The tropical and subtropical fruit industry is a large, diverse and important agricultural sector in Miami-Dade County. This permanent-status accruing University Florida/ IFAS Extension Agent will provide educational leadership for programs addressing the needs of tropical fruit growers and their employees including the development, teaching, implementation, evaluation and promotion of sound educational programs to help them more effectively interpret and use findings of science and technology. The successful agent will be expected to use a variety of methods and venues to develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs for fruit producers.
The agent must develop effective working relationships with the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida Association, other producer groups, advisory committees, community leaders, media, related agencies, and the general public. The agent will work with other county Extension faculty in the South District, specialists at Research and Education Centers in Central and South Florida and on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.
The duties and responsibilities of this position include:
Extension programming in Miami-Dade County is a cooperative undertaking between the county and UF/ IFAS . As such, both partners are involved in the supervision of the office and contribute to the salary and support resources.
- Assuming responsibility for the development and implementation of educational programs for commercial producers of tropical fruit and citrus in Miami-Dade County.
- Identifying research topics that will benefit the commercial fruit production industry, and working closely with research colleagues as they conduct research and publish findings.
- Developing and maintaining an appropriate Extension Advisory Committee in order to identify, define, and prioritize industry problems and concerns.
- Concentrating educational programs on topics like production practices and cultivar selection, Best Management Practices for water and fertilizer, Integrated Pest Management, marketing, harvesting and packaging, food safety, labor laws/relations/shortage/productivity, business decision-making (management/marketing/risk management) and other issues that may emerge.
- Cooperating with 4-H Youth Development staff, particularly emphasizing dooryard production of tropical fruits and citrus.
- Providing program accomplishments and impacts to stakeholders.
- Assuming other responsibilities and assignments emanating from the County Extension Director or District Extension Director including management of the tropical fruit demonstration grove.
Miami-Dade County (http://miamidade.gov/wps/portal) with a population of 2.5 million is located on the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. The Extension office is located in Homestead (http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu/) about 1 mile from the UF/ IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center (http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/).
The basic qualifications of the county faculty member in this position are:
The agent must maintain a valid Florida driver’s license and must provide his/her own transportation. Travel costs will be reimbursed by Miami-Dade County. A Pesticide Applicators license must obtained within the first 3 months of employment.
- Hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree in fruit crops or a closely-related field. If the selected candidate holds only a Bachelor’s degree, at least 50% progress towards obtaining a Master’s degree must be made within the first 5 years of employment.
- Must be able to translate research results into practical Extension education programs.
- Must be able to develop and implement educational programs for the commercial fruit crops industry that have a positive impact on production efficiency and sustainability.
- Possess computer literacy and effective oral and written communication skills.
- Possess effective people skills that foster teamwork.
Work as an Extension Agent requires irregular hours and weekend activities with occasional overnight travel and willingness to travel in and out of the County as needed. A county physical exam including drug and alcohol screening must be passed prior to employment.