Job Opening: Training and Assistance Coordinator Academic Coordinator II, UC Organic Agriculture Institute

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Position Overview

Location Headquarters: Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center or TBA/County Location

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for a Training and Assistance Coordinator, Academic Coordinator II. UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers, educators and support staff dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and community health issues. Research, outreach and education from locally based Cooperative Extension offices serves all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. Our mission is to bring the University of California directly to Californians through research, extension and education programs that support:

  • Sustainable, safe, and nutritious food production and delivery
  • Economic success in a global economy
  • • A sustainable, healthy, and productive environment
  • Science literacy and youth development

By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC system.

Purpose:

The Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator (Academic Coordinator II) will support organic growers in California, offering research, technical assistance, and educational resources to address the identified critical needs of certified, transitioning, and aspiring organic growers across multiple scales of production and additional organic agricultural stakeholders consistent with the UC OAI Strategic Plan. This position will focus on enhancing organic agriculture adoption, aiding with production, post-harvest handling, and marketing of crops, livestock, and related products. This role will create diverse training opportunities for small to large-scale operations and historically underserved growers. Responsibilities include educating UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Farm Advisors and Specialists, as well as non-UC entities like grower organizations, non-profits and other technical assistance providers, on best management practices in organic certification, production and compliance, including the development of Organic System Plans (OSPs). This will take place primarily through field days, online workshops and direct consultation, as well as videos and written publications. The Coordinator will collaborate with and help facilitate the activities of the UC OAI’s California Organic Agriculture Knowledge Network (Cal OAK Network).

This position has a statewide responsibility for their scope of work, development and implementation of programming and projects while being locally contextual and meet the unique needs of organic agriculture stakeholders at a regional level when necessary and appropriate. The key stakeholders the Academic Coordinator is responsible to include organic growers, underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers, organic consultants and certifiers, UCCE personnel, non-profit partner technical assistance (TA) providers and advocacy organizations, as well as public agencies, regulators and policymakers.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator will:

Provide Direct Assistance and Expertise to Organic Growers

  • Serve as a knowledge resource by providing research, extension and technical support to certified, transitioning, and aspiring organic growers in California.
  • Focal topics can include organic certification and compliance, as well as production, post-harvest handling, and marketing of crops, livestock, and related products.

Develop New Extension Resources for Organic Agriculture

  • Tailored to diverse scales of production, from small to large-scale operations.
  • Can include presentations, videos and/or written material.
  • Create workshops and publications to disseminate information about organic agriculture and assist in the development of Organic System Plans.

Create New Training Opportunities for Service Providers

  • Offer guidance and training on organic agriculture certification, production and compliance processes to UCCE Farm Advisors and Specialists, as well as non-profit technical assistance providers, state and federal agencies, as well as other relevant stakeholders.
  • Facilitate the development and activities of the California Organic Agriculture Knowledge Network.

Outreach and Promotion

  • Enhance the ability of the UC OAI to regularly engage with organic stakeholders, increasing the visibility of UC OAI programs to the broader public.
  • Coordinate and outreach with partner organizations to build synergies in overlapping training and technical assistance work.
  • Present results from analyses and assessments at conferences and public meetings.
  • Share programmatic updates and communicate regularly with key organic stakeholders, policymakers, and the broader public.
  • Report accomplishments, results, and potential or actual impacts to scientific and lay audiences.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Facilitate gatherings and engage with diverse stakeholders to identify training and technical assistance needs.
  • Design outreach opportunities based on engagement with partner organizations that provide technical assistance to small and mid-sized, diversified, and socially disadvantaged farmers.
  • Provide sound science-based input and represent the interests and needs of stakeholders served by UC OAI in committees, working groups, alliances, public comments, and hearings organized by public agencies or other organizations.

Analysis and Assessment

  • As needed, conduct literature reviews, statistical analyses, and/or policy assessments to answer applied questions and outline solutions to the most pressing training and technical assistance challenges for organic agriculture.
  • Design, analyze, and synthesize results from surveys and feedback from events that are designed to capture stakeholder training and technical assistance needs/interests.
  • Ensure stakeholder needs are assessed and develops program goals to successfully meet stakeholder needs, in alignment with UC ANR’s Strategic Initiatives and Public Value Statements.
  • Use activities stated above to inform program assessment and improvement, strategic planning, policy engagement, and future programmatic directions.

Build and Maintain Partnerships

  • Build relationships and leverage resources with key training and technical assistance partners to enhance the efforts of collective programs to facilitate technical support for organic agriculture. Partners can include the stakeholders listed above as well as campus-based academics, researchers, and Cooperative Extension personnel.
  • Coordinate partnerships to co-develop joint training and technical assistance resources (e.g., information clearinghouses, training and knowledge sharing networks, etc.) to be shared across nonprofit and agency partners to build technical assistance capacity to serve organic and small-scale producers.

Counties of Responsibility: This position is a statewide position, and will be headquartered at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KREC) or TBA/County location.

Reporting Relationship: The Academic Coordinator is administratively responsible to the UC Organic Agriculture Institute Director.

Qualifications and Skills Required

Required Qualifications

Education: A minimum of a Master’s Degree in the agricultural, environmental, or social sciences, with coursework or experience relevant to agricultural extension and organic agriculture is required at the time of appointment.

Additional Requirements:

  • A strong background in organic certification and production systems.
  • Training and experience in extension education methods, communication, and facilitation.
  • Attend events around the state of California.
  • This is not a remote position. The candidate must be available to be onsite.
  • Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed, proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicle used is required. Must possess valid California Driver's License to drive a County or University vehicle.

Desired Experience:

  • Ability to manage extramural funding.
  • Passion and desire to pursue a career in Cooperative Extension.
  • Ability to prepare and deliver communications to farmers, crop consultants, regulators, certifiers, policy makers, funders, and other external stakeholders.
  • Prior experience working in an agricultural setting or working directly with farmers.
  • Experience communicating technical information to culturally diverse audiences.
  • Experience in building partnerships and working with multidisciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively plan projects, manage teams and assist in implementing an applied training, technical assistance and outreach program, including setting measurable goals and objectives.

Skills Required: To be successful, Academic Coordinators require skills in the following:

Technical Competence and Impact

  • Interdisciplinary understanding of food systems and on-farm agricultural production contexts for organic producers and other stakeholders served by the UC OAI (i.e., organic, small-scale, and/or diversified producers).
  • Ability to design and implement a program that leads to positive changes and impact within the community and beyond
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare, deliver, and evaluate educational materials and extension programming

Project Management

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively plan projects, manage time, and assist in implementing the training and technical assistance programs of the UC OAI – including setting measurable goals and objectives

Communication

  • Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Public speaking to diverse audiences.
  • Ability to communicate and coordinate effectively with diverse organic stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to share complex information in a manner tailored to the audience

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

  • Develop collaborative teams with other UC ANR academics, campus-based specialists and faculty and/or others, to address priority issues for UC ANR.
  • Interact with UC ANR Program Teams, specialists, campus based Agricultural Experiment Station faculty (if appropriate) and others within the research/extension network to develop, strengthen and expand program goals.
  • Be an effective listener and communicator, take responsibility for our own actions, motivate others, keep commitments and cultivate political and industry support for UC ANR.
  • Build relationships to work with diverse populations and acclimate to varying circumstances.

Lifelong Learning

  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement - both professionally and as a person.

Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review (including Professional Competence, University and Public Service and Affirmative Action and DEI) at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/355229.pdf

About UC ANR

The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network ofscientists and educators working in partnership across the state of California. We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers Statewide Programs and Initiatives (SWP/I’s) that focus research and extension on solving priority problems that engage ANR academics and UC faculty in integrated teams to work on complex issues requiring trans-disciplinary approaches; as well as UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in counties throughout the state.

Learn more about

Salary & Benefits

Salary: The salary will be in the Academic Coordinator II series, Step 1- $78,342 annually of the Academic Coordinator II, Fiscal Year Salary Table. For information regarding the Academic Coordinator series salary scales, please refer to: https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2023-24/july-2023-acadsalary-scales/t36-ii.pdf

This appointment is a limited term appointment. The merit cycle is every two years. The performance in the position will be evaluated annually. The position will be extended based on the continued need for the position, performance and availability of funding.

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and holidays. For more
information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-andbenefits/index.html

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #23-19)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by March 11, 2024.

Questions?

Contact Tatiana Avoce; email: tavoce@ucanr.edu

“Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring work authorization without need of employer sponsorship for the duration of the appointment period.”


 

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited.

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Name
Tatiana Avoce
Email
tavoce@ucanr.edu
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