Job Info
Job Title: Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist
Location: Watsonville/Salinas or Santa Maria, CA
Job Number: 11857
Posted Date: 6/7/2021
Job description

Overview:

The Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist will serve as the key liaison to provide support to strawberry growing operations along the Central California coast. They must be passionate about fostering relationships with members of the strawberry industry. The Specialist will assess the ongoing needs of the district strawberry growers and their employees, provide resources to meet their needs and facilitate Commission‐sponsored production research and corresponding extension efforts. The Specialist will serve as a conduit for education opportunities, including best practices in production, safety, and regulatory compliance. The Specialist will work closely with the 4-person Grower Education team and the Research team, as well as across multiple departments to advance the strategic initiatives of the organization.

The Specialist will be involved in executing field‐based projects. The candidate must have excellent communication skills that will be used to inform and educate growers, shippers, and farm‐level employees. The Specialist must be fluent in Spanish and live (or be willing to relocate) in the Watsonville/Salinas or Santa Maria strawberry production region. This position will be an integral member of the research and grower education teams.

Duties/ Responsibilities:

District Outreach: 

  • Survey and maintain professional interactions with district growers, their employees and industry stakeholders.
  • Assess growers’ needs and identify resources to address those needs.
  • Assist with coordination of meetings on priority topics, often on an ad‐hoc basis.
  • Connect CSC staff to growers and industry members to promote cross‐departmental initiatives.
  • Work with CSC staff to monitor relevant issues that affect growers, in particularissues around production practices, regulatory affairs, and labor management.

Extension: 

  • Facilitate interactive training modules in English and Spanish to industry members in topics such as food safety, supervisor development, production practices and regulatory compliance relevant to strawberry growers, their employees and other industry stakeholders.
  • Assist the Research team with field-based research projects in the Watsonville/Salinas or Santa Maria region and other districts as needed.
  • Develop new education programs based on research results that improve strawberry production practices for growers and their employees.
  • Develop didactic materials, resources and guidelines for growers and field level employees.

Qualifications

Required: 

  • Professional fluency in oral and written Spanish and English. The candidate must be biliterate.
  • Live within or be willing to relocate to Watsonville/Salinas or Santa Maria strawberry production region.
  • Bachelor’s degree with 2+ years of extension experience in agricultural production or equivalent experience that provides specialized knowledge of educating farming populations.
  • Strong skills in Microsoft application and collaboration tools.
  • Must be a self-starter and have initiative to network with various stakeholders.
  • Overnight travel within California.
  • Ability to lift equipment and supplies in diverse settings indoors and outdoors.
  • Valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving record.
  • This position requires the ability to perform essential in-person activities, with the appropriate safeguards, including a vaccination(s) in accordance with Title VI, the ADA, EEOC guidance and FEHA.

Desired: 

  • Field experience, agricultural development, or experience with cross-cultural immersion in an agricultural context.
  • Strong commitment to working with growers and farm employees.
  • MS in a field relevant to agricultural education, production, research, or another relevant field.
  • Experience developing and delivering bilingual, education programsin agriculture.
  • Comfortable with in-person or online group facilitation.
  • Technical knowledge of agricultural production, agribusiness, human resources, labor. management, labor policy, regulatory affairs or farm‐level management are highly desirable.
  • Multimedia communication skills to interact with diverse audiences.

Submission: E‐mail resume and cover letter to opportunity@calstrawberry.org with “Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist” in the subject line.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

The California Strawberry Commission is an equal opportunity employer. We prohibit discrimination and harassment (including sexual harassment) against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, and related medical conditions), national origin or ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, genetic information (including testing and characteristics), domestic violence, veteran or military status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law. We will not tolerate any unlawful discrimination or harassment by any employee, including supervisors and co-workers. Our commitment to equal opportunity employment applies to all persons involved in our operations and all areas of employment including, but not limited to hiring, recruitment, promotion, termination, compensation, benefits, and training. Reasonable accommodations will be made for disabled applicants and employees as well as pregnant employees upon request.


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Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V.



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