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Extension Agent, Horticulture

NC State University
Spindlale, NC

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Job Details

Posting Number:


Position Number:


Position Type:

NC Cooperative Extension

Job City & State:

Spindlale, NC

Department :

NCCE - Rutherford County

Working Title:

Extension Agent, Horticulture


12 Month Recurring

Job Type:

Full-Time - Permanent



Essential Job Duties:

The agent in this position will provide leadership for the horticulture programs in Rutherford County in both the areas of commercial and consumer horticulture.The agent will provide relevant educational programming and training, as well as proactively conduct needs assessments and program evaluations.

Primary Function of Organizational Unit
North Carolina Cooperative Extension gives our residents easy access to the resources and expertise of NC State University and NC A&T State University through educational programs, publications, and events. Cooperative Extension agents deliver unbiased, research-based information to North Carolina citizens.Rutherford County is located in the foothills of North Carolina within approximately one hour’s drive of Asheville to the west, Charlotte to the east, and the Greenville Spartanburg metro area of South Carolina to the south. According to data estimates from the US Census, Rutherford County’s population is 66,956.Rutherford County covers 361,034 acres of land with nearly 66,000 acres in farming production. Beef Cattle, broilers, and the forestry industry are the major contributors to the county’s agricultural economy. The average farm size is 93 acres, with 96.3% of farms being family owned. Other agricultural operations include, but are not limited to: row crops, commercial vegetable production, small-scale blueberry production, small-scale strawberry production, small-scale dairy production (cow and goat), numerous backyard gardens, community gardens, numerous landscaping contractors, and a local farmers’ market.Rutherford County has an active Extension Master Gardener volunteer program. Master Gardner volunteers assist at the Extension Center with Horticulture-based programs, client calls, and the Extension educational garden.

Other Work/Responsibilities:

The agent in this position will have educational responsibilities in all phases of consumer and commercial horticulture (including but not limited to): insect and disease diagnosis, turf, ornamental, and nursery operation support, fruits, and vegetable production, sustainable agriculture, specialty crops, organics, community-supported agriculture, local farmer’s markets, and pesticide education.

Major ResponsibilitiesThis position demands a responsible and self-motivated individual with outstanding relationship skills and possesses a high degree of horticulture subject matter competence along with excellent people and communication skills, is computer literate, and has the necessary education and experience to lead a strong program in the designated areas of focus.

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs using appropriate delivery methods and technologies, including integrated and multidisciplinary programming.
  • Outcomes and impacts are to be documented and marketed.
  • Develops and maintains a comprehensive understanding of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service as an educational agency and its implications for programming in the county.
  • Markets county Extension programs and services to the community using various media.
  • Work collaboratively with other Extension programs, staff, agencies, and community organizations to meet the specialized needs of the community.
  • Maintains liaison with civic organizations, related businesses, informal educational organizations, and other voluntary groups.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Additional responsibilities include providing customer service and horticultural resources and education to consumers. Training and oversight of the Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Managing pesticide education as it pertains to the green industry. Developing and coordinating youth horticulture programs, innovative strategies for marketing, and evaluating educational programs by showing measurable impacts.

Identify if the Position is Mandatory / Essential / Key:

Not Applicable

Work Schedule:

8:30 am - 5:00 pm; nights and weekends as required

Minimum Experience/Education:

One of the following educational requirements: – A Bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 overall or a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in an agricultural or related field. The minimum GPA requirement will be waived for NCCE Program Associates with a Bachelor’s degree. – A Bachelor’s degree and the completion of at least one-half of coursework in a Master’s degree curriculum with a cumulative grade point average 3.0 or higher with at least one of the degrees in an agricultural or related field, or – Completion of a Master’s degree with at least one of the degrees in an agricultural or related field. Also required: a personal automobile; computer literacy; strong oral and written communication skills; the ability to plan, implement, market, and evaluate educational programs; willingness to work as a team member and support a total Extension program; and the ability to handle multiple demands and set priorities. Personal Attributes: Successful performance of the duties encompassed in the Extension Agent’s job requires that the individual possess habits of industry, a sense of responsibility, and a genuine appreciation for the worth of the individual. The employee must be adept in both oral and written communication. The Extension Agent is eligible to become a member of the non-tenure track/special faculty at North Carolina State University. The Extension Agent has primary responsibility for planning, executing, and evaluating that phase of Extension programs within assigned areas of program responsibility. The Extension Agent cooperates with colleagues in the North Carolina Cooperative Extension and leaders in performing assigned responsibilities. The performance of assigned responsibilities is governed by the philosophy, objectives, policies, and procedures of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Department Required Skills:


Preferred Years Experience, Skills, Training, Education:

Knowledge and experience in communications, presentations, public relations/marketing, leadership, time management, organization, technology, networking, and resource development preferred.The candidate should possess a high degree of subject matter competence, be a good communicator, have the ability to work independently and within a team, handle multiple demands, and set priorities in accordance with the mission and philosophy of NC Cooperative Extension.

Required License or Certification:


Valid NC Driver's License required?:


Commercial Driver's License Required?:


Physical Required?:


Anticipated Hiring Range:

$40,000 - $45,000

Internal Transfer Only:


Job Open Date:


Quick Link:


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or [email protected] Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.


NC State: Think and Do

NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we're a pre-eminent research enterprise with 12 colleges excelling in all major academic fields.

NC State studentsOur 34,000 high-performing students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures that they leave here ready to lead the workforce. NC State's 13:1 student-faculty ratio is one of the reasons why we're the best college for your money in North Carolina (Money) and the No. 5 best value among public universities nationally (U.S. News & World Report).

Overcoming Challenges, Improving Lives

NC State is one of only two universities in the nation leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers — one developing wearable, self-powered health monitors, and the other researching smart-grid technology. We’re also leading interdisciplinary efforts to curb nuclear proliferation, help farmers confront climate change and build a new American manufacturing sector.

Our research doesn't just get published in a journal or sit on a shelf; it makes an impact. NC State is No. 6 nationwide in commercialization agreements based on university research, and we're No. 2 among universities without a medical school. Our Cooperative Extension Service provides research-based information to citizens in all 100 North Carolina counties. In addition, our industrial extension unit — Industry Expansion Solutions — has created an economic benefit for the state's manufacturers averaging $149 million per year since 2005.

Bright Minds Creating a Bold Future

NC State’s 9,000 faculty and staff are world leaders in their fields, bridging the divides between academic disciplines and training high-caliber students to meet tomorrow’s challenges. NC State students won two Goldwater scholarships, five Fulbright scholarships, one Churchill scholarship and a record-breaking 25 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, 25 faculty are members of the National Academies.

NC State bldg in darkOur Centennial Campus, an award-winning public-private research campus, is home to more than 70 partner organizations working alongside more than 70 NC State research and academic units. Centennial is also the location of the innovative Hunt Library, which Time magazine has dubbed “the library of the future.”

In Raleigh and Around the World

It all happens in one of the best cities in America. A top spot for job-seekers and tech professionals, Raleigh is nationally recognized as a leading urban center:

NC State building oldWith Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh anchors the Research Triangle, a national hotspot for high-tech enterprise. The top companies in the region — including IBM, Cisco Systems, SAS Institute, Biogen Idec and GlaxoSmithKline — are among the country’s best employers. They also lead the way in hiring new NC State graduates.

More than 130 years after its creation, NC State continues to make its founding purpose a reality. Every day, our career-ready graduates and world-leading faculty make the fruits of learning and discovery available to people across the state, throughout the nation and around the world.

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