Extension Agent I or II – Residential Urban Horticulture/Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator

 
  • University of Florida
  • United States
  • Jan 12, 2022

Job Description:

Classification Title:

Ext Agent I - II

Job Description:

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. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (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 hire the best. Diverse views and experience make us strong. We look for people with both academic and people skills who work well in teams, honor their commitments, innovate in a rapidly changing world, and believe in diversity, equity, inclusion, access. Working for Florida Cooperative Extension will allow you to make a positive impact in your community as you help shape future generations, growing your career while earning a competitive salary and great benefits.

As an Extension Agent, you will work jointly for UF/IFAS Extension and Orange County, a growing county in central Florida. We are looking for an individual who is self-starting, energetic, and team-oriented with skills in teaching diverse audiences and volunteer management. You will be responsible for a program that provides public education to residents in an urban setting, Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMPs), and sustainable landscape practices. These responsibilities will be partly accomplished through the efforts of volunteers. As such, you will also be responsible for recruiting, training, managing, and leading Master Gardener (MG) volunteers, including overseeing the daily operation of the MG Plant Clinic and all MG committees. Your office will be located at the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County Office in Orlando.

What you will do:

  • Develop and implement a plan of work based on locally identified needs that will lead to improved horticultural practices.
  • Teach and evaluate high-quality educational programs that focus on horticultural best management practices and integrated pest management including insect, disease, and weed management.
  • Provide innovative training for new Master Gardener volunteers and continuing education for experienced Master Gardeners.
  • Collaborate with the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) Agent to train Master Gardener volunteers on FFL principles and delivery of FFL programs to the community.
  • Provide oversight and management of Extension’s demonstration gardens/landscapes and coordinate the Master Gardener Plant Clinic.
  • Provide responsive, high-quality customer service for citizens seeking help identifying plant, weed, and insect samples as well as offering basic disease and plant sample troubleshooting and diagnosis.
  • Write relevant articles and fact sheets, social media posts, develop multi-media presentations, and create educational displays and exhibits.
  • Serve in an advisory/technical expert capacity to help support current gardens and facilitate the development of new school and community gardens.
  • Become a certified and active instructor for the GI-BMPs course.
  • Develop an advisory committee to help in the identification of client needs and priority issues, analysis of county situations, and development of programs.
  • Develop and deliver age-appropriate subject matter education in support of 4-H Youth Development.
  • Deliver around 30% of your educational programming in the virtual or digital world.
  • Seek grants, contracts, or other funding and partnership opportunities to support your extension programs.
  • Work with UF/IFAS and Orange County teams to address emerging issues and produce collective impact in the community.
  • Carry out other duties as outlined by the County Extension Director and the District Extension Director.
Expected Salary:

Commensurate with Education and Experience

Minimum Requirements:

What you will bring (required):

  • A bachelor’s degree in horticulture, plant sciences, plant pathology, or a closely related field. We will accept applicants without a bachelor’s degree if the degree will be earned by June 2022. 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.
  • A working knowledge of horticultural science including plant and pest identification and diagnostic skills, best management practices, and integrated pest management.
  • Strong oral and written interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, and balance diverse responsibilities.
  • A commitment to customer service and inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) guidelines of UF/IFAS Extension.
  • Ability to obtain a pesticide license within 6 months of hire.
  • Ability to possess (or be able to obtain) a Florida driver’s license.
  • Flexibility with working hours; willingness to work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and overnight travel.
  • Ability to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding between Orange County Government and the University of Florida.
Preferred Qualifications:

What you will bring (preferred):

  • A master’s degree in horticulture, plant science, or a related area.
  • Practical experience in horticultural science and diagnostics.
  • Experience working with and managing volunteers.
  • Experience using a variety of educational methods including technology-enhanced and technology-based instruction to reach diverse audiences.
  • Experience obtaining extramural funding.
  • Excellent organizational skills and good record-keeping techniques.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

Apply at https://explore.jobs.ufl.edu/en-us/job/519932 by 11:55 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
  • Unofficial copies of all transcripts (showing coursework) of your academic degrees

The following documents are also required and may either be submitted through the above link at the time of application, or sent separately to our office (below).

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:

UF IFAS Human Resources
Faculty Recruitment and Hiring
P O Box 110281
Gainesville, FL 32611-0281

ifasrecruitment@ifas.ufl.edu

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 University of Florida is An Equal Employment Opportunity Institution. 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.

Health Assessment Required:No