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Oregon State University
Agricultural Science's Department of Horticulture Extension
Posted: 04/14/2023
Small Farms Program Assistant Professor of Practice

Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences’ Department of Horticulture Extension invites applications for a Small Farms Program Assistant Professor of Practice position.  This is a full-time, 12-month, fixed -term position based in Corvallis, Oregon that serves Benton, Lane and Polk counties.

The academic home for this position is the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University (OSU).

Position Summary:

This position collaborates with current Small Farms Program faculty to provide co-leadership for Extension programming in Benton, Lane, and Polk counties and contributes to statewide Small Farms Program educational efforts. The position focuses on horticultural crops (including diversified systems, vegetables, berries and orchard crops; e.g., apples, olives, cherries) with an emphasis on sustainable/biological production systems appropriate for small-scale farmers, consistent with clientele goals. Travel will be required.

The OSU Small Farms Program is a statewide team of Extension faculty who use a combination of applied research, extension teaching, outreach, and engagement to learn with and support the goals of a wide variety of small-scale farms and ranches that use sustainable, ecological, organic, and humane production practices and sell into local and regional markets. Program faculty also serve non-commercial, small-acreage producers and collaborate with a broad range of nonprofit organizations, public agencies, businesses, and others involved in sustainable agriculture and local and regional food systems.

As a land grant institution committed to teaching, research, and outreach and engagement, OSU promotes economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation and the world.

The faculty member contributes to the missions of Oregon State University Extension Service (OSUES) and the College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS). CAS faculty are committed to enhancing leaner success by engaging students in quality academic, research, internships, global studies, and other experiential learning opportunities. Positions with primary responsibility for Extension and Engagement are likewise committed to learner success through programming appropriate for diverse audiences.

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence:

Oregon State University is committed to creating and maintaining compassionate and inclusive learning and working environments for all learners, visitors and employees. We envision collaborative community environments that enhance civility and embrace diversity. All employees are responsible for achieving this commitment. This commitment includes, but is not limited to, complying with Civil Rights and Language Access regulations. In addition, faculty members will design, develop, maintain and/or carry out Extension programs to ensure that educational programs and outreach activities serve diverse populations, including those that have been historically marginalized/excluded from participation.

OSU Division of Extension and Engagement’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


OSU Moving Forward Together


Position Duties:

This faculty member embeds the commitment of the university to a collaborative and inclusive community in all interactions and duties performed.

80%: Extension Teaching and Related Assignments

(a) General Small Farms Programming

Collaborate with current Small Farms faculty members to provide leadership for educational programming for commercial small farms and non-commercial small acreages in the southern and western Willamette Valley of Oregon. Provide Small Farms Program leadership and programs for Benton, Lane, and Polk counties. Participate as a member of the statewide Small Farms Program team, contributing to design, delivery, evaluation, and continual improvement of education, outreach, and applied research programs, both current and new.

Develop and maintain broad general agriculture knowledge related to integrated farming systems, weed management, nutrient management, horticultural cropping systems, small acreage enterprise selection, and other pertinent topics. Participate in professional development and in-service training opportunities to accomplish this.

Provide consultation and educational programs and materials addressing scale appropriate technology for conventional and biological farming systems consistent with clientele goals.

Coordinate outreach and educational activities with Extension offices in Benton, Lane, and Polk counties. Link producers with the food processing, business development, product-marketing and specialty crop production specialists at experiment station and other Oregon State University facilities.

Contribute to development of statewide small farms program electronic information technologies including web site, social media, and newsletters.

Develop networks and coalitions of formal and informal interest groups in subject matter areas where appropriate. Utilize coalitions of diverse interest groups to provide advisory support and to enhance program quality and delivery. This will likely include (but is not limited to) networking with clients, community colleges, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation District, agriculture groups, other state agencies, and other non-government organizations. Utilize the unique resources and approach to educational programming of OSU Extension Service to contribute to and enhance these efforts.

Work on a variety of new and emerging crops of economic value to growers including olives for suitability in the Willamette valley.

Secure outside grants and contracts and/or service fees for support of program activities, individually and as a part of the Small Farms Program

Travel is required to deliver educational programming and services throughout Benton, Lane, and Polk counties.

(b) Extension Teaching

The person in this position will develop their own area of specialization for extension non-credit teaching as part of the statewide Small Farms Program.

  • Utilize Oregon State University’s six principles of teaching excellence that include audience consideration, planning, enhanced engagement, teaching, assessment, and reflection to provide a high level of non-credit teaching for extension audiences.
  • Conduct on-going needs-assessment activities to determine the educational needs specific to this position’s audiences.
  • Following a prioritized needs assessment, develop, design, and deliver Extension educational programming.
  • Utilize a variety of non-credit teaching and engagement opportunities (online and face-to-face) to convey useful information to Extension audiences.
  • Create innovative educational materials and use effective Extension teaching methods that meet clientele needs, with materials, methods, and outcomes shared with peers in the state, region, and/or nation.
  • Design Extension programs that can be offered centrally or online to maximize client participation across Oregon and beyond.
  • Extension teaching methods may include but not be limited to: classroom teaching, workshops, seminars, online teaching, hybrid teaching, all PACE formats, etc.
  • Design or adapt a clear evaluation protocol to evaluate and to report research and Extension program impacts locally, regionally and/or internationally.
  • Use technology as a tool to increase the impact of program delivery for constituents including participating with Ask-Extension.
  • Extension teaching may also involve providing one-on-one consultation and educational programs to target audiences depending on their needs.
  • Engage and contribute to equity, inclusion, and diversity as part of teaching, educational delivery, advising, research, Extension, service, and/or scholarly outcomes. Outputs and impacts of efforts to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity should be included in promotion dossiers.
  • This position is expected to solicit peer teaching evaluations and citizen evaluation of teaching.

10% – Scholarship

Assigned duties for this position are expected to result in scholarly outcomes.

  • Collaborate with producers and other research and extension faculty in other supporting disciplines (within and beyond agricultural sciences) to develop relevant and innovative, science-based solutions to address prioritized challenges and opportunities related to production systems and marketing strategies, with a goal of enhancing farm viability. This includes production systems related to organic/biological systems, specialty crops, novel crops for “niche” markets, pasture-based livestock and poultry, and similar; and direct marketing channels such as farmers markets, farm to retail, ecommerce, food hubs, and similar.
  • Communicate applied research progress and results to stakeholders and provide educational opportunities using peer reviewed publications, professional meetings, commodity group presentations, extension events and electronic communication (i.e., web sites, publications, video conferencing and other online methods).
  • Evaluate and document applied research and Extension impacts of programs and communicate the results to target audiences.
  • Supervise program support personnel (e.g., Faculty Research Assistants, research technicians, interns, etc.) to expand staff capacity within the program to serve broader needs and reach more people.
  • Individually and as part of teams, secure outside grants, and contracts and/or service fees to support and enhance position-appropriate educational and applied research programs and service activities. The faculty member will be expected to meet all reporting requirements of the funding sources, department, college, and university.
  • Keep abreast of, and interpret scientific, technological and industry developments and trends at state, regional, national, and international levels.

Refer to section V of the OSU Faculty Handbook, Guidelines for Professor of Practice Appointments and Promotions:

Discover new knowledge and develop creative solutions and applications for problems related to the focus of this position. Research discoveries should be communicated to Extension audiences, practitioners, and the scientific community using innovative and contemporary tools in both oral and written venues, including web-based formats. Communication may include Extension publications, presentations to local, state, regional, and national practitioner and professional groups, media, refereed journal articles, and other outlets as appropriate.

Scholarly and creative work is intellectual work whose significance is validated by peers and that is communicated. Emphasis in scholarship should be placed on outcomes that recognize activities as a professional practitioner in community settings as defined by the incumbent’s position description.

To achieve promotion, there must be an on-going record that both of these types of scholarship are being done though each does not need to be present in every year of record. Documentation must also be provided that shows these scholarly outputs have had impact. These durable, web-findable materials may be augmented by other forms of peer validation such as the following:

  • Invited presentations, poster and podium presentations, and published abstracts and/or proceedings at state, regional and national levels, provided that evidence of peer validation is provided.
  • Documented impact due to local or regional adoption of improved practices, methods, or programs.
  • Secured competitive grants and contracts appropriate for the scope and focus of the faculty member’s position.
  • Named inventor of a protected intellectual property in the faculty member’s field.
  • Recognition as a professional practitioner in community settings as demonstrated by
    • Honorary degrees
    • Awards recognizing community, professional and/or scientific achievements
    • Fellowships in national professional and/or scientific organizations
    • Requests to serve as a technical advisor to government agencies, industry, or professional groups

Best practice is to ensure an inclusive scholarship:

  • Including diverse perspectives on the research team, particularly among co-principal investigators.
  • Emphasizing diversity to address broadening participation in grant proposals.
  • Writing articles and books that address issues of diversity/social justice.
  • Presenting conference papers on issues of diversity/social justice.
  • Increasing the diversity of students who serve as research assistants.

5% – Organizational Accountability

Develop annual plans of work that address educational needs as well as evaluate the quality and impact of Extension educational and research programs.

Regularly measure and report program impact in the Faculty Success online platform.

Implement fee-based programming and cost-recovery practices to support and enhance program delivery.

Keep records and provide necessary reports to Extension Administration, the department and/or college, including plans of work, narrative reports, impact statements, statistical reports, and reports of accomplishments.

Provide community and statewide opinion leaders and decision makers relevant, science-based topical information when requested.

Utilize appropriate and effective methods of communication to promote Extension programs and market Extension across Oregon and nationally.

5% – Service

Participate in departmental and faculty meetings and committees, and serve on departmental, Extension, College and University committees that are consistent with the duties of this position. There is an expectation to balance service at multiple levels within the institution with service to the profession (e.g., professional societies).

Become involved in community service through cooperation with other agencies and organizations. Contribute to the common goals and needs of Extension.

Participate in professional development opportunities including in-service training, international volunteer technical consultancies, and active involvement in professional domestic and international societies and associations as appropriate.

Assist with the maintenance of the OSU Extension system on a statewide level. Cooperate with agencies and organizations statewide and other relevant locations.

Serve as a safe space point of contact for individuals (leaners, faculty, and staff) from diverse backgrounds, in the Department of Horticulture and the Extension Small Farms Program.

Assist in cohesive marketing of Extension locally, regionally, and statewide.

Contribute to a welcoming and respectful workplace environment.

Provide mentorship for newer faculty where applicable.

Participate in appropriate professional and scientific organizations specific to the position discipline.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in horticulture, soil science, agroecology, crop science, or related field.
  • Experience with and specialized knowledge of sustainable and agroecological approaches to agriculture.
  • Experience with direct market farming and local food systems.
  • Demonstrated teaching, written and oral communication skills including effective use of electronic (traditional and web-based) and printed mass media.
  • Experience collaborating with different types of stakeholder organizations, for example: farm and food businesses, nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, and public agencies.
  • A demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity and inclusion.
  • Must have or be able to obtain an Oregon Department of Agriculture Pesticide Consultant License within six months of employment and maintain it throughout employment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision and to manage competing time demands.
  • Demonstrated ability to incorporate multiple cultural perspectives in educational design and delivery.
  • General ability to use common computers, including proficiency with information technology, web sites and social media.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead groups and to plan, organize, evaluate, manage, and delegate details associated with program management.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain collaborations that include individuals with a diversity of expertise, skills, and backgrounds.

This position is designated as a critical or security-sensitive position; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a criminal history check and be determined to be position qualified as per University Standard: 05-010 et seq. Incumbents are required to self-report convictions and those in youth programs may have additional criminal history checks every 24 months.

This position requires driving a university vehicle or a personal vehicle on behalf of the university; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a motor vehicle history check, possess and maintain a current, valid driver’s license in their state of residence, be determined to be position qualified and self-report convictions as per University Policy 05-030.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Training and/or experience in food systems or food policy.
  • Experience with participatory research.
  • Experience securing external funding for programs (e.g., sponsorships, public grants, foundations and individual donors).
  • Experience managing large collaborative projects including grant-funded projects.
  • Demonstrated life experience, education, and/or training that broaden capacity to equalize the success or impact on underserved audiences.

To review posting and apply, go to: https://jobs.oregonstate.edu/postings/135352. Apply to posting # P06702UF. Closes 05/12/2023. OSU is an AA/EOE/Vets/Disabled.