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Research and Extension Associate Sustainable Ag and Food Systems

Employer
Kentucky State University
Location
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
Salary
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Apr 15, 2024
TITLE: Research and Extension Associate for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

DEPARTMENT: School of Agriculture, Communities, Environment, and the Sciences

REPORTS TO: Principal Investigator

EFFECTIVE DATE: TBD

EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full-time

EMPLOYMENT CLASSIFICATION: Salaried, Exempt



PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF JOB:

The Research and Extension Associate will serve as a lead support person to assist the PI, staff, and students to perform research in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences (CACS).



SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY:

He/she will be a key member of the student run farm for Sustainable production and food systems at the Kentucky State University Demonstration Farm and will be involved in establishing a student run farm to supply produce to KSU Dining and student run café. The chosen candidate will run the farm operations as a farm manager and establish demonstration and teaching gardens showcasing organic vegetable production like backyards and school gardens. The candidate will assist in implementing the student-run farm and demonstration gardens into existing course work and programming for experiential learning opportunities. He/she will assist in developing relationships between producers and KSU Dining Services to promote local foods on campus. This candidate will assist in exploring community interest in urban agriculture in low-income neighborhoods in food deserts in Frankfort, KY. The candidate will work with research team and students to support design and delivery workshops, lead preparation of annual reports for the funding agency and advisory board. The candidate will supervise undergraduate and graduate students as appropriate, present results at state and national conferences. Co/lead author academic papers for relevant peer-reviewed journals.



ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

  • Assist the PI and other supporting staff in designing farming activities, mentor, supervise and lead undergraduate and graduate students involved in research.
  • Assist the PI and implement Capacity Building Grant, Evans Allen research projects, and externally funded projects.
  • The candidate will conduct collaborative and independent research to help optimize production dynamics and profitability of sustainable agriculture and food systems.
  • The candidate will help manage laboratory and farm spaces in a professional manner.
  • Other duties include building raised beds, managing high tunnels, selecting, and assisting in transplanting and monitoring of the production on the farm, mentoring participants, and harvest.
  • To record and maintain data in proper spreadsheet layout.
  • Submit peer reviewed manuscripts, give professional presentations, interact with farmers and potential farmers.
  • Help develop proposals for external funding of research.
  • Track applications and correspondence of potential graduate students and student progress.
  • To assist faculty and staff and students in using research equipment.
  • Other related duties as required.




  • QUALIFICATIONS:



    Minimum of a master’s degree. in Sustainable Agriculture and food systems or a closely related field or a master’s degree in Horticulture, Agriculture Education, Agribusiness, or a closely related field. The ability to obtain GAP certifications” or some type of food safety will be highly encouraged.



    Licensing and Certifications: None Required



    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES:
    • Practical experience in research methodology in the area of sustainable food production.
    • Experience vegetable production and training students on the topic.
    • Applicant should have the ability to work independently and as part of a team with excellent written and oral communication skills.
    • Analytical ability to include computer skills, statistics and analysis of databases.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills along with problem-solving expertise
    • Ability to maintain concise and accurate records.
    • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision, but cooperatively with others.
    • Must be able to manage multiple projects/priorities.
    • Good organizational skills
    • Exhibit professional and personable demeanor.
    • Experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals
    • Ability to perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
    • Demonstrated expertise in agricultural and food systems, with the ability to work effectively across disciplines
    • Must be currently eligible to work in the U.S. (will require travel and some field work (interviews, site visits, meetings, conferences, and/or in-person workshops) within the continental U.S.
    PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
    • Demonstrated strong community-engaged and qualitative and quantitative research skills.
    • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary team.
    • Prior practical or research experience with food safety management and/or organic agriculture.
    SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY:

    May assist in supervision of students and staff as requested.

    PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS :
    • Occasionally requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling of objects over 50 pounds.
    • Work environment involves some exposure to inclement weather, hot or cold conditions, hazards or physical risks, which require some basic safety precautions.
    Internal Candidates are Encouraged to Apply

    Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the United States. At this time, Kentucky State University is unable to sponsor or take over the sponsorship of an employment visa

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