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Small Farms and Specialty Crops Program Academic Coordinator I

County Locations: Fresno County, Tulare County
Location: UC ANR - Davis

Date Posted: February 8, 2023
Closing Date: March 13, 2023

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Position Overview

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for a Small Farms and Specialty Crops Program Academic Coordinator I (AC I). UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers, educators and support staff dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and (community)health issues. Research, outreach and education from locally based CE offices serves all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC System.

Location Headquarters. UCCE Fresno County, Fresno, CA

Purpose. The Academic Coordinator (AC I) will coordinate development and delivery of educational programming including workshops, field days, and other events, educational materials targeting small-scale, diversified, and socially disadvantaged farmers, and farmer participation and engagement in research and extension efforts. The AC I will develop educational events, methods, and materials for farmer education that are appropriately developed for the target audiences, evaluated for continuous improvement, and integrated with the goals and activities of the Small Farms and Specialty Crops research and extension program in Fresno and Tulare Counties across multiple grant-funded projects.

Major Duties and Responsibilities
Programmatic competence includes: coordination of extension programming development, delivery, and evaluation; direct engagement with farmers and other stakeholders; and coordination of activities and equipment for projects involving multiple staff and participating farmers.

The position includes:
• Extension Programming Development. The AC will coordinate the development of innovative, participant-based approaches to outreach and education for small-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers, diversified farms, and specialty crop farmers and review, finalize, and disseminate educational content. Extension efforts will include events such as workshops and field days, extension presentations and educational materials in English and Spanish, and individual extension support and technical assistance to small-scale, socially disadvantaged farmers. The AC will also work with staff and academics to tailor presentations, publications, and activities to reach a non-technical audience and may supervise staff, volunteers, and students assisting with extension efforts.


  • Evaluation of Extension Efforts. The AC will evaluate educational extension efforts and educational materials to assess their efficacy and impacts in addressing the challenges facing small-scale, diversified, and socially disadvantaged specialty crop farmers. Evaluation will include tracking attendance and participation for events and ongoing research and extension projects, contributing to both internal and external required reporting, conducting formal and informal evaluations of educational methods, communicating frequently with farmers and program staff and academics, and continuing professional development in program evaluation and assessment.


  • Stakeholder Engagement. The AC will engage with stakeholders to identify research, extension and training needs. Stakeholders include small-scale and diversified growers, socially disadvantaged farmers, non-profit partner organizations, regulators, and policymakers. The AC will plan and conduct “train the trainer” workshops for UC ANR and partner organization staff working with small-scale, diversified, and socially disadvantaged farmers, both in the counties served and in collaboration with the Small Farms Network.  


  • Technical Support and Logistics. The AC will coordinate technical assistance, communication with farmers, and logistics for projects involving soil conservation practices on small-scale and diversified farms. Duties will include oversight and management of farm equipment belonging to the Small Farms and Specialty Crops Program available for small-scale farmers to use for implementation of soil conservation practices. The AC will facilitate farmer participation in on-farm research activities and communicate regularly with program staff and academics regarding farmer schedules, needs, and use of equipment and will develop and track safety policies and procedures for the use of equipment. This position includes travel to farms and research sites.


Reporting Relationship: The Academic Coordinator is administratively responsible to the UC ANR Cooperative Extension Small Farms and Specialty Crops Advisor in Fresno County with input from the Fresno/Tulare County Director. 

Qualifications and Skills Required


Required Qualifications:
Education: A minimum of a Master’s degree in the agricultural, biological, or social sciences including coursework and/or experience relevant to agricultural production and/or extension education is required at the time of appointment.

Additional Requirements
• Prior experience working in an agricultural setting or working directly with farmers.
• Strong background and experience in extension education, including development and evaluation of educational methods.
Academic Coordinator I – Small Farms and Specialty Crops
• Experience communicating technical information to culturally diverse audiences and non-technical audiences.
• Experience in project management and coordinating activities of multiple team members.
• Experience with on-farm operations such as use of farm equipment.
• Knowledge of relevant safety procedures and commitment to ensuring safety of staff and farmers participating in extension and research activities.
• Background and experience in field relevant to small farms extension, such as food safety, irrigation and nutrient management, integrated pest management, pesticide safety and compliance, technical assistance for grants and incentives programs, or other areas relevant to regulatory compliance or on-farm production.
• Verbal and written Spanish proficiency sufficient to communicate directly with grower clientele and assist in developing educational materials in Spanish.
• Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed, proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicle used is required. Must possess valid California Driver's License to drive a County or University vehicle.

Desired Experience
• Passion and desire to pursue a career in Cooperative Extension.
• Demonstrated ability to effectively plan projects and assist in implementing an applied research and outreach program, including setting measurable goals and objectives.
• Professional certificates, licenses, or other training certifications completed in relevant fields such as food safety, pesticide safety, pesticide application, or agronomy.
• Coursework or other training in program evaluation and assessment.
• Experience working with multidisciplinary teams.
• Experience managing, coordinating, or supervising activities of staff, volunteers, or students.

Skills Required: To be successful, Academic Coordinators require skills in the following:

Technical Competence and Impact
The candidate should have an understanding of the needs and challenges of small-scale and diversified agricultural production systems and be able to design and implement extension programming that leads to positive changes and impact within the community and beyond.
Demonstrated ability to prepare, deliver, and evaluate educational materials and extension programming.
Strong experience in one or more fields relevant to production and/or regulatory challenges such as pest management, food safety, irrigation, nutrient management, or soil conservation.

Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, and interpersonal and social media communication skills. Public speaking to diverse stakeholders is a routine part of this position. Spanish language proficiency is required.
Demonstrated ability to share complex information in a manner tailored to a non-technical audience. Prior experience communicating with culturally diverse audiences is desired.

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a team member with colleagues, public agencies, partner organizations, and other stakeholders. Able to adapt as circumstances warranted. Aware and willing to actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Lifelong Learning
Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement. Ability to shift program focus as times and organizational needs change.

Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review (including Professional Competence, University and Public Service and Affirmative Action and DEI) at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/355229.pdf


About UC ANR
The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across California. We are committed to developing and supporting practical, science-based solutions that contribute to healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in the counties throughout the state of California.

Learn more about
• UC ANR at https://UCANR.edu
• UC ANR in counties: https://ucanr.edu/sites/ucanr/County_Offices/
• Our Strategic Initiatives http://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/
• Our Public Value statements at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/UC_ANR_Public_Values/
• DEI: Further to the above, academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/Office_-_Team_Management/Diversity_Equity_Inclusion_Belonging/
• Affirmative Action: Further to the above, academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/
• The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

Salary & Benefits
The beginning salary will be in the Academic Coordinator I series. The beginning salary range is from Step 1 -$57,100 to Step 4- $65,119 annually. Step placement in this series is based on experience. For information regarding the Academic Coordinator series salary scales, please refer to: https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2022-23/july-2022-salary-scales/t36-i.pdf

This is a definite term appointment. This position is funded for 1 year, with the possibility of renewal based on performance and availability of funding. The performance in this position will be evaluated annually. The merit cycle for this position will be evaluated every two (2) years.

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and approximately thirteen paid holidays per year. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html

How to Apply
If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #22-71)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by March 13, 2023

Contact Mikyla Perez - mikperez@ucanr.edu

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without need of employer sponsorship) for the duration of the appointment period.


As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.
As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited.