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Extension Instructor or Open Rank Extension Educator-HLES Urban Agriculture (Douglas-Sarpy Coun...

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, NE

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Job Details

Working Title:

Extension Instructor or Open Rank Extension Educator-HLES Urban Agriculture (Douglas-Sarpy Counties)


NE Ext Engagement Zone 9-12358

Requisition Number:


Posting Open Date:


Application Review Date: (To ensure consideration, please submit all application materials before review date):


Open Until Filled:


Description of Work:

This position is based in Omaha, NE, with statewide accountability and a primary focus on Douglas, Sarpy, and Lancaster Counties. The subject matter focus for this extension professional is Urban Agriculture and Local Food Systems. The primary responsibility is to develop, provide, and deliver impactful educational programs and resources as a Nebraska Extension educator. This educator is expected to interact closely with colleagues, clientele, institutions, and organizations working in communities to deliver programs in their assigned geographic area as well as statewide based on the intentions of the programming team.

The Horticulture, Landscape, and Environmental Systems (HLES) extension professional will contribute to the integrated (extension, research, and teaching) land-grant mission of the home unit and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) as an effective scholar and citizen. HLES engages and educates Nebraskans, including home gardeners, commercial fruit and vegetable growers, partner organizations, youth, and stakeholders that impact communities and sustainably manage community spaces to grow safe, nutritious food, stimulate the local food economy, and support local producers and food systems.

Expected impacts from this position:

  • Nebraskans will adopt environmentally and economically sustainable best practices to build and support the production of edible crops in urban and peri-urban areas.
  • Nebraskans will adopt practices and policies that support the development of thriving, sustainable, and equitable local food systems with the opportunity for regional and national impacts.
  • Nebraskans and organizations serving Nebraskans will increase the capacity to support the HLES state action plan.

This twelve-month, non-tenure track position carries the title of open rank extension educator or extension instructor, depending on the candidate’s level of education. Those possessing a graduate-level degree in the requested area of instruction will be considered for an open rank educator position, a full-time, promotable, non-tenure track appointment. Those in possession of an undergraduate degree in the requested area of instruction will be considered for an instructor position, a full-time, non-promotable, non-tenure track appointment that will be renewed annually for a maximum of five years in the appointment. If hired as an instructor, the incumbent will be expected to make satisfactory progress toward and complete a master’s degree within the initial five-year appointment period. As part of the Nebraska benefits package, UNL offers tuition remission for full-time employees, up to 15 credit hours per year. Once the master’s degree is earned within that period, the position will advance to an assistant extension educator appointment.

Nebraska Extension professionals are committed to engaging with community partners, organizations, and all audiences, as well as individuals, in ways that reflect an understanding and value for individual differences. Nebraska Extension strives to ensure that innovative programming, translational research, and learning opportunities promote equity and inclusion.

  • Uses innovative strategies and current technologies to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate programs for a robust extension education program in urban or rural settings in the county, accountability region, and statewide.
  • Engages in a collaborative learning and leadership environment with professionals, partners, and learners to co-create shared solutions to the problems and barriers impacting urban agriculture and local food systems in Nebraska and beyond.
  • Works in a multi-disciplinary team environment with extension professionals and other partners to translate and teach the latest research-based information. Within their geographic region, the educator will engage with lead educators, extension advisory committees, and local stakeholders to determine needs, provide access to educational opportunities, and create capacity to engage the community in developing sustainable solutions.
  • Supervises Extension interns, volunteers, and other staff engaged in urban agriculture projects and programming, as applicable.
  • Works with various forms of mass and social media to educate and inform the public on urban agriculture, horticulture, local food systems, and related topics.
  • Uses entrepreneurial practices to secure grants, program fees, and sponsorships to leverage the program’s resource base and reach.
  • Supports the youth development program in areas related to their focused assignment.
  • Practices effective extension scholarship by conducting needs assessments, identifying priorities, measuring program impact, and reporting results at professional meetings and in professional publications.
  • Develops a professional development plan to maintain and enhance expertise in focused assignment and education practices.
  • Supports local opportunities to engage with partnering institutions and organizations by serving on the advisory committee, providing technical and educational assistance, and serving as a liaison with UNL, IANR, and appropriate academic units or Centers, where applicable.
  • Coordinates efforts to support the growth in the number of farmers’ markets, community gardens, school gardens, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and farm-to-table restaurants.

  • Serves in, contributes to, or supports the specific Lead Educator roles as described in the Roles and Responsibilities of the Lead Educator document found at as determined in partnership with the supervisor(s).
  • Coordinates with Engagement Zone Coordinator(s) and other Extension professionals locally and in their accountability region to develop a robust Nebraska Extension presence by:
    • Cooperating with local faculty and staff in a team environment to promote Extension’s educational opportunities and impact in the host county.
    • Cultivating a culture of collaboration with local leaders and community members that builds positive relationships between the University and the community.
    • Supporting engagement of advisory or policy groups such as the Extension Board or County Commissioners/Board of Supervisors.
  • Understands and adheres to Equal Employment Opportunities; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Civil Rights compliance efforts.
  • Accepts committee assignments, reporting responsibilities, and other special ad hoc assignments as requested at the administrative unit, college/division, institute, and/or university level.

Some travel is required. Must meet driver standards according to UNL policy and have a valid driver’s license.

Recognizing that diversity enhances creativity, innovation, impact, and a sense of belonging, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and Nebraska Extension are committed to creating learning, research, Extension programming, and work environments that are inclusive of all forms of diversity. Consistent with the University’s N2025 Strategic Plan, every person and every interaction are treated as important to our collective well-being and our ability to deliver on our mission.

This position is not eligible for employment-based permanent residency sponsorship. UNL may be able to sponsor temporary work authorization (e.g., H-1B) for the successful candidate.

As an EO/AA employer, the University of Nebraska considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See

Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in agronomy, horticulture, crop sciences, urban agriculture, local food systems or a closely related field (extension instructor) OR Master’s degree in agronomy, horticulture, crop sciences, urban agriculture, local food systems or a closely related field (extension educator). If hired as an instructor, the incumbent will be expected to make satisfactory progress toward and complete a master’s degree within the initial five-year appointment period.
  • Practical knowledge, understanding, and experience working in urban agriculture and/or local food system communities that are similar and/or relevant to Nebraska.
  • Experience teaching in a formal or non-formal setting.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate (i.e. publications, presentations, web, and social media).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience teaching urban agriculture or related areas.
  • Experience with collecting and analyzing data.
  • Experience managing and coordinating community groups, volunteers, interns, and/or staff.
  • Leadership skills as demonstrated by roles in college, career, and/or community activities.
  • Ability to utilize electronic and online technologies for educational program delivery.
  • Successful experience developing financial support for educational programs.

Work Location (City, State):

Omaha, NE

Criminal History Background Check Required:


How to Apply:

Click “Apply for this Job” and complete the information form. Attach the following documents:

  1. A letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the job and anticipated contributions.
  2. Your curriculum vitae or resume (attach as “Curriculum Vitae”).
  3. Contact information for three professional references.
In addition, within the application, please complete the required supplemental question(s), one specifically describing your experience working in diverse teams or groups and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters. See for guidance in writing this statement.

For questions or accommodations related to this position contact:

Marci Sturek

Job Category:

Faculty Non-Tenure Leading

Job Category (old):

Faculty Non-Tenure Leading

Job Type:

12 Month (Faculty Only)

Position funded by grant or other form of temporary funding?:


Organizational Location:

Default Location


Working at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

For 150 Years, A Leader in Higher Education 
Always a place of high ambition, University of Nebraska was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees - the first was granted in 1896. The University of Nebraska established the world's first undergraduate psychology laboratory. The discipline of ecology was born here, and the campuses reflect that tradition, being recognized as botanical gardens and arboreta. An early institutional interest in literature and the arts provided the foundations for today's Prairie Schooner literary magazine, for the University of Nebraska Press, and for the Sheldon Museum of Art, which houses one of the world's most significant collections of 20th century American art.

Today, Nebraska is one of the nation's leading teaching institutions, and a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities. Nebraska is also a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University of Nebraska offers an extensive benefits package that includes health, life, disability and long term care insurance; retirement accounts; tuition reimbursement for employees and their spouses and dependent children; and reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent day care. Leave policies are designed to help employees deal with personal or family events or crises.

Diversity and Inclusion
In the spirit of the phrase "Every Interaction Matters", UNL has an enacted commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence for our faculty, staff, and students. On our campus, diversity and inclusion are important priorities. Examples include: Husker Dialogues, which is an event that helps first-year students focus on diversity and inclusion and practice handling difficult conversations around difference; three Chancellor's Diversity Commissions that are charged with informing and advising the Chancellor and addressing issues of constituent campus communities; and the establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion whose leader operates at the Vice Chancellor level. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we strive for excellence in all that we do. True excellence requires that each individual be able to work and learn in an atmosphere of respect, dignity, and belonging. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion requires each of us to continuously ensure our interactions are respectful, protect free speech, and inspire academic freedom.

About Lincoln
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is located in an up-and-coming and safe city of 300,000 people that has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. The Pinnacle Bank Arena, opened in 2013, routinely hosts major touring acts. A buzzing entertainment district, the Railyard, connects the arena area to the Historic Haymarket. Cuisines from all continents provide the entree to dynamic urban nightlife and a wide variety of ways to enjoy time with friends. Nebraska's City Campus is one with Lincoln's city center, as it has been since the university was founded.Lincoln has more parkland per capita than Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and all but a handful of U.S. cities. The well-manicured Pioneers Park, the native woods of Wilderness Park and the open grassland of Nine-Mile Prairie are each within a 10-minute trip from campus. Connecting many of these parks is an extensive trails network.

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