County Extension Director and Food Systems & Human Health Multi-County Program/Extension Agent ...

County Extension Director and Food Systems & Human Health Multi-County Program/Extension Agent II - IV

Sebring, FL
Open Date:
Sep 25, 2020
Close Date:
Nov 6, 2020

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 .


Please note: The Extension Agent track is permanent status-accruing and the Program Extension Agent track is non-permanent status accruing in the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES). The track followed by a successful candidate who does not currently hold permanent status in FCES will be agreed upon by UF and the candidate and will depend on current position and experience. A successful candidate who currently holds permanent status in FCES will follow the Extension Agent track.


The University 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 are looking for candidates with both academic and people skills who work well in teams, honor their commitments, and innovate in a rapidly changing world. As an Extension Agent and County Extension Director (CED), you will work jointly for UF/IFAS Extension and Highlands County. As the CED (about 35% of your time) you will lead the total Highlands County extension program. As the Food Systems and Human Health Multi-County Extension Agent (about 60% of your time), you will lead through the design, implementation, and evaluation of food systems and health educational programs within Highlands and Desoto agricultural communities. Your comprehensive extension education program will be guided by an advisory committee that incorporates the needs of the county’s diverse population. About 5% of your time will be devoted to our 4-H Youth Development program. You will demonstrate excellent customer service and you will respond to client needs in a timely and professional manner. Your office will be located at the Highlands County Extension Office in Sebring.


What you will do as CED:

  • Supervise and evaluate county faculty and staff.
  • Foster an inclusive environment and build effective relationships with stakeholders, county government, community leaders, private sector clientele, media, government agencies, county residents, and UF/IFAS faculty, staff, and extension administration.
  • Assemble and regularly consult an overall advisory committee reflective of county demographics and stakeholders to ensure that all county extension programs are important and relevant, and to effectively advocate for extension within the community.
  • Assure that each county faculty member maintains an extension advisory committee in his/her respective subject matter and areas of responsibility.


What you will do as the Food Systems and Human Health Agent:

  • Develop and implement systems for a greater understanding of the barriers, differences, and challenges that inhibit agriculture, food, nutrition and healthcare systems from effectively changing health outcomes.
  • Work on mapping the current and future food supply in relation to human health within the program area.
  • Promote collaboration between local governments, schools, and community-based organizations to work on issues at the intersection of agriculture, food, nutrition and health.
  • Market the extension program through multi-media platforms.
  • Target programs to reflect the area’s population diversity and unique educational needs using a variety of program delivery methods.
  • Develop community partnerships.
  • Work as part of a team with local producers, organizations, agencies, and UF/IFAS colleagues to promote agriculture.
  • Establish and maintain an effective system for accountability.
  • Produce creative works and publications.
  • Participate in professional societies.
  • Write an annual plan of work and report of accomplishment.
  • Assume other responsibilities that benefit the total county extension program as assigned by the District Extension Director.


Further information:

Employment is contingent on the results of a physical examination, a substance screening, and a national background screening.


Highlands County ( with a population of almost 100,000 is located in south-central Florida (part of Florida Heartland), adjacent to seven other counties. The office is located in Sebring ( Highlands County Extension is part of the Southeast Extension District made up of twelve counties and the Seminole Tribe.


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 master’s degree in Food Systems and Health, Food and Resource Economics, Public Health Nutrition, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university. Candidates graduating with a master’s by December 2020 are also welcome to apply.
  • At least 5 years of professional extension experience or equivalent.
  • Experience in connecting food systems with community health.
  • Strong written and verbal interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to establish solid partnerships and to find innovative ways to attract new audiences and volunteers.
  • A commitment to customer service.
  • 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):

  • Experience creating lesson plans, developing instructional materials, and applying teaching methods appropriate for the audience.
  • Practical experience in south Florida agriculture and nutrition.
  • Outstanding management skills (coach, mentor, motivator, etc.).
  • Leadership and problem-solving skills.
  • A strong commitment to community.
  • Familiarity working in political settings.
  • Experience creating a vision and getting buy-in from others.
  • Evidence of exceptional collaborations, partnerships, and marketing with community agencies and groups.
  • Experience working in multicultural settings; bilingual in English/Spanish is a plus.
  • Technological literacy necessary for communication and program management.

Application Instructions:

This position has been re-posted. Previous applicants are still under consideration and need not re-apply.

Apply at 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

The following documents are required and may either be submitted through the above link at the time of application, or sent separately to our office (below).   

  • Unofficial copies of all transcripts and/or coursework of your academic degrees
  • A minimum of 3 reference rating forms (located at ) 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

[email protected]

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).

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 an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.


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