Extension Agent I - III – Vegetable Crops (68069)
Dec 15, 2020
Jan 31, 2021
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 .
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 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 a Vegetable Crops Extension Agent, you will work jointly for UF/IFAS Extension and Hillsborough County to plan, develop, implement and evaluate educational programs that maximize the potential for agricultural development and solve social, economic, environmental, and cultural problems. In addition, you will provide educational support for the 4-H Youth Development program.
There are more than 20,000 acres of commercial vegetable and small fruit production in Hillsborough County. Major crops include strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, blueberries, and squash. There has also been significant interest in alternative crop production. Some of the major challenges facing this industry include pest control, disease management, worker protection, food safety, nutrient management, and water management.
What you will do:
- Provide educational programs and information to facilitate Best Management Practices (BMPs) implementation in vegetable crop production.
- Provide educational programs and continuing educational units (CEUs) for pesticide applicators and administer their exams.
- Train agriculture producers and their employees how to comply with Federal Worker Protection Standards (WPS).
- Provide educational programs on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for fresh vegetable and fruit production that will assist producers and their employees to comply with food safety regulations.
- Collaborate with local growers and extension faculty colleagues to design, implement, and evaluate sponsored projects and field demonstrations in vegetable production.
- Use demonstration projects to develop or improve crop management practices that lead to sustainable production systems based on sound economic and environmental decisions.
- Work in the field directly with growers to evaluate and address their production needs through technical recommendations and educational programming.
- Identify research needs to be addressed for the benefit of the commercial vegetable industry; work closely with research scientists in conducting research and publicizing findings.
- Develop educational materials and use a variety of teaching methods (e.g., workshops, seminars, field days) to inform vegetable producers and their employees of new technologies, varieties, pest management strategies, water management, BMPs, and food safety issues.
- Develop, maintain, and work effectively with an Extension Advisory Committee to identify priority needs and interests of targeted clientele.
- Establish and maintain an effective system of accountability and reporting of extension program successes to all relevant individuals, groups, organizations and agencies.
- Develop and sustain partnerships with grower organizations, agricultural suppliers, and community agencies and organizations sharing common goals of supporting agriculture in Hillsborough County.
- Cooperate with the Extension 4-H Youth Development staff in the 4-H Youth program with particular emphasis on vegetable gardening.
- Assume other assignments and responsibilities as directed by the County Extension Director and District Extension Director in support of the total Extension program.
A Hillsborough County physical exam including drug and alcohol screening must be passed prior to employment.
Hillsborough County (https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/) with a population of 1.4 million is located midway along the west coast of Florida. The county seat is Tampa, home of the NHL Stanley Cup Champions Tampa Bay Lightning and the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hillsborough County has 2,265 farms, the 3rd largest number of farms of any county in the state and the 49th highest in the country. Hillsborough County ranks as the 3rd largest producer of agricultural products in the state and is in the top 3% of agricultural counties in the country. In 2017, an estimated 239,358 acres were utilized for agriculture production; this represents approximately 37% of the county's land area. The Extension office (https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/hillsborough/) is located 10 miles east of Tampa, in Seffner, near the intersection of I-75 and I-4.
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.
What you will bring (required):
- A bachelor’s degree in agriculture, plant science, soil science, weed science, horticulture, or a closely-related field. If hired solely with a bachelor’s degree, we want you to advance your career by making at least 50% progress towards obtaining your master’s degree within the first 6 years of employment. We will accept applicants without a bachelor’s degree if the degree will be earned by May, 2021.
- Strong written and verbal interpersonal and communication skills.
- A commitment to customer service.
- Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and work effectively as a team member.
- Ability to use computer technology for communications and program management functions.
- Ability to possess (or be able to obtain) a Florida driver’s license and willingness to travel in and out of the county with a personal vehicle.
- Flexibility with working hours; willingness to work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends and overnight travel.
- Ability to possess (or be able to obtain) a Florida Pesticide Applicator’s License.
What you will bring (preferred):
- A master’s degree.
- Demonstrated abilities to translate research into practical education programs and teach practices that have a positive impact on production efficiency and natural resource conservation to the commercial vegetable crops industry.
- Experience working in multicultural settings and coursework or training on multicultural topics.
- Familiarity with the Southwest Florida agriculture.
Apply at http://apply.interfolio.com/82043 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).
- Current and Previous Employment Form (located at https://hr.ifas.ufl.edu/resources/form-index/current-and-previous-employment-form/ ).
- Unofficial copies of all transcripts and/or coursework of your academic degrees
- 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
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.