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
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
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
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
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
Develop and maintain effective communication and working relationships with appropriate agribusiness, industry partners, other educational institutions and governmental agencies and organizations.