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 Lake County, a growing county in central Florida. Additionally, you will serve as the Commercial Fruit Crop Production Agent for Orange County. We are looking for an individual with skills in fruit and vegetable production and food systems. "Food systems" in the context of this position includes sustainable production, harvesting, processing, packaging, marketing, and consumption of local foods. Food systems encompasses community food initiatives, community-supported agriculture, farm to consumer efforts, consumer education of agricultural operations, farmers markets, and agri-tourism.
You will be responsible for a program that provides public education to local agricultural producers and associated businesses to promote sustainable agricultural practices. Clientele include producers of citrus, peach, blueberry, vegetable, and alternative crops. You will emphasize Integrated Crop Management (ICM) practices and precision agriculture. Your primary location will be the Lake County Extension Office in Tavares.
What you will do:
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 and community economic opportunities to create local and regional food systems.
Assist in community food initiatives, community supported agriculture, farm to consumer efforts, farmers markets, agri-tourism opportunities, and marketing efforts.
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 levels to identify a product mix that fills market gaps and provides the greatest return possible for producers.
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.
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 Lake 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 Lake County employees are considered essential personnel and may be required to perform alternate duties.
Employment is contingent on the results of a national background screening.
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 from an accredited college or university 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 May, 2021. If hired solely with a bachelor’s degree, we want you to advance in your career by making at least 50% progress towards obtaining your master’s degree within the first 6 years of employment.
A working knowledge of horticultural science including plant and pest identification and diagnostic skills, best management practices, soils, irrigation, fertilizers, and integrated pest management.
Strong written and verbal interpersonal and communication skills.
A commitment to customer service.
A commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) guidelines of UF/IFAS Extension.
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, as well as travel with a personal vehicle.
What you will bring (preferred):
A master’s or Doctor of Plant Medicine degree.
Practical experience in agricultural production.
Experience using 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/85734 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-employmen… ).
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.