Assistant Professor of Produce Food Safety
VA Tech - Virginia

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This is a 12-month, tenure track position with Research and Extension responsibilities which will be located at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center (ESAREC; http://www.vaes.vt.edu/painter) on the Virginia portion of the Delmarva Peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean (Virginiaâ??s largest vegetable production region). The position will have academic affiliation with the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (http://www.fst.vt.edu/). Responsibilities will include developing an innovative, nationally-recognized research and extension program focused on reducing foodborne pathogens in produce, fruit and specialty crops. Potential research areas include but are not limited to evaluating the impact of in-field and post-harvest practices on the risk of foodborne pathogen contamination of produce, mechanisms of survival and transfer of human pathogens on produce and survival of human pathogens in agricultural environments. The successful candidate will assist the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Fresh Produce Food Safety Team and VCE agents to ensure growers are familiar with and adhere to Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and any future produce safety rules (ie. Food Modernization Act) issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The successful candidate will develop an innovative Extension and outreach program to train growers on food safety regulations and offer advice on successfully dealing with audits. Large acreage vegetable crops of importance in Virginia include Irish potato, tomato, snap bean, cucumber, summer squash, sweet corn, pepper, cabbage, pumpkin and strawberry. Preference will be given to candidates that have knowledge in vegetable, fruit and/or specialty crop production and processing practices. Research should be applicable to grower needs and publishable in refereed journals. This position is part of a new cluster hiring initiative in Food Systems and Health within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, under the theme of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (http://www.cals.vt.edu/about/administration/cluster-hires/food-systems-and-health/index/.html). The initiative fits with Virginia Techâ??s emphasis on sustainability, resiliency of systems, food security, and health. It will consist initially of six positions, two of which will be housed at the ESAREC. Collaborations are possible with faculty located in various departments on the main campus in Blacksburg and with a number of Agricultural Research and Extension Centers located across the Commonwealth.

Minimum Qualifications
Candidates must demonstrate excellent communication skills and have the ability to work well with producers, farm consultants, researchers, Extension Agents, agribusiness personnel, and government agencies in the development and delivery of educational programs. Scholarship must be demonstrated through peer-reviewed research and Extension publications, advising graduate students, and securing extramural funding to support research and Extension programs. Prior to employment, candidates must have an earned Ph.D. degree in Food Science, Horticulture, Plant Pathology or a closely related field.

Preferred Qualifications
Preference may be given to postdoctoral experience in Food Science, Horticulture, Plant Pathology or a closely related field.

Special Requirements

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