Area Fruit Specialist – Lake Ontario Fruit Program (Cooperative Extension); Western New York
Area Fruit Specialist
Lake Ontario Fruit Program Cornell Cooperative Extension College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
Western New York
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University's second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.
The Lake Ontario Fruit Program partners with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne, Orleans, Niagara, Monroe, and Oswego Counties, Cornell University Cooperative Extension and faculty to provide educational programs for the commercial fruit industry, using research-based information to help the tree fruit and berry industries in New York compete in the world market and provide safe, high-quality produce for consumers.
Primarily, the objectives of the Lake Ontario Fruit Program are to maintain competitiveness and profitability of New York fruit farms in a global market; evaluate new technology for potential increases in efficiency through applied research; assist in the adoption and implementation of appropriate technologies; improve production and delivery of high quality fruit to consumers; and to reduce financial, legal, labor, environmental, and health risks.
Focus of the position:
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. 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.
The job duties include:
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.
Analyze and evaluate major program efforts with the input of all program partners and make recommendations for enhancing these efforts.
Prepare quarterly reports, impact statements, and yearly success stories on program progress and accomplishments.
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.
Meet the evaluation and reporting requirements of funding partners.
Support team efforts in communication with stakeholders and partners.
Individually and collaboratively explore and pursue new and additional funding sources to enhance and extend program opportunities.
Support Cornell University and Cooperative Extension system-wide initiatives through participation in program work teams, ad-hoc committees and advisory groups.
Participate in professional development opportunities, conferences and workshops appropriate to program and personal skill enhancement.
This position is full-time and will be located in Western New York. This is a three-year appointment with possible extension depending on funding and performance.
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 applied research.
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 production.
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 driver's license.
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.
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Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.
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