Extension serves the public through applied research & education
ABOUT THIS POSITION
Interest in growing food in small scale settings is growing rapidly. Small farms is a broad term that refers to activities including: small-scale commercial fruit and vegetable production, rooftop gardening, utilization of greenhouses, aquaponics, etc. The University is looking for candidates with skills and experience in: engaging stakeholders in small farms/local foods; developing and strengthening networks; and teaching and facilitating informal educational agricultural programs that are relevant to Stearns, Benton, Morrison, and Sherburne counties. This support will involve local program development, delivery, marketing, evaluation, coordination of logistics and possibly participation in scholarly research. The educational programs will holistically address the issues of small-scale crop/food production with attention to environmental, economic, and social dimensions. This position will also be responsible for determining local needs involving AFNR programming and will provide technical assistance and expertise.
The position will focus on start-up and existing producers/growers who employ commercial agriculture or growing practices in a small scale environment to either generate revenue or to share their product with others. The educator will serve as a resource for knowledge and technical information regarding horticultural production for small farming enterprises.
The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge to new and future programs that support and enhance the production and economic development of small farms in all four counties.
THIS POSITION WILL:
1. Provide research-based small scale agriculture resources, education, and support.
2. Build relationships with agricultural professionals to foster educational efforts and economic development.
3. Provide relevant education and support to small farm agriculture in the four counties.
4. Design/conduct educational programs and make them accessible and inviting to diverse participants.
5. Provide technical assistance and expertise in small farms/local foods.
6. Communicate effectively and positively with colleagues and stakeholders about the work.
• Design, develop, deliver/implement, and evaluate local educational programs for small small growers/producers based on local needs and expectations, developing and maintaining effective county, regional, University and state partnerships that further the development and delivery of Extension educational programs.
• Engage with producers, agricultural professionals and stakeholders to build rapport and working relationships to benefit educational efforts.
• Utilize numerous delivery methods to teach around small farm issues that are important to maintaining the viability, profitability and sustainability of agricultural operations in all four counties.
• Adapt Extension programs for audiences with a range of knowledge, background, and cultures.
• Work in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), county environmental and land management services, and agricultural and natural resources professional organizations to provide educational programs relevant to the counties.
• Provide Extension and university resources in partnership with local foods and small farms groups
• Provide technical assistance and information related to small farms/local foods based on local needs and expectations.
• Ensure that Extension programs, facilities, committees, and employment opportunities are accessible to new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences.
• Grow as a professional through publication, attendance at conferences, self-directed study and other means.
• Document professional performance using the annual performance review, professional plan of work and promotion for educators without rank.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree is required by start date of position. A Master’s degree is preferred. At least one degree in an agriculture related discipline is required, i.e. plant science, horticulture, agronomy, soils, livestock production, biology, agricultural economics, and/or agricultural education.
• Current knowledge in small farms/local foods.
• Demonstrated ability to create new educational programs based upon past successes or failures.
• Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills.
• A proven ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships and collaborations with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, including those that may have diverse missions, goals, cultures, and backgrounds.
• Experience communicating with, supervising and empowering volunteers/team members.
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
• Skilled in Microsoft and Google suite applications.
• Experience developing and conducting educational programs.
• Commitment to ongoing professional development.
• Experience using technology for communication, information finding, teaching and report writing.
• Ability to articulate the public value of educational programming in agriculture and food systems.
• Previous experience as an Extension professional or other educationally related position (within horticulture or agriculture).
• Experience related to one or more of the following topics: vegetable production, fruit production, or beginning farmer training.
For questions about this position, contact Sarah Chur, Program Leader, Extension Center for Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application review will begin July 13, 2022.
To apply for this job please visit hr.myu.umn.edu.