Extension Educator 3 (Associate Extension Educator)

Penn State Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences Published: December 13, 2017
Job Type
Freelance / Limited Contract
Education / Farm / Organics /

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~ The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center (AEC) was founded in 2008 by the College of Agricultural Science's Environment and Natural Resources Institute (ENRI) in collaboration with Penn State Extension and the Penn State Experiment Station. ~

The AEC's mission is to catalyze integrated research and engagement related to the impacts of land use and land management on water and the environment.

It seeks to build and sustain partnerships with stakeholders engaged in land and water issues and integrate the College and the University's education, research, community outreach and extension assets to help communities and stakeholders solve land and water-related environmental problems at multiple scales.

Since its founding, the AEC has been highly effective in engaging diverse stakeholders involved in addressing today's water quality challenges. Moving forward, we will continue to provide innovative and dynamic leadership to achieve healthy land, water and environment through integrated research, extension, education and collaborative community engagement.

Position Overview

The College of Agricultural Sciences is seeking an individual trained in plant science with horticultural crop production experience. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with good possibility of re-funding.


  • 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 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.


  • Typically requires a Master's degree or higher plus two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 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:

  • Proficiency in the use of computer software packages such as Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to carry equipment, educational materials and supplies with or without accommodation.
  • The ability to travel, and use of a private automobile.
  • 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.

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