Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Position Description

Overview

An Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources, provides leadership in determining, implementing, and evaluating educational programs which are designed to solve social, economic, and environmental problems in agriculture and natural resources. The agent is an educator, an information provider, a needs assessor, a problem solving resource for clientele, and networks with the agricultural industry, specialists, Extension agents and agency representatives.

Specialty Areas

  • Horticulture
  • Animal Science
  • Crop and Soil Science

Major Responsibilities

  • Work closely with producers, agri-business, community leaders, Extension Leadership Councils and appropriate agents and specialists to identify and prioritize issues, problems and opportunities.
  • Use farm and business visits as a means to remain knowledgeable of specific local needs and problems related to agricultural production, marketing, and environmental protection.
  • Cooperate with other county departments, organizations and agencies as needed to strengthen or extend ANR programs. May serve as director or associate director on the local Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
  • Foster communication among agricultural producers, marketers, processors and consumers.
  • Identify potential industry leaders and help develop their capacity to accomplish community and industry goals.
  • Maintain a high level of proficiency in subject matter field by participating in in-service training and professional activities.
  • Creative and effective use of media to inform residents about current agriculture and natural resource practices and educational opportunities.
  • Provide current research-based information to citizens by employing various delivery methods targeted to diverse audiences; meetings/workshops, short courses, field days, tours, on-farm research, demonstrations, and other appropriate teaching methods.
  • Utilize electronic mail, the Internet and other advancing technology to serve the needs of local clientele and to communicate with Extension staff and others. Seek out and write specialized grant proposals to develop and enhance Extension education programming to meet local needs.
  • Collaborate with other staff for planning, implementing and evaluating 4-H and youth education programs.
  • Personal mobility/transportation required. Flexible working hours required. Position requires frequent night and weekend work, extensive reading, frequent travel throughout the county or city.
  • Cooperate with public and private organizations and individuals that share Extension's mission and objectives.
  • Coordinate plans of work with other agents and offices in the multi-county area. Administratively responsible to the District Director.
  • Programming will be conducted in compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Civil Rights policies and procedures.
  • Develop and implement evaluation plans, report impacts, outcomes, and results of programs to clientele, public, and administration
  • Work closely with citizens and local, state, and federal officials to aid Virginia in preparing and responding to natural or other emergencies and disasters.

Required Educational Qualifications

Must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree at the time of employment in a relevant discipline from an accredited college or university. Master's degree is preferred, with at least one degree in a discipline related to subject matter specialty area. Master's degree and promotion to Extension Agent are required no later than sixth year of employment.

Other Qualifications

  • Commercial agriculture experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, select, train and manage volunteers.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead groups, plan, implement, facilitate, teach and evaluate educational information programs.
  • Knowledge and use of computer technology in educational programming and management.
  • Effective verbal and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with low income, limited resource and minority audiences.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision in an unstructured setting.
  • Maintain a personal commitment to working with diverse clientele and colleagues, and a willingness to further the civil rights goals of Virginia Cooperative Extension.