Extension Agent I - IV – Sustainable Agriculture (75077)

Florida, United States
Salary Not Specified
May 26, 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 improve health, environment, and the economy. We are the resource that helps educate Floridians to address issues related to agriculture, horticulture, natural resources, youth development, families, and communities.

University of Florida/IFAS Extension and Sarasota County seek to fill a Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent position with an individual possessing both academic and people skills who works well in teams, honors commitments, and innovates in a rapidly changing world. Your educational responsibilities will emphasize strong leadership in both small and large-scale agricultural production with a focus on sustainable food systems and agricultural practices, Best Management Practices (irrigation/fertilization/integrated pest management/water quality, pasture management), labor (laws/relations/shortage/productivity), business management, and other related topics. You will also contribute 5% of your time to our 4-H Youth Development program in your area of expertise. Your office will be located at the Sarasota County Extension Office in Sarasota.

What you will do:

  • Plan, develop, teach, evaluate, and report on sustainable agriculture educational programs.
  • Coordinate and establish appropriate partnerships, perform site visits, and teach clientele (e.g., landowners, farmers and ranchers, schools, entrepreneurs, community organizations, citizens, industry groups and local and state government agencies) how to create urban-rural community economic opportunities that support and strengthen Sarasota County’s agricultural industries and local food systems.
  • Develop and maintain an effective program advisory committee with appropriate community representation.
  • Use resourcefulness, creativity, enthusiasm, and innovation to strengthen current educational programs.
  • Review and implement new policies, maintain records, assess risks, communicate, and market effectively across social media platforms.
  • Manage financial resources.
  • Create educational materials and opportunities for Sarasota County.
  • Participate in appropriate professional development activities to stay abreast of industry and community needs.
  • Be familiar with county, state, and federal regulations and statutes governing agriculture and food systems including, but not limited to, food safety, food processing, food storage, and product development.
  • Collaborate with other Extension Agents in the Southwest Extension District on multi-county projects.
  • Assume other responsibilities that benefit the total county extension program as assigned by the District Extension Director and County Extension Director.

Further information:

This Extension Agent will have emergency management responsibilities including ESF-17 roles and post-disaster agricultural support functions. https://www.floridadisaster.org/sert/esf/

The successful candidate must pass appropriate UF and Sarasota County drug and background checks.

UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability is one of 16 departments in Sarasota County government. The office operates under a partnership between the Univ. of Florida and Sarasota County government. As part of the national extension system founded in 1914, faculty and staff develop and deliver community initiatives, classes, and volunteer opportunities related to food systems, environmental sustainability, job readiness, and community development. Sarasota County is proud of its reputation as a leader in environmental and sustainable practices as demonstrated by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-level office that features use of natural light and beautiful views of Twin Lakes Park, near I-75 and Clark Road.

Sarasota County is located on the Florida peninsula, midway between Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Thirty-seven miles of white, sandy beaches line the Gulf of Mexico west of the county, while the wetlands, prairies, and hammocks of Myakka River State Park roll across much of the eastern lands. Situated in the sub-tropical region that arcs across the state, the area features an appealing climate the year around. Prominent cities include Sarasota, Venice, and North Port. Nearly 400,000 residents make Sarasota County their home the full year around with another 75,000 or so wintering there. Ninety percent of respondents describe their neighborhood as excellent or good.

Agriculture is an important industry in Sarasota County. The most recent Census of Agriculture reports 283 farms on 80,000 acres. The market value of ag products sold is more than $25 million annually. Top commodities include sod, cattle, nursery operations, citrus, and aquaculture.

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 in agriculture, sustainable food systems, horticulture, agronomy, 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 August, 2021. If hired solely with a bachelor’s degree, you will be expected to advance your degree by making 50% progress towards obtaining your master’s degree within the first 6 years of employment.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills.
  • Strong written and verbal interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience with digital communication.
  • 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 higher degree.
  • Previous industry, teaching, or extension experience.
  • Experience with agricultural economics and farm or ranch management.
  • Experience in teaching, writing, and developing educational programs.
  • Demonstrated skills in partnership development and project management.
  • Bilingual ability (English/Spanish).

Apply at http://apply.interfolio.com/88342 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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