Extension Specialist I
Job no: 494848
Work type: Staff
Categories: Extension and Outreach, Full Time
Pay Grade: 31E
Context of Job:
Agriculture is a major industry in Delaware and on the Delmarva (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) peninsula. In this region, poultry, grain crops, fresh market vegetables, and processing vegetables are the primary agricultural commodities.
The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension serves as the link between the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and local communities. Delaware Cooperative Extension delivers high quality, science-based information in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, youth development, and family & consumer sciences. This position will help support the agricultural community in Delaware, as part of a multi-disciplinary team of faculty and professionals in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The Extension Specialist I Farm Business Management Specialist serves as a recognized statewide resource in commercial agriculture production to help improve business profitability through informed decision-making. Working closely with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Agriculture team, the Specialist will identify and address important business management issues for farmers and the agriculture industry.
Some potential areas the Specialist could work on include strategic business planning and financial management, crop, poultry, and livestock enterprise analysis, farm machinery/precision ag technology and sustainable agriculture methods, crop insurance and grain marketing, and economics of alternative agricultural enterprises.
This will include in-person visits, development and delivery of agricultural workshops, presenting at annual educational meetings such as Delaware Ag Week and Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School, and working together with external partners. This position will be located at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown, Delaware and will report to the County Director.
- Develop an Extension program that will enhance and expand the economic viability of agricultural enterprises in Delaware.
- Identify critical areas of concern related to farm financial management, emerging alternative agricultural enterprises, and risk management.
- Employ a variety of educational delivery methods to help clientele (farmers, agriculture industry) understand and adopt new practices, procedures, and skills based on current science. Delivery methods include on-site visits, newsletters, fact sheets, educational meetings, workshops, short courses, and the UD Extension website
- Collaborate with county-based Extension staff and with agricultural Extension Specialists in Delaware and the region to answer research questions and deliver educational programs at Delaware Agriculture Week, Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School and other collaborative outreach events.
- Develop relationships and work closely with various external agencies such as Farm Service Agency, USDA Rural Development, and Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit.
- Document and track program impact based on stated objectives, develop effective evaluation techniques, and enter this information into internal tracking software.
- Continue to develop professional expertise and mentor less experienced Extension staff.
- Implement initiatives in support of the affirmative action plan; ensure equal opportunity and access to Extension programs for all individuals.
- Perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
- Master’s degree plus two years’ experience in subject matter or Doctorate plus experience in Extension teaching, research or related experience, Experience in farm business management, agricultural business, agricultural economics, finance, accounting, or related discipline.
- Knowledge of farm business management practices, business planning and farm business analysis.
- Experience with and knowledge of the challenges facing agriculture regionally and in Delaware.
- Experience in developing and delivering educational programs to the public.
- Evidence of service and demonstrated leadership skills working with the agricultural private sector, trade organizations, universities, and state and federal agencies.
- Successful record of forming strong working relationships with producers, agricultural organizations, academic colleagues, and the public.
- Effective communication, public relations, and interpersonal skills.
- Knowledge of Extension programming which involves responding to clientele and community needs.
- Proficient computer and technological skills including use of software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and website updates.
- Grant writing experience preferred.
- Travel using personal vehicle (mileage reimbursement provided).
- This position requires some irregular work hours, such as occasional nighttime and weekend work.
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time
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