Extension Agent for Horticulture Job Description

Major Job Responsibility 1:  Educational Programming

  • Develop and implement a plan of work based on locally identified needs which will lead to improved horticultural practices.
  • Develop and implement educational programs in horticulture that are economically feasible, resource conserving, and environmentally compatible.
  • Develop field trials, test demonstration and result demonstrations or other hands on learning experiences related horticulture production and practices to use for educational purposes.
  • Develop and implement leadership programs such as Master Gardeners resulting in the development of horticultural expertise, personal and organizational leadership skills.
  • Collaborate with other agents and specialist to plan, execute and evaluate educational programs at the county, district and state level. 
  • This position will serve all clientele ensuring that all youth and adults have an equal opportunity to participate in extension programs regardless of race, gender, age, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. 

Competencies/Skills: planning, organizing, oral and written communication skills, understanding of agricultural practices, ability to serve as a role model, leadership abilities, presentation skills, desire and ability for professional development.

Major Job Responsibility 2:  Public Accountability & Service

  • Generate and utilize evaluation data on programming to document and publicize accomplishments.
  • Share program outcomes with community and elected officials to help them understand the value of Extension.
  • Demonstrate efficient and open communication among agents and support staff.
  • Provide latest research based information in a customer friendly manner to clientele.
  • Network and build relationships among diverse groups and individuals.
  • Build collaborations with other agencies and organizations to solve community problems and multiply effectiveness.
  • Support and maintain at least one social media or blog relevant to program area (such as Facebook or Twitter)
  • Use new technology to communicate with clientele and University officials.
  • Contribute to the information base used to document accomplishments of the Cooperative Extension Service to key decision makers and Federal partners.
  • Develop and maintain components of service to include involvement of volunteers in service oriented projects.
  • Support activities and events of the UK College of Agriculture and School of Human Environmental Sciences.
  • Report team and individual accomplishments in a timely manner to immediate supervisor.
  • Regular review and measurement of goals, particularly those documented in County Plan of Work and the Affirmative Action Plan. 

Competencies/Skills: ability to work with a wide range of personalities, written and oral communication skills, computer/social networking skills, conflict management skills, team player, leadership abilities.

Major Job Responsibility 3: Leadership and Council Development

  • Determine appropriate volunteer positions and identify, enlist and train volunteer leaders to help carry out program responsibilities.
  • Ensure that all Client Protection guidelines are implemented within the HORT program area.
  • Develop and utilize individuals to serve on councils, advisory groups, and program committees to facilitate community involvement in determining program priorities and conducting programs.
  • Partner with horticultural businesses and organizations to build leadership in the community.
  • Work with community and civic leaders to enhance the economic and social well-being of the county and communities contained therein.
  • Ensure that HORT leadership is representative of home and commercial horticulture growers of the county. 

Competencies/Skills:  recruitment  and marketing skills, confidentiality, attention to detail, ability to work with a wide range of personalities, organizational skills.

Major Job Responsibility 4:  Facilitation, Collaboration and Teamwork

  • Serve as a group facilitator to convene or intervene with groups that need a neutral facilitator to help the group identify, solve problems and /or make decisions.
  • Partner with other groups/agencies in the county such as FSA, SCS, or agricultural businesses to provide programs.
  • Build collaborations with other agencies and organizations to solve community problems and multiply effectiveness.
  • Serve as a source of expertise in the community for horticultural subject matter areas.
  • Exhibit and promote teamwork within Extension organization at county, district and state levels, acting as mentor and contributing to the professional development of all agents.
  • Support the overall office operation by having input on support staff evaluations, budget, county extension council, as well as other office-wide responsibilities and serving as a lead person in operational areas as needed. 

Competencies/Skills:   initiative, leadership abilities, able to easily meet people and form relationships, open and honest communication skills, team player.

Major Job Responsibility 5:  Professional Development

  • Agents hired without a Master’s degree will be expected to enroll in an approved graduate program and earn at least 12 hours of graduate credit within the first 5 years as an agent
  • Understand and stay up to date on current and emerging issues involving home and commercial horticulture and locally grown foods.
  • Attend in-service trainings to stay current on ANR/HORT guidelines and new program opportunities
  • Participate in agricultural/horticultural professional associations.
  • Share expertise by presenting sessions or serving in leadership roles for relevant state and national associations and/or conferences. 

Competencies/Skills: ability to learn new concepts, leadership and presentation skills.

Major Job Responsibility 6:  Supervision

  • Provide training, supervision and evaluation for support staff and program assistants.
  • Provide training, supervision and evaluation for volunteer leaders. 

Competencies/Skills: supervision & coaching skills