Extension Agent I or II – Commercial Horticulture and Food Systems (77407)
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 .
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.
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. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (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.
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 Osceola County, a vibrant and growing county in central Florida. We are looking for an individual with skills in ornamental, turf, and citrus production. You will be responsible for a program that provides public education to local agricultural producers and associated business to promote landscape and ornamental production as well as the industries involved in landscapes. Your clientele is involved with citrus, nursery crops, and commercial turf production emphasizing Integrated Crop Management (ICM) practices and precision agriculture. Your primary office will be located at the Osceola County Extension Office in Kissimmee, FL.
What you will do:
- Develop an advisory committee to assist with program design, identification of client needs and priority issues, analysis of county situations, and development of program budgets.
- Develop and implement a plan of work based on locally identified needs that will lead to improved agricultural practices.
- Teach and evaluate high-quality educational programs that focus on agricultural best management practices and integrated pest management including insect, disease, and weed management.
- Work with community leaders to facilitate and coordinate partnerships with local and state agencies, elected officials, communities, landowners, citizens, and industry in developing urban/rural economic opportunities.
- Develop strategies and programs to meet the underserved and underrepresented populations in the areas of commercial horticulture and food systems.
- Collaborate with Master Gardener/Florida Friendly Landscaping, 4-H Youth Development, and Family and Consumer Science programs and volunteers on educational efforts that will facilitate positive management practices with significant and locally relevant impact.
- Teach latest integrated crop and pest management options including new biorational products.
- Improve pesticide applicator knowledge of pesticide use and environmental impact and provide license training, testing, and continuing education units for pesticide license renewal.
- Closely monitor agricultural crop market conditions at both the national and regional level to identify a product mix that fills market gaps and provides the greatest return possible for producers.
- Use traditional and innovative (e.g., web-based) educational methods to teach target audiences new practices, procedures, techniques, and skills that will result in positive behavioral or practice change with time.
- Seek grants, contracts, or other funding and partnership opportunities to support extension programs.
- Work with UF/IFAS and Osceola County teams to identify needs, issues, and opportunities.
- Develop and deliver age-appropriate subject matter education in support of 4-H Youth Development.
- Follow all county, UF, and IFAS Extension policies regarding Affirmative Action, program development, and parity.
- Carry out other duties as outlined by the County Extension Directors and the District Extension Director.
In the event of an emergency, all Osceola County employees are considered essential personnel and may be required to perform alternate duties. (If applicable)
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, horticulture, plant sciences, or a closely related field. 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, we want you to grow in your career. Therefore, you will be expected to progress at least halfway towards obtaining a master's degree within 6 years of employment.
- Strong interpersonal skills.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- A working knowledge of horticultural science including plant and pest identification and diagnostic skills, best management practices, soils, irrigation, fertilizers, and integrated pest management.
- Ability to obtain a pesticide license within 6 months of hire.
- 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.
- A strong commitment to customer service and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) guidelines of UF/IFAS Extension.
- Ability to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding between Osceola County Government and the University of Florida.
What you will bring (preferred):
- A master’s degree.
- Practical experience in horticultural production.
- Experience utilizing a variety of educational methods including technology-enhanced and technology-based instruction to reach diverse audiences.
- Experience obtaining extramural funding.
- Excellent organizational skills and good record-keeping techniques.
Apply at http://apply.interfolio.com/90420 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).
- Current and Previous Employment Form (located at https://hr.ifas.ufl.edu/resources/form-index/current-and-previous-employment-form/ ).
- A minimum of 3 reference rating forms (located at http://hr.ifas.ufl.edu/assets/pdf/forms/ref_form.pdf ) from your professional/academic references. Reference forms will be kept on file for 1 year and will be automatically used with any of our extension agent positions you apply for during that time.
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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