Production Agriculture Leader

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MA

ID: 7077591
Posted: April 23, 2021
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Production Agriculture Leader serves as a key member of the leadership team for UMass Extension’s Agriculture program. This position collaborates with other Agriculture program leaders to develop and support initiatives, advance goals of equity and inclusion, and implement other strategic objectives. The Production Agriculture Leader oversees the fruit and vegetable teams that develop and present research-based educational programs and services for commercial growers. Directly, or through oversight of team members, prepares extension research and other reports, publishes extension bulletins and website content, and writes articles for trade and professional publications. Works collaboratively with other agricultural faculty and staff to develop cross-commodity educational and applied research programs and seek external funding. Represents division to external constituents and engages in strategic external partnerships. Supervises staff and supports their professional development.

Essential Functions

Serves as a key member of UMass Extension’s Agriculture leadership team. Advocates for the needs of all teams and ensures compliance and consistency with department, college, and university policies and goals. Provides leadership in the development of Extension policy, long-range plans and objectives, cross-disciplinary initiatives, technology, communications and marketing.
Establishes and maintains commitment to serve previously underserved populations and communities. Works actively to ensure that all programs are conducted in compliance with federal, state and university diversity, equity, and inclusion laws, regulations, and policies.
Develops and maintains productive relationships with relevant public agencies and stakeholder organizations. Supports and guides development of collaborative programs with other agricultural service providers supporting science-based sustainable agriculture. Develops and sustains collaborative projects with other Extension organizations. Represents and promotes UMass Extension at the local, state, regional, and federal levels.
Supervises staff within Production Agriculture. Collaborates with direct reports and faculty to identify staffing needs and resources. Hires, trains, supervises, evaluates, recognizes, and supports team staff. Fosters collaboration between team leaders and others in the department to support program activities.
Drives the collaborative development and delivery of cross-commodity programming with statewide and regional impact.
Serves as team leader for one programmatic team (fruit or vegetable). Oversees a regular cycle of educational program management and applied research activities including needs assessment, short- and long-term planning, delivery method innovation, production and delivery of research-based educational materials and programs, evaluation, and reporting. Develops and manages team budget in coordination with supervisor and financial staff. Collaborate with faculty members in academic departments to develop programs of educational outreach and applied research.
Pursues and manages competitive grants and earned-revenue opportunities to allow team to achieve mission.
Maintains and increases personal and professional competence through participation in in-service training, professional association activities, and continuing education. Prepares and implements professional development plan. Provides leadership in professional organizations.

Other Functions

Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. In the performance of work, takes initiative and operates with self-direction.
Works in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
Performs other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

Master’s degree in biological, horticultural or agricultural science, or in a social science or management discipline with clear application to agricultural organizations.
Five years relevant experience, including three years in roles with personnel management and financial management responsibilities.
Demonstrated thorough understanding of agricultural production practices and the agriculture and food sectors.
Ability to maintain a diverse schedule of local, regional, and statewide activities.
Ability to use computers and software for word processing, data management and analysis, publications and electronic communications.
Ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction in a fast-paced office environment.
Ability to set and meet deadlines while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality. Ability to collaborate well to formulate plans and objectives in accordance with overall goals; ability to identify and implement process improvements.
Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders.
Valid driver’s license.
Massachusetts Pesticide Applicator Private Certification or ability to receive certification within 3 months of hire.


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