University of Minnesota Seeks Extension Educator – Horticulture & Local Foods

Posted on February 10, 2023
University of Minnesota Seeks Extension Educator – Horticulture & Local Foods
Position Title:
Extension Educator – Horticulture & Local Foods
Position Summary
The University is looking for a .4 FTE Extension educator and is seeking candidates with skills/experience in: engaging stakeholders in a range of topic areas including horticulture, arboriculture, and agriculture; developing and strengthening networks; and teaching and facilitating informal educational programs that are relevant to Otter Tail County. This position will deliver research informed horticulture, yard and 
garden, and agricultural programs that are adapted to support the needs of Otter Tail County. This will involve partnering with local community partners and stakeholders to support program development, delivery, marketing, evaluation, and coordination of logistics. The Extension educator will be responsible for determining local needs involving Extension programming and will provide technical assistance and information in the areas of horticulture, arboriculture, food systems, and agriculture, as well as oversight of the Master Gardener program and volunteers. The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to be innovative and apply knowledge to new/future programs that support and enhance the quality of life for citizens in the County. Effort will be required to maintain competency in multiple discipline areas in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR), as well as knowledge of 
local/federal/state related programs. 

1. Provide research-based educational resources to residents of Otter Tail County.
2. Build trusted relationships and partnerships with community members and leaders.
3. Provide relevant education and support to Otter Tail County residents in the areas of horticulture, arboriculture, agriculture, and food systems.
4. Design/conduct educational programs and make them accessible and welcoming to diverse participants.
5. Provide technical assistance and expertise in the areas of horticulture, arboriculture, food systems, and agriculture. 
6. Communicate effectively and positively with colleagues and stakeholders about the work.

For example:
● Design, develop, deliver/implement, and evaluate local AFNR educational program offerings based on local needs and expectations, developing and maintaining effective county, regional, University and state partnerships that support the development and delivery of Extension educational programs. Primary areas of focus include: sustainable farming, water quality, and local foods/nutrition (community gardens, food safety).
● Provide oversight for the Master Gardener program, which includes: managing recruitment, communications, program planning, financial management, and ensuring their work focuses on education of others and aligns with state program focus and needs, as well as county needs.
● Provide technical assistance and information in the areas of horticulture, arboriculture, and agriculture, food safety, and food systems based on local needs and expectations.
● Adapt Extension programs for audiences with a range of knowledge, background, and cultures.
● Work in collaboration with entities such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Health and Human services, Public Health and other community-based non-profits.
● Ensure that Extension programs, facilities, committees, and employment opportunities are accessible to new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences.
● Foster and contribute to a positive work climate with colleagues, advisory groups, audiences and partnerships.
● Collaborate and connect with other Extension and/or community resources to help support the diverse needs of the community, acting as a bridge between the community and other Extension/University resources. 


Required Education: Bachelor’s degree is required by the start date of the position. At least one degree in an agriculture related discipline is required, i.e., horticulture, plant science, agronomy, food systems, animal science, agricultural communications, biology, or closely related discipline is required. 

Required Skills/Abilities: 
● Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills
● Strong group facilitation skills.
● Demonstrated ability to create new educational programs based upon past successes or failures.
● A proven ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships and collaborations with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, including those that may have diverse missions, goals, cultures (including Hispanic and native), socio-economic levels, ages, and backgrounds. 
● Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
● Experience recruiting for and leading programs intended for multicultural learners.
● Demonstrated skill in Microsoft and Google suite applications 
● Ability to actively participate in web-based communication, education, and training. 

Additional Requirements:
● Must have a valid driver's license and own means of reliable transportation with required liability insurance.
● Must have a personal cell phone that can be used for work purposes and published in the Extension public staff directory; reimbursement is not provided
● Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office location.
● Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including occasional evening and weekend work.
● Working ability to perform tasks involving sitting, standing, bending, or twisting, with occasional exertion of up to thirty pounds of force. 
● Ability to work on a computer for prolonged periods of time.
● Must be able to lift, push, pull 15 lbs routinely and 40 lbs rarely as well as sit or stand for 
prolonged periods of time
● Must be able to travel within the designated communities and provide in-person programming.
● Must be able to submit proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit a completed 
religious/medical exemption and agree to comply with the University's testing requirement. 
● Must be eligible to work in the United States; this position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship.

Preferred Skills/Abilities: 
● Experience developing and delivering education and resources in the areas of horticulture, arboriculture, agriculture, or food systems.
● Experience as a volunteer or in managing volunteers.
● Experience developing and conducting educational programs.
● Commitment to ongoing professional development.
● Experience using technology for communication, information finding, teaching and reporting, including evidence of traditional (newspapers, radio, television) and social media expertise.
● Ability to articulate public value of community based educational programming 
● Previous experience as an Extension professional or other related educational position (within agriculture or horticulture) is preferred. 
● Experience using distance technologies and social media to market and deliver educational programming.
● A Master’s degree is preferred.



1. This is a part-time (.4 FTE) Academic Professional appointment at the level of Assistant Extension Educator (9625ST). The appointment is reviewed for renewal annually, with 
continuation dependent on performance, results, availability of county funds, and program needs. 
2. Internal promotion is available and meeting the promotion policy criteria to achieve promotion is expected.
3. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy. 
4. Salary commensurate with education and experience; estimated annual starting salary range $18,800 - $22,800 for based on percentage of time (40% time/.4 FTE).

University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. Our mission is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Extension strives to attract 
and retain high-quality, passionate employees, and weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of Extension’s programming and employee engagement
Please apply at:, Job Opening ID: 354075
Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position. 
Please include the following attachments with your online application:
• Cover letter
• Resume or Vitae
• Diversity statement: In 500 words or less, highlight your unique strengths, experiences, perspectives, and values as they relate to equity, diversity and inclusion. Your statement could include the following:
o Personalized views and experiences
o Topics through the lens of your own knowledge or experience
o If you don’t have personal experience on a topic, reflect on why
o Demonstrated learning and growth
Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required during the interview process. Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions, 
To request an accommodation during the application process, please email or call 612-624-UOHR (8647).
For questions about this position, contact: Sarah Chur, Program Leader, Extension Center for Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, 
For questions about applying online, contact: Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources, 
Application review will commence on March 6, 2023. 

Employment Requirements
Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.
Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University’s Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit:
The University of Minnesota and Extension recognize and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds. The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U: