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Johnson County Horticulture Extension Agent

Website Johnson County K-State Research and Extension

Research-based information you can trust, localized for you

About This Role:
Johnson County is home to over 619,000 residents, serving a diverse and expanding population living in both urban and rural areas. As part of the Johnson County Extension team, this agent will collaborate with the Small Farms agent to deliver horticulture programming addressing the local foods system.

Johnson County has a thriving Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteer program. There are currently 492 EMG volunteers leading horticultural education activities throughout the county. Nine community demonstration gardens are maintained and supported.

Extension agents are professional educators who serve as a link between Kansas State University and communities across Kansas. Agents are jointly responsible to the director of K-State Research and Extension (represented by a designated administrator) and the local extension board.

This position will lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of research-based educational programming related to horticulture. Programming may include but is not limited to: home lawn care and gardening, ornamentals, trees/shrubs/flowers, turf, local food systems, and landscape maintenance and improvement.

Duties/ Responsibilities:

Extension agents are professional educators who serve as a link between Kansas State University and communities across Kansas. Agents are jointly responsible to the director of K-State Research and Extension (represented by a designated administrator) and the local extension board.

  • Lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of research-based educational programming related to horticulture. Programming may include but is not limited to: home lawn care and gardening, ornamentals, trees/shrubs/flowers, turf, local food systems, and landscape maintenance and improvement.
  • Direct Johnson County’s Extension Master Gardener Program, a team of approximately 492 extension-trained volunteers who do community outreach, provide horticultural education, and care for the county’s nine demonstration gardens.
    Provide primary supervision for Johnson County Extension’s part-time horticulture program assistant and Extension Master Gardeners coordinator as well as one full-time office professional.
  • Share responsibility for community vitality programming that helps our communities become better places to live, work, and play. Programming will strengthen social, civic, economic, and technological capacity of communities through leadership development and civic engagement.
  • Successful extension programs require agents to:
    • Identify local needs and emerging issues related to K-State Research and Extension’s five Grand Challenges (water and natural resources; community vitality; health; developing tomorrow’s leaders; and global food systems) by engaging with program development committees and other community organizations and professionals.
    • Design appropriate educational strategies to engage clientele. Strategies might include educational programming in a community-based setting; events and activities that provide experiential learning opportunities; use of innovative technologies; individual educational consultations; and group facilitation.
    • Collaborate with local partners to meet community and programming needs.
    • Develop and implement strategies to serve diverse audiences and to ensure K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider of educational programming.
    • Collect and communicate evidence of educational program impact.
    • Cultivate expertise in a subject matter competency area by engaging as a member of the Horticulture Program Focus Team.
  • Pursue internal and external funding (including grants, gifts, and cost recovery efforts) to support and expand educational programming.
  • Serve as a member of the Johnson County team, cooperating in the planning and delivery of county-wide programming and related events.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:
Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Academic coursework, professional development, or prior employment related to the position responsibilities.
  • Evidence of strong academic and/or professional performance, as documented by college transcripts or documented success in increasingly responsible professional positions.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with individuals, groups, and through mass media.
  • Experience with volunteer recruitment, support, and management.
  • Familiarity with various ethnic and socioeconomic audiences; an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds; and a commitment to supporting and enhancing K-State’s initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which will include some nights, weekends, and overnight travel.

    Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree.
  • Five years of relevant professional experience.
  • Commitment to personal and professional development.
  • Competence using electronic communication and computer applications to fulfill programming responsibilities.
  • Self-motivation and ability to work with minimal supervision while balancing multiple projects.
  • Understanding of educational program design, promotion, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Skills in group facilitation.
  • Knowledge of adult and youth teaching/learning processes.
  • Experience seeking and administering external grant funding.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with both English and Spanish-speaking learners

Other Requirements:

Access to a personal vehicle and the ability to obtain/maintain a valid driver’s license.
Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment.

Salary, Benefits, and Professional Development:

  • Salary commensurate with professional experience and available funding, as negotiated by the regional extension director, the local extension board, and the applicant.
  • Extension agents are Kansas State University educators and have the Board of Regents retirement plan; vacation and sick leave; and eligibility for health and life insurance. For a complete list of benefits see: www.k-state.edu/hcs/benefits.
  • Reimbursement for travel related to achieving program objectives.
  • New agents will be provided with comprehensive Early Career Professional Development training throughout their onboarding period.  This series will include virtual and in-person training and networking opportunities.
  • Tuition assistance is available to full-time employees and their spouse/dependents.

    How to Apply:
    Please submit the following documents:

  • Cover Letter (detailing experiences related to responsibilities and qualifications).
  • Resume.
  • Contact information and email addresses for three professional references (include on application).
  • Copy of academic transcripts showing degree(s) received. (For applicants still in college, a list of courses from the college/university website is acceptable.)

Screening of Applications Begins:
Applications will be accepted until May 14, 2024.

Equal Employment Opportunity:
Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

To apply for this job please visit careers.k-state.edu.