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University of Minnesota Extension, Twin Cities campus is seeking qualified candidates. To fill the position of Extension Educator- Food/Farm Safety (Horticultural Systems)

Position Description: 

Title:  Extension Educator (EE)-Food/Farm Safety (Horticultural Systems)

UMN Classification: 9623 Asst. Extension Professor 

Center: Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 

Location:  University of Minnesota at one of the regional Extension offices 

Application Review: September 8, 2017; initial review deadline; open until position is filled.


Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota, a land grant institution with the mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The mission of University of Minnesota Extension is: “Making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota.” More information about Extension can be found at


This position is fully funded at 75% time for two years and 50% in future years. There is opportunity, if desired, for supplemental funding to be secured via grants and/or contracts to increase % time of position. This position is accountable to the Program Leader in Horticulture for program direction, performance evaluation and personnel actions. This statewide position will be based at an Extension office in Minnesota.


Interest in growing local foods, farm-to-table, small farm, and food safety issues with growing horticultural/food crops has increased rapidly throughout Minnesota. This Extension educator will work with producers who are growing food for others via venues such as food hubs, schools, hospitals and other institutions, farmer’s markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and other markets. A portion of this audience is considered underserved demographically, including women, new immigrants and people from communities of color. This educator will help Extension broaden the diversity of the people we serve.


With an expanding number of producers focused on local foods, farm-to-table, farm-to-institution, wholesale, and small farms, food safety issues related to horticultural food crop production is of increasing concern to all audiences, especially within diverse communities. This Extension educator will focus on food/farm safety. This person will be responsible for designing, developing, implementing and evaluating research-based educational programming on safe food handling techniques, harvest and postharvest management, “good agricultural practices” (GAP), “good handling practices” (GHP), and on-farm processing and packing. The educator will work with producers who are growing food for others, including those who sell to direct market customers, institutional buyers and wholesale distributors as well as to institutions such as schools and hospitals. Community gardens may also be a focus for this educator. This position will also include an emphasis on technology skills in order to facilitate technology-enhanced teaching and creation of online content.


  • Perform needs assessments, and design, develop, deliver/implement and evaluate educational programs based in scholarly/scientific theory as appropriate to audiences
  • Collaborate with departmental faculty and other research professionals in conducting applied research
  • Collaborate with other Extension educators on the state Master Gardener and Extension consumer and commercial horticulture team, food safety, and small farm team
  • Use current and appropriate technology for program design, delivery, reporting, communication and trend monitoring
  • Develop and maintain effective local, regional, university and state partnerships that further the development and delivery of Extension educational programs
  • Continue professional development in scholarship, program development and delivery via conferences, self-directed study and/or other appropriate means of maintaining a high level of expertise
  • Participate and succeed in progress regarding professional performance including annual performance review, professional plan of work and promotion
  • Make contributions to the six promotion criteria in Extension academic rank:  program leadership, Extension teaching, scholarship, engagement, program management and service


• Extension Educator positions have an annual renewable University academic professional appointment and Extension academic rank.
• Promotion in Extension academic rank is expected and is contingent upon accomplishments as an Extension Educator.
• University of Minnesota benefits apply.
• Must provide a personal vehicle for travelling throughout the state.  Reimbursement for travel is made according to University policy.
• Salary commensurate with education and experience.
• Person hired will be expected to use a personal cell phone.

Position Requirements: 



  • Master’s degree or foreign equivalent in discipline pertinent to position i.e. food science, public health, biological/agricultural engineering, horticulture or a related discipline


  • Experience (paid or unpaid) AND/OR educational specialization related to one or more of the following topics: food safety, public health, fruit and/or vegetable production and/or postharvest handling


1. Excellent oral and written communication skills

2. Technology skills to facilitate technology-enhanced teaching and create online content

3. Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships/collaborations with colleagues, partners or  stakeholders, (e.g., legislators, program participants and industry groups)

4. Demonstrated ability to work with culturally diverse communities with limited-English language

5. Commitment to ongoing professional development

6. Ability to manage a diverse schedule of local, regional, and statewide activities



  • Two years’ post-bachelor degree professional experience in an emphasis area related to the position
  • Experience designing, delivering and evaluating educational programs
  • Experience in applied research
  • Skills in media relations
  • Experience facilitating technology-enhanced teaching and creating online content


  • Knowledge/experience in working with small to mid-size vegetable and fruit operations in a continuum from urban agricultural gardens to large-scale production farms
  • Knowledge/experience with Good Agricultural Practices and standards for growing, harvesting, packing and storage of produce for human consumption
  • Knowledge of and experience with the FDA Produce Safety Rule and Food Safety Modernization Act and/or other pertinent federal food safety legislation
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate public value of educational programs
  • Professional working relationships with agricultural groups, farmers, entrepreneurs, processors, non-profits, and government agencies
  • Cross-cultural communications skills and ability to effectively work in diverse communities

Where to apply: