Southwest District Extension Director and the County Extension Director and assume other duties as assigned by them to meet the responsibilities of the total extension effort.

Further information:

Employment is contingent on the results of a national background screening.

Sarasota County is located in Southwest Florida and includes the cities of Sarasota, Venice and North Port, and the Town of Longboat Key. The county is home to approximately 390,000 permanent residents, expanding to more than 476,000 during the winter months. The community encompasses 725 square miles of land and 37 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. Endowed with inspiring natural beauty and an appealing climate, the county is known for its world-class beaches and natural areas, plus numerous arts and cultural institutions. It is also the spring training home of two major league baseball teams.

Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. As such, all partners are involved in the supervision of the office and contribute to the salary and support resources. The primary goal of Extension is to disseminate the latest knowledge and applicable technologies in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences in order to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. The UF/IFAS mission is accomplished through Extension faculty members, scientists, educators, administrative staff, and volunteers working cohesively throughout Florida’s 67 counties.

Candidates will be reviewed as applications are received, but please be aware that interviews might not be scheduled until 4 to 6 weeks after the position closing date. Are you a good match? Apply today!

What you will bring (required):

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in horticulture or a closely-related field. We will accept applicants without a bachelor’s degree if the degree will be earned by May, 2021. If hired solely with a bachelor’s degree, we want you to advance in your career by making at least 50% progress towards obtaining your master’s degree within the first 6 years of employment.
  • Technical expertise in horticulture.
  • A commitment to positive and proactive customer service, shown by timely and efficient response to clients.
  • Strong oral and written interpersonal, communication, leadership, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, and balance diverse responsibilities.
  • Good record-keeping techniques.
  • A commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) guidelines of UF/IFAS Extension.
  • Ability to possess (or be able to obtain) a Florida driver’s license.
  • Flexibility with working hours; willingness to work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends and overnight travel.

What you will bring (preferred):

  • A master’s degree.
  • Practical experience in extension, teaching, and horticulture.
  • Experience creating lesson plans, developing instructional materials, and applying teaching methods appropriate for the audience.
  • Expertise in getting groups to work together for a higher goal, managing competing priorities, and adaptability to handle unexpected situations.
  • Pesticide Applicator and Instructor Certifications.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to the Extension Office environment through scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service.

Apply at http://apply.interfolio.com/84224 by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) of the posting end date, and attach:

  • Cover letter that describes how your experience and qualifications have prepared you for this position
  • Résumé or Curriculum vitae
  • Unofficial copies of all transcripts and/or coursework of your academic degrees

The following documents are also required and may either be submitted through the above link at the time of application, or sent separately to our office (below).

Reference rating forms and unofficial transcripts not submitted at the time of application should be submitted/postmarked by the next business day after the position’s closing date. They may be submitted to:

Ms. Dana LeCuyer
UF IFAS Human Resources
Faculty Recruitment and Hiring
P O Box 110281
Gainesville, FL 32611-0281


Fax: (352) 392-3226

Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) .

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida’s Sunshine Law.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.


The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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