Job ID: 161724

Extension Agent I - III – Commercial Horticulture (76717)

University of Florida

  • Jul. 2, 2021
  • Extension Agent I - III – Commercial Horticulture (76717)
  • UF/IFAS Extension
  • University of Florida
    Palmetto, FL
  • Jul. 20, 2021
  • Available immediately
  • Core Faculty
  • Horticulture
    Environmental Science & Ecology
    Agricultural Extension
    Agricultural - General

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

The University of Florida (UF) is a Land Grant institution with core values of unique purpose, excellence, integrity, collaboration and partnership, lifelong learning, diversity, responsiveness, innovation, communication, and global reach. The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff statewide. IFAS Extension employs 375 Extension Agents and has an office in each of Florida’s 67 counties.

Our mission in the Florida Cooperative Extension Service is to partner with communities to provide quality, relevant education, and research-based expertise to improve health, environment, and the economy. We are the resource that helps educate Floridians to address issues related to agriculture, horticulture, natural resources, youth development, families, and communities.

Diverse views and experience make us strong. We look for people with both academic and people skills who work well in teams, honor their commitments, innovate in a rapidly changing world, and believe in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working for Florida Cooperative Extension will allow you to make a positive impact in your community as you help shape future generations, growing your career while earning a competitive salary and great benefits.

As an Extension Agent, you will work jointly for UF/IFAS Extension and Manatee County. As an extension educator, you will design, implement, and evaluate commercial horticulture educational programs to assist clientele in nursery crop production. You will devote 5% of your time contributing to our 4-H Youth Development program. Your target audiences will include horticulture producers, allied industry representatives, and Manatee County youth and adult citizens, among others. Your comprehensive commercial horticulture education program will be guided by an advisory committee that represents the needs of the county’s diverse population.

Your office will be located at the Manatee County Extension Office in Palmetto.

What you will do:

Develop, conduct, coordinate, evaluate, and report on educational programs for horticulture professionals, including sod producers.
Teach Florida Department of Consumer Services (FDACS) pesticide license certification to horticulture professionals and administer pesticide exams.
Teach water conservation and efficient irrigation practices to achieve behavior change leading to documented water savings.
Teach integrated pest management, including insect, mite, disease and weed management, that increases resource use efficiency.
Provide on-site technical assistance and teaching to facilitate the implementation of Best Management Practices in horticulture production including appropriate fertilizer use.
Deliver consumer awareness educational programs such as farm tours and producer panels to promote agriculture awareness.
Work with Manatee County 4-H and other youth interested in horticulture-related projects and careers including plant production.
Establish and maintain an effective advisory committee to assist with program development and implementation.
Collaborate with local growers and UF/IFAS Research and Education Center faculty to help design, conduct, and evaluate studies (including demonstration trials) that assess nursery crop variety performance, response to fertilizer and other crop nutrition inputs, and improved methods for weed/pest management.
Market the extension program through multi-media platforms.
Target programs to reflect the area’s population diversity and unique educational needs using a variety of program delivery methods.
Develop community partnerships.
Work as part of a team with local producers, organizations, agencies, and UF/IFAS colleagues to promote agriculture.
Strategize extension educational events that also offer continuing education units (CEUs) relevant to target clientele.
Establish and maintain an effective system for accountability.
Produce "audience-friendly" creative works and publications.
Actively participate in professional societies (e.g., committees, leadership roles).
Write an annual plan of work and report of accomplishment.
Work closely with Manatee County Government to follow all procedures and guidelines as a joint employee of UF/IFAS and Manatee County Government.
Assume other responsibilities that benefit the total county extension program as assigned by the District Extension Director and County Extension Director.
Further information:

Employment is contingent on the results of a physical examination, a substance screening, and a national background screening.

Manatee County is located on Florida’s west coast, south of Tampa/St. Petersburg and north of Sarasota. It comprises 741 square miles with 150 miles of coastline. The county seat is Bradenton, the home of Tropicana Products, and winter home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The county population is approximately 386,000. Manatee County 7th in Florida for agriculture production. Commodities include tomato and vegetables, citrus, beef cattle, and ornamental production. Manatee County ranks 13th in the state in market value of ornamentals, with nursery stock and floriculture/foliage crops making up the bulk of production.

Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. As such, all partners are involved in the supervision of the office and contribute to the salary and support resources. The primary goal of Extension is to disseminate the latest knowledge and applicable technologies in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. The UF/IFAS mission is accomplished through extension faculty members, scientists, educators, administrative staff, and volunteers working cohesively throughout Florida’s 67 counties.

Candidates will be reviewed as applications are received, but please be aware that interviews might not be scheduled until 4 to 6 weeks after the position closing date. Apply to become a part of our growing team!

What you will bring (required):

A bachelor’s degree in plant science, horticultural science, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university. We will accept applicants without a bachelor’s degree if the degree will be earned by August 2021. If hired solely with a bachelor’s degree, you will be expected to advance your career by making at least 50% progress towards obtaining your master’s degree within the first 6 years of employment.
Strong written and verbal interpersonal and communication skills.
Abilities to establish solid partnerships and find innovative ways to attract new audiences and volunteers.
A commitment to customer service.
A commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) guidelines of UF/IFAS Extension.
Ability to possess (or be able to obtain) a Florida driver’s license.
Flexibility with working hours; willingness to work irregular hours including occasional evenings, weekends, and overnight travel.
What you will bring (preferred):

A master’s in plant science, horticultural science, or closely related field; or a Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) degree.
Experience creating lesson plans, developing instructional materials, and applying teaching methods appropriate for the audience.
A strong commitment to community.
Practical experience in extension education, particularly in southwest Florida horticulture production.
Working knowledge of plant diagnostics, best management practices, and integrated pest management.
Working knowledge of business plans and practices, grades and standards, soils, and sustainable production practices.
Familiarity with local, state, and federal pesticide and landscaping licensing requirements.
Evidence of exceptional collaborations, partnerships, and marketing with community agencies and groups.
Experience working in multicultural settings; bilingual in English/Spanish is a plus.
Technological literacy necessary for communication and program management.
Certifications for Core, Agriculture Row Crop, and Demonstration and Research pesticide license categories.
Expertise in leading groups to work together for a higher goal, managing competing priorities, practicing resilience, and the adaptability to handle unexpected situations.
Apply at by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) of the posting end date, and attach:

Cover letter that describes how your experience and qualifications have prepared you for this position
Résumé or Curriculum vitae
Unofficial copies of all transcripts and/or coursework of your academic degrees
The following documents are also required and may either be submitted through the above link at the time of application, or sent separately to our office (below).

Current and Previous Employment Form (located at… ).
A minimum of 3 reference rating forms (located at ) from your professional/academic references. Reference forms will be kept on file for 1 year and will be automatically used with any of our extension agent positions you apply for during that time.
Reference rating forms and unofficial transcripts not submitted at the time of application should be submitted/postmarked by the next business day after the position’s closing date. They may be submitted to:

Ms. Dana LeCuyer
UF IFAS Human Resources
Faculty Recruitment and Hiring
P O Box 110281
Gainesville, FL 32611-0281

Fax: (352) 392-3226

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 University of Florida is An Equal Employment Opportunity Institution. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352/392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800/955-8771 (TDD). Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida’s Sunshine Law.


  • Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
    The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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Please reference in your cover letter when
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Contact Information

  • Dana LeCuyer
    UF/IFAS Extension
    University of Florida
    PO Box 110281
    Gainesville, FL 32611
  • 13523923226

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