The agent in this position will provide leadership for the horticulture program in Buncombe County in the areas of commercial horticulture, pesticide coordinator & green industry support. Additionally, the agent in this position will provide support for commercial pesticide education in the West district one day per week.
The agent will provide relevant educational programming and training, as well as proactively conduct needs assessments and program evaluations.
Primary Function of Organizational Unit
North Carolina Cooperative Extension gives our residents easy access to the resources and expertise of NC State University and NC A&T State University through educational programs, publications, and events. Cooperative Extension agents deliver unbiased, research-based information to North Carolina citizens.
Buncombe County has the seventh largest population of the North Carolina counties. According to 2021 estimates, the County’s total population was 260,185 individuals.
While 76% of the population resides within areas classified as urban, agriculture remains important to the economy. Buncombe County has 72,284 acres of farmland remaining constituting 1,073 farms. Agriculture income from the 2017 census of agriculture was estimated at $48.4 million, with greenhouse/nursery plants, fruits & vegetables, beef cattle, and milk as the leading income generators. Extension also works extensively with green industry companies now, which include landscaping, arborists, golf courses, and retail nursery personnel. This growing segment of agribusiness adds an estimated additional $26.7 million dollars of revenue to the local economy.
The agent in this position will have educational responsibilities in commercial horticulture (including but not limited to): insect and disease diagnosis, turf, ornamental, and nursery operation support, fruits, and vegetable production, sustainable agriculture, specialty crops, organics, and pesticide education.
This position demands a responsible and self-motivated individual with outstanding relationship skills who possess a high degree of horticulture subject matter competence along with excellent people and communication skills, is computer literate, and has the necessary education and experience to lead a strong program in the designated areas of focus.
● Develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs using appropriate delivery methods and technologies, including integrated and multidisciplinary programming.
● Outcomes and impacts are to be documented and marketed.
● Develops and maintains a comprehensive understanding of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service as an educational agency and its implications for programming in the county.
● Markets county Extension programs and services to the community using various media.
● Work collaboratively with other Extension programs, staff, agencies and community organizations to meet the specialized needs of the community.
● Maintains liaison with civic organizations, related businesses, informal educational organizations, and other voluntary groups.
● Other duties as assigned.
Additional responsibilities include providing customer service and horticultural resources and education to consumers. Managing pesticide education as it pertains to the green industry. Developing and coordinating youth horticulture programs, innovative strategies for marketing, and evaluating educational programs by showing measurable impacts.
One of the following educational requirements: – A Bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 overall or a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in an agricultural or related field. The minimum GPA requirement will be waived for NCCE Program Associates with a Bachelor’s degree. – A Bachelor’s degree and the completion of at least one-half of coursework in a Master’s degree curriculum with a cumulative grade point average 3.0 or higher with at least one of the degrees in an agricultural or related field, or – Completion of a Master’s degree with at least one of the degrees in an agricultural or related field. Also required: a personal automobile; computer literacy; strong oral and written communication skills; the ability to plan, implement, market, and evaluate educational programs; willingness to work as a team member and support a total Extension program; and the ability to handle multiple demands and set priorities. Personal Attributes: Successful performance of the duties encompassed in the Extension Agent’s job requires that the individual possess habits of industry, a sense of responsibility, and a genuine appreciation for the worth of the individual. The employee must be adept in both oral and written communication. The Extension Agent is eligible to become a member of the non-tenure track/special faculty at North Carolina State University. The Extension Agent has primary responsibility for planning, executing, and evaluating that phase of Extension programs within assigned areas of program responsibility. The Extension Agent cooperates with colleagues in the North Carolina Cooperative Extension and leaders in performing assigned responsibilities. The performance of assigned responsibilities is governed by the philosophy, objectives, policies, and procedures of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.
Driver’s license or alternate transportation required?