Penn States seeks Extension Educator – Specialty Crop Innovations

Extension Educator – Specialty Crop Innovations, Penn State University

Job Information 

  • Location: Reading, Pennsylvania, 19533, United States (Berks County, the center of the Southeastern PA fruit industry)
  • Job ID: 37047917
  • Posted: September 13, 2017
  • Position Title: Extension Educator – Specialty Crop Innovations
  • Company Name: Penn State Extension
  • Job Function: Extension
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: Indefinite
  • Min Education: Master’s Degree
  • Min Experience: 2-3 Years
  • Required Travel: 10-25%


Extension Educator – (Specialty Crop Innovations)

The College of Agricultural Sciences is seeking an individual trained in plant science with horticultural crop production experience.  As a member of the Extension Tree Fruit  State Team, the extension educator will conduct applied research and extension outreach to increase environmental, social, and economic sustainability of specialty crop production.  The individual will lead the effort to develop the online course for Starting a Tree Fruit Business in collaboration with the Tree Fruit Team.  They will also develop educational outreach programming specific to the needs of next generation specialty crop growers and coordinate the Penn State Extension Young Grower Alliance. The successful candidate will develop and/or participate in interdisciplinary collaborations across multiple disciplines and institutions and be able to work effectively in a team and with diverse populations and audiences. All team members are expected to participate in the development of a diverse external funding portfolio (e.g. grants, contracts, cost recovery, development) in support of the team’s programs. The individual will be expected to develop original content to engage audiences through innovative educational methods such as online courses, videos, mobile apps, and electronic publications in addition to traditional publications and in-person presentations.

The individual will provide technical support for specialty crop growers in the areas of integrated pest and cultural management, precision management and labor efficient production, and managing environmental and economic risks. Program impact will be measured by:

  • Increased production of specialty crops by a next generation of producers
  • Adoption of best practices to increase environmental and socio- economic sustainability of specialty crop production
  • Increased profitability through specialty crop innovation and diversification

Critical performance measures include development of:

  • Risk management strategies to increase horticultural innovation and sustainability
  • Innovations to address the intensive workforce needs of specialty crops
  • Specialty crop demonstration trials to improve environmental stewardship and precision management
  • A diverse external funding portfolio including grants, contracts, cost recovery, and sponsorship

The position requires a minimum of a Master’s degree plus two years of related experience for level 3. Excellent verbal and written communications skills required in English, valued in Spanish. Candidate must possess effective teaching skills, interpersonal skills, ability to build effective working relationships with colleagues and clientele, and work as a member of a team. The candidate must be organized and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Other requirements include: 1)Proficiency in the use of computer software packages such as Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint; 2) ability to carry equipment, educational materials and supplies with or without accommodation, 3) the ability to travel, and 4) a valid driver’s license and use of a private automobile. Since this position requires that you operate a motor vehicle as part of your job duties, successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. This position is an opportunity to join one of the nation’s leading extension organizations at a time when it is embarking on an exciting new business model that encourages risk-taking and innovation.  Interested parties can apply at


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