Research Associate in Agriculture

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
22 Nov 2017
End of advertisement period
20 Dec 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The Agricultural Research Station is part of a network of 7 research centers (9 sites) throughout the state. The center includes the Fruita site, located 15 miles northwest of Grand Junction which hosts variety performance trials of new/improved varieties of alfalfa, beans and small grains as well as the Colorado Foundation Seed program. The Orchard Mesa site is located 7 miles Southeast of Grand Junction. The research conducted at this site includes tree fruits, wine grape production, dry bean variety increases, and ornamental horticulture. This site also houses Ram\’s Point Winery. The winery is designed as the primary vehicle for training students and interns in best winemaking and winery business practices, as well as providing a location for enology research and outreach. It is also visible public recognition for the CSU partnership with Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology (CAVE), representing the Colorado wine industry.

The Orchard Mesa site is located 7 miles Southeast of Grand Junction. Site elevation is approximately 4750 feet with an average growing season of 182 frost-free days. The research conducted at this site includes tree fruits, wine grape production, and ornamental horticulture. This site has separate climate controlled greenhouse, as well as office and laboratory facilities.

The Fruita site is located 15 miles northwest of Grand Junction. With an average growing season of 175 days at an elevation of 4500 ft, the reasonably deep loam soils at this location have been the home of the bulk of agronomic research conducted at the Western Colorado Research Center. Variety performance trials of new/improved varieties of alfalfa, beans and small grains have been an integral part of the research program at the Fruita site. The Western Colorado Foundation Seed Program is housed at Fruita. Laboratory facilities also exist for tissue culturing.

Position Summary

Primary responsibilities are to assist Colorado State University research scientists and Extension personnel in the planning and execution of on-site and off-station applied research trials at WCRC-Fruita. In agronomic crops and cropping systems (variety trials, water resources, irrigation systems, pest and salinity management, cropping management, new and alternative crops, etc.). Specific expectations are to: assist with the collection of research data according to protocols provided by professional staff; assist with outreach activities such as field days and workshops; assist in the general operations of the canter including, but not limited to, general farm and research plot operations and maintaining facilities and repairing equipment. Some heavy lifting (50 lbs) Is required.

Required Job Qualifications

  • Minimum B.S. degree in agronomy, engineering, soil science, crop science, landscape management, horticulture, or closely related field.
  • Prior experience (3 years or more) with farming operations, including but not limited to irrigation systems, tillage practices, crop rotation, weed and pest management, crop fertilization, farm equipment operation and maintenance.
  • Knowledge of basic scientific research principles and ability to follow experimental protocol.
  • Ability to work independently and prioritize a number of different activities simultaneously
  • Ability to work as a team member to facilitate the work of others within and beyond the Agricultural Experiment Station system.
  • Proven effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Facility with basic computing software (MS Office, MS Word)
  • Valid Driver’s License.
  • Current Colorado Qualified Supervisor Pesticide Applicator license or willingness to acquire within 60 days of employment.
  • Ability to meet physical demands, such as heavy lifting (50 lbs or greater), manual dexterity, stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching and handling.
  • Ability to work a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) schedule as necessary during spring planting/tillage, irrigation season and fall harvest.

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • Experience in overseeing specialized research projects in cropping and/or irrigation at a facility engaged in research, evaluation and/or education.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience with MS Office software (Outlook, Excel, Access), farm management software, geographic information systems or other programming platform.
  • Experience with outdoor computing, monitoring and telemetry equipment.
  • Experience supervising personnel and laborers.
  • Demonstrated organizational abilities and attention to detail such as the ability to maintain high quality and accurate records and other data management.
  • Experience in welding and general mechanic work.
  • Valid Class B Commercial Driver’s License.
  • Ability to speak Spanish.

Diversity Statement

Personal or professional commitment to diversity as demonstrated by persistent effort, active planning, allocation of resources and/or accountability for diversity outcomes.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Research Duty/Responsibility

Research duties and responsibilities include: 1) execution of research protocols designed by principal investigators for research projects in agronomy, irrigation and related disciplines; 2) preparation and management of research plots and fields; 3) assist with the collection of research data; 4) reviewing research land use requests from faculty interested in working at the WCRC, and; 5) monitoring and troubleshooting the progress of research projects.

Percentage Of Time 40 Job Duty Category Operations Duty/Responsibility

Operational duties and responsibilities include: 1) making improvements in farm efficiency and operations; 2) performing periodic, hands-on field and irrigation operations; 3) ssetup, calibration, adjustment, operation and repair of farm equipment and machinery; 4) applying and storing herbicides; 5) trucking and hauling commodities with large scale vehicles; 6) directing general farm maintenance such as mowing operations, gravel roads, fence repairs, irrigation and drainage ditches, building organization and cleaning, and routine research center security, and; 7) maintaining high standards of cleanliness in all facilities (pesticide storage, equipment barns).

Percentage Of Time 40 Job Duty Category Administration Duty/Responsibility

Administrative duties and responsibilities include; 1) keeping farm records using farm management software (e.g. Farm Logic); 2) health and safety compliance, adhering to federal and state regulations; 3) maintaining and recommending capital improvement list of needs; 4) assisting and helping volunteers, interns, vendors, and visitors on an as-needed basis, and; 5) identifying, contacting and managing farm commodity buyers and custom harvest operators.

Percentage Of Time 10 Job Duty Category Outreach Duty/Responsibility

Outreach duties and responsibilities include: 1) providing information sought by clientele; 2) assisting with outreach activities such as field days and workshops; 3) providing tours upon request.

Percentage Of Time 10

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  • Cover letter that addresses the required and preferred qualifications
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts

Applicants are asked to provide contact information for three professional references to the system who may be contacted for a recommendation if requested by the Search Committee. References will not be contacted without prior notification to the applicant.
To ensure full consideration, apply online by January 8th, 2018. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. We also accept nominations and confidential inquiries. Please contact:

Dr. Perry Cabot, Search Committee Chair
1910 L Road
Western Colorado Research Center
Fruita, CO 81521
Tel. (970) 858-3629

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires), Valid Driver’s License

Search Contact Dr. Perry Cabot:

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.