• TITLE: State Specialist in Sustainability of Small Farms

    DEPARTMENT: Land Grant Program

    REPORTS TO: Director, Land Grant Program

    EFFECTIVE DATE: Position will Remain Open until Filled



    PRINCIPLE PURPOSE OF JOB: The State Specialist in Sustainability of Small Farms is a position in the Land Grant Program at Kentucky State University. The position will be 100% Extension.

    SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY: The State Specialist in Sustainability of Small Farms is a position in the Land Grant Program at Kentucky State University.

    The position will be 100% Extension. The successful candidate will administer grant funding to KY-based small-scale farmers and maintain accountability procedures for awarded funds as outlined by the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy and the Agriculture Development Board and coordinate efforts for demonstration projects related to organic agriculture, development of value-added products from locally grown crops, agroforestry, food insecurity and certain aquaculture initiatives. The candidate will also oversee the management of the sorghum press, Fruit and vegetable mobile processing unit (FVMPU), Sustainability kitchen, Thoroughbred Nutrition Kitchen, Healthy Food Initiative, and Autoclave programs.

    The successful candidate will manage a capacity building grant that works with small farmers seeking produce safety and value-add product process in Kentucky. This project is designed to take farmers through the rules, regulations and trainings needed to process food in Kentucky.

    Extension objectives will also include giving presentations and workshops at Extension offices, non-profits, and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts; working on collaborative projects with The local school systems, Kentucky Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Community Farm Alliance, NRCS, KDA, KOAP, and more. As well as secure external funding (competitive and non-competitive) for continued operations of the Center of Sustainability long-term and will support the small farm program and current efforts of the Center for Sustainability of farms and families.


  1. Develop approved guidelines for a producer mini-grants program. Administer the call for proposals, receipt and processing of proposals, transfer of funds, and accountability procedures for funds awarded.
  2. Provide statewide leadership in Extension programming in processing produce for small, limited resource and minority farms by designing, implementing, and evaluating programs.
  3. Develop Extension factsheets informational documents related to program areas mentioned above
  4. Oversee the management of The Nutrition, Sustainability, and Fruit and Vegetable Kitchen programming.
  5. Develop collaborations with state and federal cooperators, entrepreneurs, non-profit groups and companies to create programming for value-chain development and disseminate opportunities to small-scale farmers and other stakeholders.
  6. Develop Extension programming focusing on home-based, Micro-based and commercial processing rules and regulations in the state of KY.
  7. Solicit funding and other resources from public and private agencies to enhance Extension programming.
  8. Collaborate with colleagues at 1890 institutions, other land grant and non-land grant institutions, USDA and state agencies, and other professionals to enhance the quality of Extension programming.
  9. Support the Fermentation certificate program through leadership and product development opportunities for students.
  10. Coordinate efforts related to demonstration projects related to organic agriculture, development of value-added products from KY produced crops, food insecurity, agro-forestry and certain aquaculture initiatives.

OTHER DUTIES: The position will conduct other duties as required.


  1. M.S. degree in Agriculture, Animal Science, Agricultural Economics, Environmental Studies, or similar area.
  2. Significant experience working with producers and producer groups non-profits and as well governmental agencies such as committee of the KY General Assembly, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy.
  3. Significant knowledge of KY processing rules and regulations

Please include/upload documentation to support your ability to meet the minimum qualifications required.

Licensing and Certifications

  1. Better Processing School
  2. HACCP Certificate

  • Ability to lead and guide technical and professional staff.
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.
  • Ability to write successful grant proposals.
  • The successful candidate will also have knowledge and experience in the concepts of farming, sustainability, value-chain development, and organic agriculture.
  • Knowledge of food safety and processing regulations
  • Must be willing to obtain a Food Manager’s certification
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Knowledge of KY Marketing strategies
  • Valid Kentucky driver’s license with the ability to haul small and large trailers.
  • Knowledge and experience in working with limited-resource and minority group clientele.

  • Work involves some exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures, dust, water, smoke, and/or unpleasant odors.
  • This job involves travel. The position will have statewide responsibilities.
  • Light physical effort. Requires handling of average-weight objects up to 50 pounds or some standing or walking.
  • Overnight travel in-state and out-of-state required (50%).

KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The functions, qualifications, knowledge/skills, and physical requirements listed in this job description represent the essential duties of the job, which the incumbent must be able to perform either with or without reasonable accommodation. The Job Functions listed do not necessarily include all activities that the individual may perform. The College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences strives for inclusive excellence and is interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to this effort through their research, teaching, and/or Extension programs

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert

Similar jobs