Production Economics and Business Management Educator (Extension Support Specialist II – Cooperative Extension)

Website Cornell University

Production Economics and Business Management Educator
Extension Support Specialist II
(Band F – Exempt)
Cornell Cooperative Extension
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) provides the educational outreach functions for Cornell University’s role as New York State’s Land Grant University. Programmatically, CCE connects the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Human Ecology (CHE) with 55 off-campus Associations, Integrated Pest Management, New York State Sea Grant, Area Specialists, and CCE New York City.

The Lake Ontario Fruit Program (LOF) serves commercial fruit producers in Wayne, Monroe, Orleans, Niagara, and Oswego counties along the shore of Lake Ontario. In these counties, there are 259 apple farms growing 26,446 acres. New York State is the 2nd in national apple production and the LOF region represents 63% of the acreage in New York. Modern planting systems range from 600 to 2000 trees per acre and are supported by a trellis system or individual tree supports. Peaches, sweet cherries, tart cherries, apricots and many berry crops are also produced in the region. The fruit industry of LOF region is a growing, vibrant, and continues to invest in modern technology to compete in world markets.


Provide leadership in consultation with faculty and industry leaders for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs that address producer identified needs and opportunities with emphasis on business management for commercial growers and other industry clientele. Primary emphasis will be in the area of tree fruit but could extend to other horticultural commodities. The program will include but is not limited to: economics of production; record keeping and business analysis; financial management, forms of business organizations, labor management, taxation and marketing. Implement educational programs utilizing a variety of methods.

Provide producers and industry with a framework to analyze production and management alternatives and to maximize profit opportunities based on emerging best-management practices. Work with farms to analyze management strategies to expand production and profitability. Identify, initiate and conduct demonstrations and in-depth applied research projects appropriate to the needs of the fruit industry in western New York.

Prepare quarterly reports, impact statements, and yearly success stories on program progress and accomplishments. Communicate evaluation results, findings, and make recommendations to program partners and funders. Support Cornell University and Cooperative Extension system-wide initiatives through participation in program work teams, ad-hoc committees and advisory groups. Develop and maintain effective communication and working relationships with appropriate agribusiness, industry partners, other educational institutions and governmental agencies and organizations. Build collaborative relationships and maintain timely and effective communication with County Extension Associations. Participate in professional development opportunities, conferences and workshops such as annual Agriculture and Food Systems In-Service, appropriate to program and personal skill enhancement.

This position is full-time (40 hours/week) and will be located in Newark, New York. This is a one-year appointment with possible extension depending on funding and performance.

Required Qualifications:

•Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from an accredited institution with a major in Agricultural Economics, Business Management or closely associated fields and 3+ years of relevant work experience in Agribusiness, Horticultural Crop Production, Cooperative Extension, or closely related fields or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
•Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to work with diverse audiences in group and one-on-one settings; working effectively with industry, economic development groups, advisory boards and committees, community and funding partners and other stakeholders.
•Fundamental competence utilizing current technology as a management and program delivery tool (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Internet and Web development).
•Knowledge and experience in current and emerging issues and production practices of horticultural crops.
•Knowledge and experience in current and emerging issues and production practices related to the fruit industry in western New York.
•Ability to define, conduct and interpret applied research and demonstration projects.
•Effective written and verbal communication skills.
•Strong leadership and teamwork skills.
•Must be able to maintain high level of confidentiality.
•Proven organizational and time-management skills.
•Able to work in a fast paced environment and to quickly adjust to change and changing priorities.
•Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
•Must be able to meet the travel requirements of the position, including having reliable transportation or having and maintaining a valid New York State driver’s license.
•Ability to work evenings and weekends as essential job functions require.
•Must exercise sound and ethical judgment when acting on behalf of the University.

Preferred Qualifications:

•Advanced degree (Master of Science or Master of Business Administration) in a closely related field.
•Coursework in Horticultural Sciences, Marketing, Labor Management, Adult Education, and Communications.
•Successful experience obtaining new funding including grants and industry support.
•Commitment to the philosophy of Cornell and Extension in support of the fruit industry.
•Appreciation of agriculture as a business and as a lifestyle.
•Creativity, energy, motivation and positive enthusiasm.

Information on how to apply to this position can be found by clicking the box below.