Extension Agent I - III – Commercial Horticulture (Vegetable Crop Production) (72137)

Florida, United States
Salary Not Specified
Mar 25, 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.

We hire the best. Diverse views and experience make us strong. We look for people with both academic and people skills who work well in teams, honor their commitments, innovate in a rapidly changing world, and believe in inclusion and diversity. Working for Florida Cooperative Extension will allow you to make a positive impact in your community as you help shape future generations, growing your career while earning a competitive salary and great benefits.

As an Extension Agent, you will work jointly for UF/IFAS Extension and Palm Beach County. As an extension educator, you will design, implement, and evaluate commercial horticulture educational programs to assist clientele in vegetable crop production (about 75% of your time) and fruit crop production (about 20% of your time). Your comprehensive commercial horticulture education program will be guided by an advisory committee that represents the needs of the county’s diverse population. You will devote 5% of your time contributing to our 4-H Youth Development program. You will be located at the Palm Beach County Extension Office in West Palm Beach.

What you will do:

  • Provide on-site technical assistance and teaching to facilitate the implementation of Best Management Practices in vegetable and fruit production.
  • Establish and maintain an effective advisory committee to assist with program development and implementation.
  • Collaborate with local growers and UF/IFAS Research and Education Center faculty to help design, conduct, and evaluate studies (including demonstration trials) that assess vegetable variety performance, response to fertilizer and other crop nutrition inputs, and improved methods for weed/pest management both on sand-land coastal ridge regions of eastern Palm Beach County and the organic soils of the Everglades Agricultural Area.
  • Respond to clientele training needs regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and related Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for growers, harvesters, and packing house personnel. Securing additional food safety training certifications may be warranted.
  • Respond to urban educational opportunities with practical presentations and/or demonstrations that support homeowner vegetable/herb gardening and tropical fruit tree production.
  • Market the extension program through multi-media platforms.
  • Target programs to reflect the area’s population diversity and unique educational needs using a variety of program delivery methods.
  • Develop community partnerships.
  • Work as part of a team with local producers, organizations, agencies, and UF/IFAS colleagues to promote agriculture.
  • Strategize extension educational events that also offer continuing education units (CEUs) relevant to target clientele.
  • Establish and maintain an effective system for accountability.
  • Produce “extension-friendly” creative works and publications.
  • Actively participate in professional societies (committees, leadership roles).
  • Write an annual plan of work and report of accomplishment.
  • Assume other responsibilities that benefit the total county extension program as assigned by the District Extension Director and County Extension Director.

Further information:

Employment is contingent on the results of a physical examination, a substance screening, and a national background screening.

Palm Beach County ( https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-counties/fl/palm-beach-county-population ) has a population of about 1.5 million. The county stretches along Florida’s Atlantic coast and inward touching the southern portion of Lake Okeechobee and the northern edge of Everglades National Park. The main office is in West Palm Beach with a western office in Belle Glade ( http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/palm-beach/ ) about 5 miles from the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center ( https://erec.ifas.ufl.edu/ ). Palm Beach County Extension is part of the UF/IFAS Southeast Extension District made up of twelve counties and the Seminole Tribe.

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. Apply to become a part of our growing team!

What you will bring (required):

  • A bachelor’s degree in plant science, horticultural science, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university. 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, you will be expected to advance your career by making at least 50% progress towards obtaining your master’s degree within the first 6 years of employment.
  • Strong written and verbal interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to establish solid partnerships and to find innovative ways to attract new audiences and volunteers.
  • A commitment to customer service.
  • 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 or Doctor of Plant Medicine degree.
  • Experience creating lesson plans, developing instructional materials, and applying teaching methods appropriate for the audience.
  • A strong commitment to community.
  • Practical experience in extension education, particularly in south Florida horticulture and vegetable/fruit production.
  • Evidence of exceptional collaborations, partnerships, and marketing with community agencies and groups.
  • Experience working in multicultural settings; bilingual in English/Spanish is a plus.
  • Technological literacy necessary for communication and program management.

Apply at http://apply.interfolio.com/85732 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

Final candidate will be required to provide 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), which can be found at http://www.naces.org/ .

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff.

The University of Florida is An Equal Employment Opportunity Institution. 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 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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