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Job ID: 232978

Extension Agent I - III - Residential Horticulture
University of Florida

Date Posted Mar. 15, 2024
Title Extension Agent I - III - Residential Horticulture
University University of Florida
Naples, FL, United States
Department UF/IFAS Extension
Application Deadline Apr. 4, 2024
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Core Faculty
  • Horticulture
    Agricultural Extension


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is creating an environment that affirms community across all dimensions. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. 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 University of Florida (UF), the flagship university for the state of Florida, is a land grant institution with core values of unique purpose, excellence, integrity, collaboration and partnership, lifelong learning, 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.

As an Extension Agent, you will work jointly for UF/IFAS and Collier County in leading residential horticulture education programs. You will lead, teach, manage, and guide the Master Gardener Volunteer and Florida Friendly Landscaping Programs.   You will develop educational programs that address needs of residential horticulture stakeholders.  You will be expected to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clientele, community leaders, industry groups, UF faculty colleagues, related agencies, supervisors, homeowner associations and the public. We are seeking applicants who can contribute to a multicultural environment through scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service.

Your role as the Residential Horticulture Agent provides the opportunity to make a positive impact to shape future generations in the Collier County community. You will be located at the County Extension Office in Naples.

What you will do:

  • Provide faculty support and delegation for ongoing Master Gardener Volunteer programming including:
    • Horticulture Speakers Bureau
    • Training new and updating Master Gardener Volunteers
    • The annual Naples Yard and Garden Show/Plant Show/Educational Event
    • The annual Garden Educational Workshop Series
    •  Plant Diagnostic Clincs and related events
  • Lead and train Master Gardener Volunteers regarding Florida-Friendly Landscaping education including
    • FFL homeowner workshops and yard recognition visits
    • FFL community association (HOA) workshops and landscape certifications,
    • Provide technical training for Landscape Architects and contractors seeking Florida-Friendly Landscaping Certified Professional
  • Collaborate on the design, renovation, and maintenance of the extension demonstration gardens, tropical fruit grove, and the extension building landscape projects (used for educational purposes) with the Master Gardener Volunteers, Agriculture Agent, Commercial Horticulture Agent, County Extension Director, and appropriate stakeholders.
  • Serve as a subject matter expert on science based environmental horticulture, sustainable gardening techniques, and plant and pest problem solving.
  • Provide technical assistance and site visit consultations with homeowners, HOA Landscape committees and Boards.
  • Assemble a strong and effective local advisory committee composed of a varied group of citizens and professionals.
  • Use your advisory committee to help establish program priorities to reach expanding, existing, and new audiences.
  • Collaborate with faculty colleagues on interdisciplinary projects related to the most important issues in Collier County and the state of Florida, including but not limited to residential plant insect and disease management, soil management, ornamental horticulture, climate change, invasive species management, and more.
  • Seek appropriate grants and other revenue sources to grow your program.
  • Develop creative works (presentations, posters, website development, evaluation, social media, etc.).
  • Write non-technical/people-friendly blogs, articles, fact sheets, and related publications.
  • Participate in professional societies university training and conferences.
  • Contribute to the 4-H Youth Development program in your area of expertise.
  • Collaborate, share, and consult with the County Extension Director (CED) and District Extension Director (DED) for guidance and to accept assigned responsibilities including annual report of accomplishment (ROA) and plan of work (POW), performance appraisals, impact reporting, and specific county emergency management duties.

Further information:

Employment is contingent on the results of a national background screening and other screenings required by Collier County government (physical exam and drug screening including nicotine).

All Collier County government employees are considered essential.

Collier County is a major agricultural county along the Florida gulf coast, consisting of more than 2,000 square miles including significant Florida Everglades conservation areas. The county is larger than Delaware. The county has a population exceeding 392,000 with continued projected growth. Most of the population resides near the gulf coast from North Naples to Marco Island. Rural population centers include Everglades City (a small recreational fishing community) and Immokalee (a vegetable farming community). The sub-tropical climate of Collier County makes it ideal for many commercial agricultural enterprises including ornamental plants, cattle, vegetables, and citrus. The natural beauty, sandy beaches, unique environmental diversity, and desirable year-around warm temperatures provide Collier County residents with a healthy location. More than 1 million visitors enjoy a world class recreational and eco-tourism destination each year.

Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. As such, these 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!


Commensurate with Education and Experience


What you will bring (required):

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in environmental horticulture or a related field with emphasis in landscape maintenance, plant ecology, landscape design, public gardens volunteer management, urban forestry, plant pathology, entomology, conservation biology, and agronomy.  
  • 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 commitment to positive and proactive customer service, shown by timely and efficient response to clients.
  • Strong oral and written interpersonal, communication, leadership, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, and balance a variety of responsibilities.
  • Good record-keeping techniques.
  • On point technology and social media skills.
  • Ability to function both in a team and independently.
  • A commitment to UF core values of excellence, discovery & innovation, inclusion, freedom & civility, community, and stewardship.  
  • 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 academic degree.
  • Candidates must hold a master’s degree to be hired as an Extension Agent II or higher.
  • At least 5 years of extension education experience or equivalent.
  • Experience and/or training in landscape pest management, turf and ornamental production, and cultural practices associated with south Florida plants.
  • An advanced entomology or horticulture degree or background.
  • Certification and experience as an arborist.
  • Certifications for ornamental and turfgrass pest management.
  • Experience working in multicultural settings.
  • Coursework and/or training on multicultural topics.
  • Ability to fluently communicate in Spanish.
  • Expertise in leading groups to work together for a higher goal, managing competing priorities, resiliency, and adaptability to handle unexpected situations.


Apply at Careers at UF by 11:55 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 (showing 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
  • A minimum of 3 reference rating forms from your professional/academic references. Applicants are responsible for sending the rating form link to their 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:

UF IFAS Human Resources
Faculty Recruitment and Hiring
P O Box 110281
Gainesville, FL 32611-0281

Fax:  (352) 392-3226

Selected candidate will be required to provide an 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).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a variety of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.




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  • The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a variety of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • UF IFAS HR Faculty Recruitment and Hiring
    University of Florida
    PO Box 110281
    Gainesville, FL 32611-0281
  • 352-392-3226


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