Extension Agent I or II - Urban Horticulture

  • University of Florida
  • United States
  • Nov 4, 2023

Job Description:

Classification Title:

Ext Agent I - II

Job Description:

You Belong at a University that’s Leading the Way

The University of Florida (UF), the flagship university for the state of Florida, 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 is creating an environment that affirms community across all dimensions. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. 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 Opportunity

This full‐time permanent status accruing Urban Horticulture Extension Agent will work jointly for UF/IFAS Extension and St. Lucie County. The successful candidate will lead through designing, implementing, and evaluating horticulture educational programs to help homeowners more effectively interpret and use current science and technology (95% of the candidates' time). The agent is responsible for providing horticulture-related educational programs to the urban community through the trained volunteer efforts of UF/IFAS Master Gardeners and their outreach programs. The agent will be expected to teach the most effective ways to adopt Florida-Friendly Landscape (FFL) principles to protect water quality, water conservation, and other related topics. At least 5% of the candidate's time will be devoted to 4‐H Youth Development. This position will supervise an educational outreach coordinator. The Urban Horticulture Agent's extension education program will be guided by an advisory committee that incorporates the needs of the county's diverse population.

The candidate will be able to:

  • Build an effective and diverse advisory committee to assist with the extension program design, direction, and operation.
  • Provide training for new Master Gardener volunteers and continuing education for experienced Master Gardeners.
  • Teach the most effective strategies to adopt Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) principles to protect water quality, conserve water, establish resource-efficient landscapes, adapt to sea level rise, and other related benefits.
  • Target programs to reflect the area’s population diversity and unique educational needs using a variety of program marketing and delivery methods, including in-person, site visit consultations, and deliberately focused virtual platforms such as webinars, videos, and social media.
  • Obtain financial resources to support programs and manage all components (e.g., policies, records, risk, communication, and accountability).
  • Produce creative, scholarly works and audience‐friendly publications.

Further Information:

UF/IFAS employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff statewide. UF/IFAS Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide quality, relevant education, and research-based expertise to foster healthy people, a healthy environment, and a healthy economy. We employ 375 Extension Agents and have offices in each of Florida’s 67 counties. We attribute our success to a workforce that embraces the contributions of people of all backgrounds and ability levels. The Extension Agent will contribute to a community that provides space for innovation, creativity, collaboration, growth, and development for all.

St. Lucie County has a population of about 344,650. The county is west of the Atlantic Ocean and bordered by Indian River County to the north, Okeechobee County to the west, and Martin County to the south. St. Lucie County Extension is part of the UF/IFAS Southeast Extension District, comprised of twelve counties and the Seminole Tribe.

Employment is contingent on the results of a physical examination, a substance screening, and a national background screening.

In the event of an emergency, all employees are considered essential personnel and may be required to perform alternate duties at the county or district level.

Candidates must have the ability to possess (or be able to obtain) a Florida driver’s license, be able to work flexible hours and have the willingness to occasionally work long and irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and overnight travel.

Candidates must have the ability to possess (or be able to obtain) a pesticide license within 3 months of hire.

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. Are you a good match? Apply today!

Expected Salary:

Commensurate with Education and Experience

Minimum Requirements:
  • A bachelor’s degree in plant science, environmental horticulture, entomology, or a related field.
  • Technical expertise in horticulture.
  • Self-starting, energetic, and team-oriented.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills.
  • Resourcefulness, creativity, enthusiasm, and innovativeness.
  • Good organizational development and management skills.
  • Ability to establish solid partnerships and work in teams.
  • Ability to use information technology and apply social media to extension work.
  • A commitment to positive and proactive customer service.
  • Expertise in managing competing priorities and adaptability to handle unexpected situations.
  • Candidates must also have a commitment to UF core values of excellence, discovery & innovation, inclusion, freedom & civility, community, and stewardship.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • A master’s degree. If hired solely with a bachelor’s degree, we want you to continue to grow in your career. As such, we expect you to progress at least 50% toward obtaining your master’s degree within the first 6 years of employment.
  • Practical experience in South Florida landscaping, best management practices, and Florida-friendly landscaping principles, including plant and pest identification, diagnostic skills, and integrated pest management.
  • Experience creating lesson plans, developing instructional materials, and applying teaching methods appropriate for a diverse audience.
  • Experience working with volunteers.
  • A strong commitment to community and volunteer education.
  • Evidence of collaborations, partnerships, and marketing with community agencies and groups.
  • Experience working in multicultural settings; bilingual in English/Spanish is a plus.
  • Experience with program management and communication using information technology, including social media.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

Apply at Careers at UF 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).

  • Current and Previous Employment Form
  • A minimum of 3 reference rating forms from your professional/academic references. Applicants are responsible for sending the rating form link to their references.
    • Reference forms will be kept on file for 1 year and will be automatically used with any of our extension agent positions you apply for during that time.

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


Fax: (352) 392-3226

Selected candidate will be required to provide an 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).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

Health Assessment Required: Yes