Agricultural Outreach Specialist

Penn State University

Middletown, PA, USA 🇺🇸

JOB DESCRIPTION AND POSITION REQUIREMENTS:

The Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES) and its Agriculture and Environment Center (AEC) is seeking a qualified candidate to serve as an Agricultural Outreach Specialist to aid in the execution of its collaborative and integrated research, Extension, outreach, and education programs throughout Pennsylvania and beyond, with a specific emphasis in the priority region of the Lower Susquehanna. The work involves extensive outreach and education to farmers, rural landowners, communities, local governments, and agriculture-related businesses/industry about agricultural conservation, climate-smart agricultural practices, and soil and water health. The work is a mix of educational programming, outreach and education working with stakeholder organizations and landowners, volunteer and student intern coordination and management, and complex partnership and project management.  Primary duties include:

  • Design, develop and implement educational and outreach programs to landowners, stakeholders and the public related to agricultural conservation and climate-smart practices, water quality, stream health, and riparian ecosystems, including interpretation and dissemination of the latest research findings in these fields. This includes development and dissemination of publications, articles, websites, social media material, and presentations.
  • Organize, coordinate, and manage public educational and outreach events such as field days, farmer meetings, workshops, and tours, including meetings of the C3RP Soil Health Hub, a program of the statewide Pennsylvania Soil Health Coalition.
  • Lead and manage a robust public-private agricultural education, outreach and implementation partnership in priority watersheds in the high intensity agricultural region of the Lower Susquehanna, in support of the AEC’s novel community watershed engagement program. 
  • In support of the AEC’s novel community watershed engagement program, develop and manage watershed restoration projects and programs within priority watersheds, including budgetary, planning, and implementation activities. This work involves devising, planning and executing complex tasks to ensure funding and technical assistance resources and partners are secured and deployed to successfully implement priority conservation projects on landowner properties, assisting in administration of external funds to support projects, and serving as lead liaison between landowners and multiple watershed partners to make complex projects happen and achieve watershed restoration goals in a timely manner. It involves coordinating all administrative, financial, personnel and planning aspects of watershed restoration projects on behalf of the AEC. 
  • Respond to stakeholder inquiries and conduct landowner outreach for project development purposes associated with implementation and research goals of the AEC’s novel community watershed engagement program and the College of Agricultural Sciences’ climate-smart agriculture program, including site visits and various forms of communications to discuss conservation and climate-smart practice implementation and field research opportunities.
  • Facilitate inter-organizational collaboration between various stakeholders, partners, and state and federal agencies through representation of Penn State on priority stakeholder groups and advisory committees and through helping to manage watershed and climate-smart agricultural partnerships facilitated by the AEC. This work includes responding to requests from various governmental agencies seeking information necessary to make decisions that ultimately affect stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and manage volunteers, contractors and conservation partners in the field to implement and maintain conservation practices associated with outcomes of the AEC’s novel community watershed engagement program. 

This position offers a flexible work arrangement that combines remote and on-campus work. Questions related to flexible work should be directed to the hiring manager during the interview process. This is a limited term position funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of refunding. 

Education and Experience:

This position typically requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher plus 2 years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience A degree in either the field of Agricultural sciences or environmental sciences is preferred.

The ideal candidate would have knowledge in the following areas: Watershed and agricultural science; knowledge of farming and conservation practices on farms; watershed management and solutions to address water quality issues; experience with farming operations and communicating with farmers; experience and skills in communication and education; complex problem-solving skills; complex collaborative project management. 

The following background checks must be successfully completed for this position: 

This position will require successful completion of standard background checks.  This position requires that you operate a motor vehicle as a part of your job duties. A valid driver’s license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. 

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission. 

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS:

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. 

EEO IS THE LAW

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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Penn State is committed to the health of our local and global communities. As a condition of employment, all employees are required to comply with COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements. Click on Penn State Covid-19 Vaccination or Testing Requirements to learn about the requirements as well as general COVID-19 information at Penn State.

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Middletown, PA


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development