Extension Agent II - Kent County, Delaware

Hiring Organization: The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Dover, Delaware
Application Deadline: March 31, 2019

CONTEXT OF THE JOB:

Agriculture is a major industry in Delaware and on the Delmarva (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) peninsula. In this region, poultry, grain crops, fresh market vegetables, and processing vegetables are the primary agricultural commodities. This position is based in Kent County, Delaware, which has over 800 farms with 170,000 acres in production and agricultural sales over $250 million.  Main field crops are corn (50,000 acres, 21,000 irrigated), soybeans (65,000 acres), wheat and barley (42,000 acres).  Kent County is in the top 2 percent of 3,079 U.S. counties in value of vegetables sold with sweet corn, lima beans, peas, and cucumbers being major crops (17,000 acres).  There are 200 poultry farms that raise over 7,000,000 chickens yearly for meat. Kent County also has 6,000 acres of forage crops supporting dairy, beef and equine operations. The state capital (Dover) and a major US Air Force base are located in the county.  It is home to one university (Delaware State) and one college (Wesley) and branch campuses of the Delaware Technical and Community College, the University of Delaware, and Wilmington University.  It has a population of 176,000 (2017).

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension serves as the link between the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and local communities. Delaware Cooperative Extension delivers high quality, science-based information in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, youth development, and family and consumer sciences. This position will help support the agricultural community in Delaware, as part of a multi-disciplinary team of faculty and professionals in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The Agriculture Agent serves as a recognized local resource in commercial agriculture production. Working closely with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Agriculture team, the Agriculture Agent will identify and address important agriculture issues for farmers, crop consultants, and the commercial agriculture industry. Agricultural issues the Agent can expect to work on include agronomic and vegetable crop production, integrated pest management, irrigation, pasture and hay production, nutrient management, and business development. This may include frequent site visits, development and delivery of agricultural workshops in commercial crop production, participating in annual meetings such as Delaware Ag Week and Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School, and working together with the soil-testing laboratory and plant diagnostic clinic to provide technical assistance and services to industry clientele. This position will be located at the University of Delaware Paradee Building in Dover, Delaware and will report to the Kent County Extension Director.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES:

Identify critical areas of concern related to commercial crop production in Kent County, Delaware. Plan, develop, and implement educational programs using science-based information to help address and resolve issues in the areas of commercial field crop production (corn, soybeans, small grains), commercial vegetable crop production (sweet corn, lima beans, and other vegetables), and forage crop management (hay and pasture).

Employ a variety of educational delivery methods to help clientele (farmers, agriculture industry) understand and adopt new practices, procedures, and skills based on current science. Delivery methods include on-site visits, newsletters, fact sheets, field demonstrations and tours, field trials, educational meetings, workshops, short courses, the Delaware Agronomy Blog and the UD Extension website.

Collaborate with other county-based Extension staff and with the various agricultural Extension Specialists in Delaware and the region. Responsibilities may include conducting applied field research and participating in educational meetings and workshops such as Delaware Agriculture Week and Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School.

Work closely with various state and federal agencies including the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Kent Conservation District, Farm Service Agency, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Agent will also work with the local Farm Bureau, Delaware Soybean Board, and other producer organizations.

Document and track program impact based on stated objectives, develop effective evaluation techniques, and enter this information into internal tracking software.

Continue to develop own professional expertise and mentor less experienced Extension staff.

Implement initiatives in support of the affirmative action plan; ensure equal opportunity and access to Extension programs for all individuals.

QUALIFICATIONS: 

Bachelor’s degree plus four years’ experience or Master’s degree plus two years’ experience, in Extension teaching, research or closely related field in agronomy, soils, crops, or other related area.

Ability to conduct applied research related to environmentally and economically viable agricultural production.

Experience in developing and delivering educational programs to the public.

Evidence of service and demonstrated leadership skills working with the agricultural private sector, trade organizations, universities, and state and federal agencies.

Successful record of forming strong working relationships with producers, agricultural organizations, academic colleagues, and the public.

Effective communication, public relations, and interpersonal skills.

Knowledge of Extension programming which involves responding to clientele and community needs.

Proficient computer and technological skills including use of software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and website updates.

Grant writing experience preferred.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:

This position requires some irregular work hours, such as occasional nighttime and weekend work.

Access to private reliable means of transportation. If using personal vehicle, mileage will be reimbursed.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity Employer which encourages applications from Minority Group Members, Women, Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans. The University's Notice of Non-Discrimination can be found at http://www.udel.edu/aboutus/legalnotices.html

TO APPLY: 

Visit www.udel.edu/udjobs. Under Staff jobs find Job ID 106291 – Extension Agent II, Kent County.

 

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