Extension Agent, Horticulture, Plant Pathology and Food Systems

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
04 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
02 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our staff and providing culturally responsive programs and services. Therefore, we encourage responses from people of all backgrounds and abilities. We invite you to review Colorado State University’s Principles of Community (http://diversity.colostate.edu/principles-of-community) that guide our mission and vision of access, teaching, service and engagement.
Jefferson County is one of the five counties making up the Denver metropolitan area. Once an agricultural and mining area, Jefferson County is now a thriving suburban, business, industrial and residential community interspersed with small farms, urban agriculture and ranchettes. It’s located where the great plains meet the Rocky Mountains with some of the most magnificent scenery in the country. Outdoor lovers have three national forests and two state parks to choose from as well as a vibrant Open Space parks system. To learn more, visit the Jefferson County website at: http://jeffco.extension.colostate.edu/ or the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension website at: www.extension.colostate.edu.

Position Summary

This position will provide leadership and guidance in the development, delivery and evaluation of Extension horticulture IPM, pathology and food system programs. The person will have knowledge of food systems, horticulture principles, plants, trees, insects and pathogens. S/he will have a proven track record working well with people and the field of laboratory diagnostics in order to address horticulture issues related to yard, garden and small farms. The individual will work well in a team environment using strong verbal and written communication skills to develop relationships with staff, customers and partners, and to address common horticulture diagnostic issues. This individual works as a member of the local county Extension Team and as a local representative of Colorado State University. S/he works cooperatively with other Extension agents in their program area, and statewide with specialists and partners to develop and deliver quality programming; information; yard, garden and small farm outreach, and plant diagnostic services to the citizens of Colorado. This individual works under the guidance and supervision of the Jefferson County Extension Director.

Required Job Qualifications

  • Completed master’s degree. One degree must have been completed in Horticulture, Plant Science, Plant Pathology, Soil Science, Entomology, Forestry, Agriculture or a closely related field.
  • Course work and/or professional experience must provide a broad and significant understanding of plants, insects, pathogens and diagnostics.
  • Prior food system work experience or evidence of an understanding of food systems.
  • Demonstrated experience working with people as individuals and in groups; ability to forge equitable and successful partnerships with other professionals and organizations.
  • Evidence of drive and initiative. Must be a self-starter.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability.
  • Ability to communicate through teaching, public speaking/presentation and writing as demonstrated through application materials and experience.
  • Demonstrated use of technology in managing and/or delivering educational programs.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • Ability to speak Spanish.
  • Prior experience working in or managing a plant diagnostic lab.
  • Teaching or training experience.
  • Volunteer management experience.
  • Personal or professional commitment to diversity as demonstrated by persistent effort, active planning, allocation of resources and/or accountability for diversity outcomes.

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 Program Planning, Development, Delivery, Evaluation and Reporting Duty/Responsibility

  • Plan, develop, deliver, evaluate and report on research-based educational programming in horticultural crop production, integrated pest management, plant pathology and entomology for both consumer and green industry audiences.
  • Provide educational information and teaching in the area of plant diagnostics to Colorado Clinic Master Gardeners by providing hands-on workshops throughout the growing season; providing opportunities to recognize and study real-time plant health issues, to better equip these volunteers to accurately and effectively diagnose plant problems that are submitted to CSU Extension offices.
  • Oversee the scheduling, implementation, and evaluation of the Jefferson County LawnCheck program.
  • Participate in professional development activities as appropriate or as required by position.
  • Author and/or develop scholarly works that enhance programming delivery and / or general knowledge. Materials developed may include but are not limited to: journal articles, websites, fact sheets, poster sessions, reports, newsletters, electronic media, lesson plans, activity sheets, presentations at professional meetings, etc.
  • Develop annual multi-county Plan(s) to Invest within assigned program area(s).
  • Practice cost recovery as appropriate. Identify and pursue appropriate resources (grants, contracts, in-kind contributions, sponsorships etc.) to enhance the identified program work.
  • Participate in one or more Extension work teams, working within the programmatic group and serving as a regional resource in the area of plant pathology and food systems for other agents, agencies and community groups.
  • Cross-market CSU Extension at all educational programs and activities.
  • Assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies including reaching out to underserved and underrepresented audiences.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Percentage Of Time 55% Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Relationships and Partnerships Duty/Responsibility

  • Foster and support strong relationships between the county, the university, and Extension by serving as a liaison to ensure county needs and interests are represented and university resources are engaged.
  • Communicate and coordinate resources, research, programming and results with staff of Colorado State University and other agencies and institutions to enhance program development, delivery and evaluation.
  • Assess program needs and identify community assets, outcomes and strategies with advisory committees, green industry and other partners. Evaluate and document expected results and impacts of educational programs; communicate these to stakeholders.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Percentage Of Time 25% Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Volunteer Recruitment and Management Duty/Responsibility

  • Manage the volunteer staff in the regional plant diagnostic clinic in Jefferson County and oversee their work.
  • Train and evaluate plant diagnostic clinic volunteers; support training and recognition of Colorado Master Gardener volunteers.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Percentage Of Time 10% Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Supervision, Program Leadership and Management Duty/Responsibility

  • In cooperation with horticulture team, work to implement, evaluate and constantly improve local horticulture and food systems programming.
  • Manage the regional plant diagnostic clinic in Jefferson County and oversee the diagnosis of plant samples and responses to clientele.
  • Supervise and support the horticulture/urban food system program coordinator and the Master Gardener and plant clinic coordinator in their work.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Percentage Of Time 10%

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration, all materials must be RECEIVED no later than 11:59 PM Mountain Time on Tuesday June 12, 2018. Please submit the following to apply:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Transcripts of college(s) course work showing degrees conferred. Please remove all references to birth date or social security number prior to submission. Only one document upload is allowed, no larger than 9 megabytes. Please convert all transcript pages into one PDF File to upload.
  • Please remember to include contact information for 4 professional references. References will not be contacted without previous notice to applicant.
  • Special Required Documentation:
    • Statement (no more than 5 pages) of how you meet all the “Required” and “Preferred” criteria listed in the Vacancy Announcement. Please respond to each bullet point separately. Only one document upload is allowed, no larger than 9 megabytes. Please convert your Statement pages into one PDF file.

For questions regarding the application process, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at (970) 491-5836 or email oeo@colostate.edu.
For questions regarding the job vacancy and responsibilities, please contact Keith Maxey at (970) 400-2075 or kmaxey@co.weld.co.us.

Search Contact JoAnn Powell, joann.powell@colostate.edu, 970-491-7887

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.