Extension Agent I, II, or III (multicounty) - Commercial Horticulture

Apply now Job no: 500701
Work type: Faculty Full-Time
Location: Sumter
Categories: Agriculture/Life Science/Vet Medicine
Department:60353060 - AG-SUMTER

Classification Title:

Ext Agent I - III

Job Description:

University of Florida/IFAS Extension and Sumter County seek to fill a 12-month, permanent status-accruing Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent position (multicounty). This agent will manage and lead a horticultural extension program in central Florida that provides for the needs of the commercial horticulture industry. Clientele include commercial producers of vegetables, citrus, blueberry, other fruit, ornamental nursery, and some agronomic crops. The area served encompasses Sumter, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties. Sumter County serves as the home office.


Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will plan, design, teach, evaluate, and report on educational programs with emphasis on issues such as best management practices, crop production methods, pest management, and regulatory issues. The scope of this position includes regular farm and grove visits, timely responses to requests for information, and diagnosis of problems. Consideration must be given to the continuing educational needs of these clients, and to providing programs that assist them in maintaining profitability and sustainability including food system aspects.


The successful candidate will:

  • Have a good working knowledge of production practices for agricultural and horticultural crops.
  • Provide educational programs, continuing education opportunities, and supervise testing for pest control operator, commercial producer, and lawn/ornamental pesticide applicators.
  • Have experience working with commercial farms and/or nurseries.
  • Possess plant diagnostic and identification skills.
  • Be familiar with Florida's commercial horticulture industry and the associated industry groups.
  • Develop relationships with farmers and producers in this industry.
  • Provide leadership, delivery, and evaluation of educational programming related to sustainable commercial horticulture and food systems, including harvesting, packaging, marketing, and distribution.
  • Work with community leaders to facilitate and coordinate partnerships with local and state agencies, elected officials, communities, landowners, citizens, and industry in developing urban/rural and community economic opportunities to create local and regional food systems.
  • Assist in community food initiatives, community supported agriculture, farm-to-consumer efforts, farmers market, agri-tourism opportunities, and other marketing efforts.
  • Develop a multicounty advisory committee that will assist in providing direction for this program.
  • Work with other agents and state specialists as part of a team, collaborating on projects such as grants, professional presentations, and events.
  • Write articles, develop multi-media presentations, compose county fact sheets, and create posters and exhibits.
  • Develop and/or assist with 4-H Youth Development activities.
  • Participate in professional organizations appropriate for this position, including but not limited to the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's Coastal Springs Chapter and the Sumter County Agriculture Alliance.
  • Work closely with the Central District and County Extension Directors, and will assume other duties as assigned by them to meet the responsibilities of the total county extension effort.

FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY: 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.


Advertised Salary:

Commensurate with Education and Experience


Minimum Requirements:

A master's degree is required. Either the bachelor's or master's degree must be in horticulture or closely related agricultural field. Candidates must be able to document successful experiences in teaching and working with horticultural crops. Demonstrated abilities in organizational skills and written and oral communication are necessary.


The agent must have the ability to become certified as a trainer in related industry certifications, must possess (or be able to obtain) a valid Florida driver's license, and must be flexible and willing to work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends and travel overnight.


Preferred Qualifications:


Experience in teaching, writing, and developing educational programs is preferred.


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Application Instructions

Apply through the online UF application system at http://explore.jobs.ufl.edu/cw/en-us/job/500701 , and attach your Resume or CV, as well as a cover letter that describes how your experience and qualifications have prepared you for this position.


You must submit unofficial copies of all transcripts and/or coursework of your academic degrees. You may attach these as an "other" document, or you may submit to our office as directed below. An unofficial copy is acceptable for the application process, but before you can be hired, IFAS Human Resources must have the official transcript for your highest degree on file. 

Also, all applicants must have at least three reference rating forms on file.  Reference forms must be less than one year old.  If you have not already done so, please contact your professional/academic references and ask that they complete a reference rating form on your behalf. The form is located at http://personnel.ifas.ufl.edu/ref_form.pdf .

Please also complete and submit the Previous Employment Form (located at http://personnel.ifas.ufl.edu/prev_employment.pdf ).

With the exception of official transcripts, all items submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than the next business day after the position closing date. All documents submitted by fax or email must be received no later than the next business day. If your official transcripts will arrive after the closing date, you must also submit unofficial transcripts by the deadline.

Requested reference forms and transcripts should 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

Final candidate will be required to provide 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), which can be found at http://www.naces.org/ .

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff.  The selection process will be conducted in accord with the provisions of Florida's 'Government in the Sunshine' and Public Records Laws.  Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation.


Health Assessment Required: No

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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