Michigan State University seeks Floriculture Educator

Posted on September 10, 2021
Michigan State University seeks Floriculture Educator

Working/Functional Title

Floriculture Educator

Position Summary

Michigan State University Extension is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive organization, which requires all staff to contribute towards a vision for success. Diversity, equity and inclusion are central to our work, regardless of title or position within the organization. This means that all staff at MSU Extension are dedicated to the following:

  • We work together to ensure that programming is delivered to diverse audiences, produces equitable impacts for all participants, and demonstrates partnership and inclusion for all groups.
  • We embrace that it is everyone’s job to create a culture that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
  • We ensure that every team member is prepared with the skills and resources to contribute to our welcoming and inclusive culture.
  • We foster inclusion by recognizing and valuing diverse perspectives, skills, experiences, and work to create equal access to programming for communities.
  • We commit to continuous learning for diversity, equity, and cultural competency, in order to achieve inclusive excellence.
  • We understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential elements to our work and are vital to the organizational culture and programmatic success of MSU Extension.
  • We embrace a culture of understanding, coaching and feedback towards achieving a vision of success for the entire organization and its staff.
  • Together we will achieve success and we commit to these goals in our work, continued education, and ongoing efforts.


As part of MSU Extension (MSUE) and the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute (AABI), this position provides local as well as statewide leadership and educational programming expertise in commercial floriculture in both protected and outdoor environments. Michigan ranks third in floriculture crop production and is among the largest young plant producers in the United States, with 49.7 million square feet of greenhouse space and an additional 2,359 acres for outdoor production, with a significant portion of that industry in southeast Michigan. This position will have regional and statewide responsibilities and will collaborate across work teams, Institutes and community groups, working with faculty, specialists and educators for overall advancement of the needs of the Institute clientele.


In this position, you will identify, design, implement and evaluate research-based educational programs that meet current and projected outreach needs related to floriculture production. Through your leadership, you will provide support to wholesale and retail floriculture growers in southeast Michigan to improve the sustainability and profitability of the floriculture industry. This can include but is not to be limited to improved horticultural production methods or practices, improved understanding of alternative and emerging production systems, integrated pest management, plant diagnostics, and improved business management and marketing.  Your work will include, but is not limited to, completing on-site consultations, virtual and in-person meetings, conducting demonstrations and/or participating in on-going field research.    


Through collaboration in research, engagement with community members, and dissemination of research-based information through various methods, including in-person and multimedia programming and written communications, you will explore and implement programs that lead to public knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that improve the viability and sustainability of the floriculture industry.  You will also develop, produce, and deliver floriculture outreach materials with messaging and content that is accessible and inclusive and is consistent with the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute and Ornamental Horticulture Work Team messaging.


You will have the ability to network statewide with the existing core of Ornamental Horticulture Educators and Specialists and campus-based faculty to provide education and service to Michigan’s diverse floriculture industry.  Your work will include close collaboration with colleagues at MSU and MSU Extension, the MSU Plant & Pest Diagnostics lab as well as the diverse network of partner groups that include multiple commodity and industry organizations.    Acting as a statewide point of contact, you will provide support for AABI in determining research and programmatic needs across the state and will communicate and interact with community groups to evaluate the needs of the clientele.


Although negotiable, there will be space available for this position to work from the Tollgate Farm and Education Center, Novi MI (Oakland County).


Characteristic Duties/Responsibilities

  • Identify, develop, conduct and evaluate innovative educational programs that meet current and projected statewide needs, and supports growth and understanding of critical issues facing commercial floriculture in Michigan.
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships intra- and inter-organizationally and create and promote positive public relations for MSU Extension and the AABI.
  • Communicate and interact with community groups to evaluate the needs of the clientele. 
  • In concert with the MSU Extension work team(s), work with federal, state and county agencies to complete needs assessment of the community and develop effective programming.
  • Serve as an information resource to clientele, partners and Extension staff.
  • Understand and support the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute’s  efforts in diversity, equity, inclusion and Civil Rights, with a special emphasis on removing barriers from participation and reaching diverse populations, including but not limited to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status, socio-economic class and other human differences in rural, suburban and urban communities.
  • Develop and utilize appropriate media methods to communicate current and timely information, research results, and relevant industry updates, as well as a schedule of current and future activities.
  • Collaborate with MSU Extension staff to gather and report programming outputs and impacts, to demonstrate program effectiveness and to guide future program priorities for MSU Extension, the AABI and work teams. 
  • Actively participate in professional development opportunities.
  • Other duties or projects as assigned by the Institute Director.


This position is a full-time, fixed term end-dated appointment, renewable annually based upon successful performance and continued funding.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.


Required Degree

Masters -Horticulture


Minimum Requirements

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution in a field of study related to horticulture or related field must be earned by date of hire.
  • Familiarity with commercial floriculture in protected environments.
  • Demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity, knowledge, and use of appropriate approaches, skills and techniques, which reflect an understanding and awareness of social, cultural and economic diversity of the target population served.
  • Demonstrated success in program development and delivery to diverse audiences/communities, and proven ability in establishing and working with a diverse network of constituents and community members across race, color, gender, national origin, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, veteran status, socioeconomic class, and other differences.
  • Experience and proven ability working productively with a team serving in both leadership and contributor roles.
  • Self-motivated with demonstrated ability to work independently in an office environment without daily supervision and/or coaching.
  • Ability to create and carryout a project plan from research of initial concept to project completion and follow-up.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
  • Proficiency in use of technology (e.g., web research, Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook for mail/calendaring, distance technology, etc.) for day-to-day work and educational program delivery, record keeping, reporting, team-based communications and overall management.
  • Ability to travel in local and surrounding communities and occasional long-distance travel are required as a regular part of this position.
  • Ability to lift and carry educational materials, equipment, etc. up to 25 lbs.
  • Transportation is the responsibility of the employee.
  • Demonstrated skills and professional development from the last five years related to cultural competency and inclusive excellence.
  • Experience with marketing/promotion of educational programs.
  • Understanding of and ability to implement Civil Rights principles and compliance standards.
  • Other skills and/or physical abilities required to perform duties of the position.


Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledgeable in plant pathology and fertility.
  • 3-years’ experience in Extension program delivery or demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation (relevant experience acquired within the last 5-years, preferred).
  • Demonstrated drive and initiative, with proven ability to manage multiple responsibilities and tasks simultaneously.
  • Experience in successful contract and grant writing, including securing and managing grant funds and resources.


Required Application Materials

Current resume/CV.

Cover letter.

Four (4) professional references including two (2) current or previous supervisors.


Special Instructions

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. 
Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/

This position is a full-time, fixed term end-dated appointment, renewable annually based upon successful performance and continued funding.





MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.



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