Assistant Professor - Vegetable Horticulturist

Hiring Organization: Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (University of Florida) and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Immokalee, FL
Application Deadline: September 1, 2018


Assistant Professor-Vegetable Horticulturist



Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
Immokalee, Florida



Commensurate with Qualifications and Experience


Review Date:           

For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by September 1, 2018.  The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.


Duties and Responsibilities

This is a 12-month tenure-accruing position that will be 60% extension (Florida Cooperative Extension Service) and 40% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station), available at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Florida.  This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit.  The research and extension programs shall focus on commercial vegetable production systems that lead to increased crop diversification, sustainability and profitability for vegetable farms in Florida.  The development of crop production systems that assist growers to compete in the global economy and reduce the impact of agricultural activities on the south Florida environment is an imperative. Research outcomes from this and complementary programs will be integrated into a strong extension program to support county and state extension faculty farmers, and allied industry representatives statewide.


Duties will include cooperative studies with faculty in soil and water sciences, entomology, plant pathology, food and resource economics, and other departments.  Major goals include the development of effective field management strategies for promoting the production of high yield and quality vegetables in a manner consistent with good stewardship of the land.  Approaches could be related to water and nutrient management, variety development and genetics, and pest and disease management. Findings should be documented and disseminated as extension recommendations for vegetable production in southern Florida.  Interaction with the South Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Services, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other state and federal agencies is important to this position. The successful applicant will publish research results in refereed journals, publish extension fact sheets in UF/IFAS EDIS (, develop multimedia instructional materials to support extension programming, lead in-service training programs and other educational workshops, advise and supervise graduate students and support his/her program with successful competitive grants.  Tenure will accrue in the Department of Horticultural Sciences (  The faculty member will participate actively in undergraduate education and graduate education by chairing graduate committees, serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis and dissertation research, supervising undergraduate research, and publishing the results with his/her graduate students.  The faculty member will seek contract and grant funding actively to support his/her program.  The faculty member will engage in Extension activities in his or her program area. Faculty are encouraged to participate in professional development activities related to teaching and advising and may teach courses and seminars.


Because of the IFAS land-grant mission, all faculty are expected to be supportive of and engaged in all three mission areas—Research, Teaching and Extension—regardless of the assignment split specified in the position description.




A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in horticultural sciences, plant sciences, or a closely related discipline is required.  Candidates must have a strong understanding of basic processes in vegetable production. A functional knowledge of soil and water processes is helpful. Ability and self-motivation to communicate effectively and work cooperatively with landowners, research and extension faculty, and regulatory agency personnel are essential. Candidates should have demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication, interpersonal relationships, and procurement of extramural funding.  Candidates must be supportive of the mission of the Land-Grant system.  Candidates must also have a commitment to IFAS core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement, and accountability. 



Postdoctoral experience is desirable. 


Background Information:

The Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC; is located one mile north of Immokalee and approximately 35 miles southeast of Fort Myers, and is 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, which has internationally recognized tourism beach destinations (Sanibel, Captiva, and Marco islands). Presently, SWFREC supports thirteen faculty programs and a staff of more than 90 people.  Active research programs in citrus horticulture, vegetable horticulture, irrigation and water resource management, precision ag engineering, pest management, plant pathology,citrus pathology, agricultural and natural resource economics, soil microbiology, plant physiology, weed science, soil science, and agricultural economics occur on 320 acres of land at SWFREC. The faculty and staff of SWFREC serve a vibrant commercial agricultural region. 


The Southwest Florida REC is situated at the intersection of agricultural, urban, environmental interests within the iconic landscapes of Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve.  Farm gate sales for the region average more than one billion dollars each year.  The region has intensive production in citrus, beef cattle, fresh market vegetables, and sugarcane.  The area has a unique blend of agriculture, a rapidly growing urban area, and protected ecosystems.  Agriculture in the region faces environmental challenges including water supply and quality and competes with ever-increasing land values.


The University of Florida ( is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 53,000 students.  UF is a member of The Association of American Universities.  The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences ( includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (, the College of Veterinary Medicine (, the Florida Sea Grant program (, and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 Research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain).  The School of Natural Resources and Environment is an interdisciplinary unit housed in IFAS and managed by several colleges on campus.  IFAS employs over 2500 people, which includes approximately 900 faculty and 1200 support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state.  IFAS, one of the nation’s largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Senior Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine.  UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.


Employment Conditions

This position is available September 8, 2018, and will be filled as soon thereafter as an acceptable applicant is available.  Compensation is commensurate with the education, experience, and qualifications of the selected applicant.



Nominations are welcome.  Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:


Please refer to Requisition # 508083

Dr. Pamela D. Roberts

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Southwest Florida Research and Education Center

2685 State Road 29 N

Immokalee, FL  34142


Telephone:       (239) 658-3430

Fax:                   (352) 846-6618



Application Information

  • Individuals wishing to apply should go online to and submit:
    • Application
    • Cover letter that states applicant’s interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Contact information (including email addresses) for at least 3 individuals willing to write letters of recommendation
    • Unofficial transcripts

Final candidate will be required to provide official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible.  Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), which can be found at


The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff.  The selection process will be conducted in accord with the provisions of Florida’s ‘Government in the Sunshine’ and Public Records Laws.  Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation.