Sustainable Food Group Manager Position

Management position available in Madison, Wisconsin with a rapidly growing independent non-profit organization working to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and other best practices. Primary responsibilities are to provide leadership and oversight of the organization’s Sustainable Food Group programs. Our team helps food companies, supply chains, certification programs and others generate and communicate credible, science-based
improvements in sustainability outcomes, including through grower support. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated passion for food and agriculture and management experience in sustainable agriculture.

The successful candidate will report to the IPM Institute director and manage relationships with project partners including developing and meet timelines and budgets. The candidate will manage our Sustainable Food Group team to ensure operational excellence and growth in impacts. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced professional with a deep understanding of agriculture to generate positive impacts. Strong leadership skills and a proven track record of establishing and building productive relationships are essential.

Experience and Qualifications:
 Demonstrated passion for food, agriculture and sustainability.
 Demonstrated ability to identify and overcome challenges, work creatively to set strategies and achieve objectives.
 Excellent communication, interpersonal, networking, advocacy, and strategic and decision-making skills.
 Highly motivated and self-directed.
 Successful track record managing impactful projects, including setting and meeting budgets, managing staff and client relationships.
 Bachelor’s Degree (Masters Degree preferred) in biological sciences related field with management-level experience or above.
 Multiple years of experience in agriculture and/or food industry.

Salary and Benefits:
 We offer a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package.
Application Process:
 Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, references and salary history to
 Position will remain posted until filled.
 We will not contact references without prior approval. All applications will be held in
 Position available immediately.

About us:
The IPM Institute was formed in 1998 to leverage marketplace power to improve health and environment through Integrated Pest Management and other best practices. Our team currently includes 20 motivated individuals working on more than a dozen major projects. Clients and funders include USDA, US EPA, Lamb Weston, McCain Foods, Simplot, Sysco, General Mills and others. Major projects include the Sustainable Food Group, Potato Sustainability Initiative, Sysco Sustainable/IPM Initiative, Green Shield Certified and IPM STAR, Tick IPM Working Group and others.

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Important Notice to NIFA’s Stakeholder Community

NIFA is back and open for business! We thank you for your patience during the lapse in appropriations. It has not been easy for our grantees, but we are committed to resuming normal operations as soon as possible. Thank you also for your strong support for our employees. They are truly dedicated to you, and while we are operating under a three-week continuing resolution, we will work hard to get back to business as usual.

First, we will prioritize items and start with the matters needing the most attention, including the processing of the backlog of awards and payments, rescheduling canceled peer review panels, processing no-cost extensions and other grant actions, responding to ASAP and other grant and program inquiries, and reopening requests for applications (RFAs) that were open during the lapse. The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants and the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program RFAs will be reposted and extended for seven business days from the date of re-publication. The Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants Program (BRAG) RFA deadline of February 20, 2019, will be extended seven additional business days. Please sign up for NIFA updates on RFAs at to be notified when these RFA’s are reposted. Additionally, in coordination with Sec. Sonny Perdue and his staff, we’ll start working on implementing the 2018 Farm Bill.

Thank you, again. We appreciate your continuing support. If you haven’t already signed up for our weekly stakeholder update, sign up for updates here (link is external).

Dr. J. Scott Angle
NIFA Director

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.

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NIFA Career Opportunities

Director of Communications
NIFA is recruiting for the position of Director of Communications. This is a crucial leadership position for NIFA. The position is posted on USA Jobs under two announcement numbers. NIFA-M19Y-0534 is open to current permanent federal employees with competitive status. NIFA-S19Y-0533 is open to all U.S. citizens. All applications must be received by Feb. 5, 2019.

Please note that this vacancy was previously announced in December and the closing date was impacted by the Government shutdown. The vacancy has been re-announced and is open for five business days. All applicants who previously applied must resubmit their application to the new vacancy announcement in order to be considered. If you have any questions, please contact HR Specialist Jensen Dobbins at 703-259-9463.

Planning and Accountability Officer
NIFA is recruiting for the position of the Planning and Accountability Officer. This is a crucial leadership position for NIFA. The position is posted on USA Jobs. Job announcement NIFA-M19Y-0531 is open to current permanent federal employees with competitive status and NIFA-S19Y-0532 is open to all U.S. citizens. All applications must be received by Feb. 5, 2019.

Please note that this vacancy was previously announced in December and the closing date was impacted by the Government shutdown. The vacancy has been re-announced and is open for five business days. All applicants who previously applied must resubmit their application to the new vacancy announcement in order to be considered. If you have any questions, please contact HR Specialist Frederick Kirby at 703-259-9350.

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Corn Growth and Development-University of Nebraska, CropWatch

Corn ear issues that affronted Nebraska in 2016 still plague some farmers, reducing productivity and causing us, as researchers, to continue to ponder possible causes.

In July 2016, ear formation issues in the state were reported in several corn fields ranging from the Texas Panhandle to eastern Colorado and through Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. Nebraska’s reports ranged from Dawson to Saunders counties and south to Kansas with numerous reports in Clay and Thayer counties. A CropWatch article was released to raise awareness of these issues (Elmore et al., 2016). In 2017, a follow up article was released in the Crop Production Clinic Proceedings (McMechan et al., 2017). Our current article summarizes what we’ve learned to  date.

To review the full article from University of Nebraska’s CropWatch, click here.

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Assistant Professor, Functional Genomics Entomology, University of Minnesota

The Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota invites applications for a tenure-track, Assistant Professor in Functional Genomics related to agricultural pest management. This is a nine-month appointment with primary research (60%) and teaching (40%) responsibilities.

A doctorate (PhD or international equivalent) degree in entomology or closely related field of biological sciences, training and experience in functional genomics research, demonstrated record of research productivity, working in a collaborative capacity, teaching, training or mentoring undergraduate or graduate students, and excellent written and verbal communication skills are required.

Full position description including responsibilities, and application instructions available at:
Initial screening of applicant files will begin on February 22, 2019.
For questions about the position, please contact Prof. Tim Kurtti, Chair of the Search Committee at

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Assistant Professor of Urban Landscape Entomology, University of California, Davis

Title: Assistant Professor of Urban Landscape Entomology.

The Department of Entomology and Nematology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis is recruiting an Assistant
Professor of Entomology with a preferred emphasis in the biology/ecology of invasive arthropods, integrated pest management and/or biological control. This is an academic year (9-month), Assistant Professor tenure-track position with teaching, research, outreach/engagement and service responsibilities and includes the expectation that the
appointee will conduct mission-oriented research and outreach/engagement of relevance to the California Agricultural Experiment Station (

The Department of Entomology and Nematology is seeking applicants that focus on the biology/ecology of invasive arthropods and developing integrated pest management and biological control strategies for pests of the urban landscape. The appointee is expected to establish a competitively funded research program in urban entomology to
address critical or emerging biological and societal issues in the urban landscape. The appointee will be responsible for courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, potentially contributing to ENT10 Natural History of Insects (3 units), Animal Biology ABI 50A, 50B or 50C (2-3 units), ENT100 General Entomology (4 units), ENT135 Introduction
to Biological Control (4 units) and participatory graduate seminars (e.g., ENT295N Advanced Biological Control). The appointee is expected to teach formal courses in two academic quarters each year, and participate in curricular development for the Animal Biology and Entomology Majors. Participation in and development of public outreach
and/or community engagement programs, and performance of departmental and university service is expected. This position is expected to work with Cooperative Extension specialists and advisors, partners in allied industries and other appropriate public stakeholders.

Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Entomology or the Life Sciences. Post-doctoral experience is preferred. Evidence of research excellence is expected. The candidate should have the ability to develop and instruct undergraduate and graduate courses and the ability to develop and conduct extramurally funded research in urban entomology.

Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Application materials must be submitted via the following website:

The position will remain open until filled.
Required application materials include: 1) curriculum vitae including publication list, 2) up to three publications, 3) transcripts if the applicant is within five years of Ph.D. degree, 4) statement of research accomplishments, 5) statement of teaching accomplishments and philosophy, 6) statement of future research plans relevant to urban entomology, 7)  Statement of Contributions to Diversity, and 8) letters from four professional references.

Additional inquiries should be directed to Lynn Kimsey, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616,, the Recruitment Advisory Committee chair.

UC Davis is an affirmative action/equal employment opportunity employer and is dedicated to recruiting a diverse faculty community. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply, including women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

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Area Fruit Specialist Cornell Cooperative Extension Administration

POSITION TITLE: Extension Associate
WORKING TITLE: Area Fruit Specialist – Integrated Pest Management

TITLE OF IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR: Team Leader-Lake Ontario Fruit Team
DEPARTMENT: Cornell Cooperative Extension Administration
LOCATION: Lake Ontario Region – Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego and Wayne Counties

Position Function
Provide commercial fruit growers, producers, consultants and industry representatives with the knowledge and educational resources necessary to assess and adopt integrated pest management practices that will enhance their profitability and sustain the growth of the fruit industry in Western New York.

Anticipated Division of Time
Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation 45%
 Provide leadership for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs that address producer identified needs and opportunities. Emphasis is on the demonstration and adoption of Integrated Pest Management principles and practices leading to economical and environmentally sound use of pesticides to maximize fruit quality, profitability, and sustainability.
 Assist in program development and delivery of pesticide safety training for the fruit
 Provide producers and industry with a framework to analyze and implement pest
management alternatives and to maximize profit opportunities based on emerging pests
and best-management practices.
 Plan and implement educational programs utilizing a variety of methods including direct teaching through group experiences, mass media, newsletters, electronic technology, use of the internet and social media.
 One-on-one consultations with key producers and industry partners related to program
development and problem solving.
 Analyze and evaluate major program efforts with the input of all program partners and
make recommendations for enhancing these efforts.
 Communicate evaluation results, findings, and recommendations as appropriate.
 Prepare quarterly reports and yearly impact statements on program progress and

Applied Research 25%
 Initiate and conduct field demonstrations and applied research projects using integrated
approaches to manage insect pests, diseases, weeds, and others as appropriate to the
needs of commercial fruit production in Western New York.
 Participate in statewide, collaborative research projects with university and extension
faculty and staff as well as other agencies and organizations.
 Define and implement reporting mechanisms for producer-focused “measurable”
 Meet the evaluation and reporting requirements of funding partners.
Program Management 20%
 Responsible for routine operations, reporting and accountability.
 Support team efforts in communication with stakeholders and partners.
 Support team efforts in planning and implementing of regional and statewide events.
 Individually and collaboratively explore and pursue new and additional funding sources
to enhance and extend program opportunities.

Professional Development 5%
 Participate in professional development opportunities, conferences and workshops
appropriate to program and personal skill enhancement.
 Participate in related regional, statewide, and national professional organizations.
Organizational Leadership 5%
 Support Cornell University and Cooperative Extension system-wide initiatives through
participation in program development work teams, ad-hoc committees and advisory
 Participate in regional, statewide and national program development work groups related to the work of Cornell University, Cooperative Extension and the Fruit Industry.
 Foster strong collaboration among faculty, peers, and industry.
 Establish and maintain positive relationships with the many individuals and groups that
support the work of the organization.

 Masters Degree in Agriculture from an accredited institution with a major in Pest
Management or closely associated field (entomology, plant pathology, etc.).
 2+ years of relevant work experience in Agribusiness, Crop Production, Cooperative
Extension, or closely related fields.
 Experience in conducting, interpreting, evaluating and communicating the results of
applied research.
 Knowledge of the philosophy, objectives, and operation of an informal education system
such as Cornell Cooperative Extension.
 Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to work with diverse audiences in group
and one-on-one settings; working effectively with advisory boards and committees,
community and funding partners.
 Proven organizational and time-management skills.
 Ability to define, conduct and interpret applied research and demonstration projects.
 Successful experience obtaining new funding including grants and industry support.
 Strong leadership and teamwork skills.
 Effective written and verbal communication skills.
 Fundamental competence utilizing current technology as a management and program
delivery tool (Microsoft Office, Internet, Social Media and Web development).
 Appreciation of Agriculture as a business and as a lifestyle.
 Appreciation of the benefits/risks in the use of pesticides as tools in perennial fruit crop
 Creativity, energy, motivation and positive enthusiasm.
 Ability to work evenings and weekends as essential job functions require.
 Must possess or have the ability to acquire a New York State Certified Pesticide
Applicators License within one year from start date.
 Must be able to meet the travel requirements of the position, and have reliable
transportation as well as have and maintain a valid and unrestricted New York State
driver’s license.

 Coursework in crop protection that compliments the Masters Degree focus: horticulture,
pomology, plant physiology, soils, adult education, and communications.
 Knowledge and experience in current and emerging fruit crop production practices.
 Working knowledge of technical vocabulary and jargon common to Spanish-speaking
workers on fruit farms.

Administrative direction and guidance provided by the State Extension Specialist for Regional Agriculture Programs. Program development guidance and support provided by the State Extension Specialist for Regional Agriculture Programs, faculty leader, Area Program Team Leader, and LOF advisory committee.
Academic oversight and guidance provided by designated faculty in the School of Integrative Plant Science Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology and the Department of Entomology. Program oversight and direction provided by the LOF Administrative Management Group (AMG) comprised of Executive Directors of partner Extension Associations, the faculty leader, and the State Extension Specialist for Regional Agriculture Programs.

Administrative and Program Relationships
Work as a member of a four person specialist team.
Work as a member of existing regional, multi-county and statewide teams and work groups.
Work closely with faculty and administration at Cornell AgriTech and the Hudson Valley
Research Laboratory.
Build collaborative relationships and maintain timely and effective communication with partner
County Extension Associations.
Build and maintain effective relationships with producers/growers, consultants and other
industry representatives.
Develop and maintain effective communication and working relationships with appropriate agribusiness, industry partners, other educational institutions and governmental agencies and organizations.

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Chemical Component of IPM Gets the Spotlight during National Pesticide Safety Education Month

The second annual National Pesticide Safety Education Month gets underway February 1st, to reinforce core principles of safe handling and use and to raise awareness of and support for the land-grant university Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs). Pesticide safety is an absolute requirement when using the chemical component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

“IPM considers the variety of pest management methods and teaches how to properly manage pests, whether the approach contains chemicals or not,” says Cecil Tharp, Montana State University PSEP. “A vital role of PSEPs in teaching IPM is to pass along the message that it is not solely pesticides that should be used to deal with pests,” adds Jon Johnson, Penn State University PSEP.

“We take all the IPM strategies and do a lot of planning to prevent pests. If there is an unacceptable pest infestation at some point, pesticides may be required and their safe use is essential,” explains Lisa Blecker, University of California PSEP. “The IPM process has the key role in helping applicators understand all the available tools and make appropriate decisions to control the pest,” notes Clyde Ogg, University of Nebraska PSEP. “That includes being as smart as we can in the use of pesticides,” adds Gene Merkl, Mississippi State University PSEP.

“While PSEPs are often focused on teaching the safe use of pesticides, pesticides are only one possible choice in the IPM toolbox and not always the best choice,” says Mimi Rose, Ohio State University PSEP. “Even if the applicator chooses to use a pesticide, there are other pest management practices that must also be followed to successfully manage the pest.” Don Renchie, Texas A&M PSEP, summarizes the big picture – “When everyone understands the importance of IPM strategies and other best management practices, it avoids problems for the general public and the environment, and for pesticide applicators. With or without pesticides, protecting human health and the environment is always the goal.”

Visit the National Pesticide Safety Education Month webpage to review basic pesticide safety principles and much more. Everyone is invited to share the link with others and use the educational resources, self-assessment and quiz to promote safe use of pesticides, whenever pesticides are used.

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Advocacy of Genetically Modified Crops is Needed to Increase Acceptance Worldwide

Fall Armyworm (FAW) is an insect pest many producers are familiar with in the United States. Unfortunately, farmers in Brazil and now in sub-Saharan Africa (48 of 51 countries; see Figure 1) also know first-hand the significant damage caused by this insect. Genetically modified (GM) crops, specifically Bacillusthuringiensis (Bt) maize, are a tool that farmers in sub-Saharan Africa could use to combat FAW. Currently, 13 countries in Africa are engaged in research and testing of GM crops, yet only one country, South Africa, has approved making Bt maize commercially available to farmers.

The anticipated world population growth emphasizes a need to produce more food on less land. Cutting-edge technologies, including genetic engineering, can help to develop improved crop varieties and protect natural resources. Many producers in the U.S. readily know the benefits of growing GM crops. In many parts of the world, in spite of the potential for GM crops to make crop production more efficient, they remain a polarizing issue due to safety concerns.

Providing policy makers and the public with information about how GM crops are evaluated can be a helpful step to improve acceptance. A new article in the journal Global Food Security, Risks and opportunities of GM crops: Bt maize example, provides an overview of the risk assessment process. The safety of Bt proteins is used as an example for how risk assessment is applied to GM crops. Risks associated with GM crops have proven to be low to non-existent. Developing countries would benefit from GM technologies as one tool to improve crop yields and reduce production challenges. Advocacy from producers in developed countries where the benefit of GM crops has been experienced can be an additional source of support for fellow farmers around the world. One way producers can support each other is through programs like the Farmer-to-Farmer program.

This article was initially published on the University of Nebraska CropWatch.

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Seeking a Director for the Western IPM Center

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), is
seeking a Director to assume leadership for its Western IPM Center within the UC Statewide IPM Program. The Director will provide overall leadership of the Western IPM Center, with responsibility for its successful management and operations, including supervision of Western IPM Center staff. The Director will collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to identify regional IPM need and objectives and formulate strategies to address important IPM issues. The Director will communicate with the WIPMC Advisory Committee and represent the Western IPM Center to other agencies at the state, regional, and national levels to identify opportunities for collaboration. The Director will oversee official responses to federal agency information requests that will be prepared by the Center’s regional Network Coordinators and other state contacts. For more, please view the employment page, and reference position #18-08.

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