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University of Minnesota
Extension Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR)
Eden Prairie
Posted: 02/01/2023
Extension Educator – Urban & Small Farms, Hennepin County

Title: Extension Educator – Urban & Small Farms

Classification: Assistant Extension Educator, Job Code 9625ST

Appointment: Full-time (100% time), Funded by Hennepin County

Extension Center: Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR)

Office Location: Hennepin County Extension Office, Eden Prairie, MN

Application Review: February 20, 2023



Hennepin County extends from Minneapolis to the suburbs and outlying cities in the western part of the county. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,281,565. It is the most populous county in Minnesota, and the 34th-most populous county in the United States; more than one in five Minnesotans live in Hennepin County.


Interest in growing food in both urban and small-scale settings is growing rapidly. Urban agriculture includes the cultivation, processing, and distribution of agricultural products in urban and suburban areas. Community gardens, rooftop farms, hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic facilities, and vertical production are all examples of urban agriculture. Small farms is a broad term that refers to activities including: small-scale commercial fruit and vegetable production, rooftop gardening, utilization of greenhouses, aquaponics, etc. This position will engage in local program development, delivery, marketing, evaluation, coordination of logistics and possibly participation in scholarly research. The educational programs holistically will address the issues of urban and small-scale agriculture with attention to environmental, economic, and social dimensions. This position will also be responsible for determining local needs involving AFNR programming and will provide technical assistance and expertise.

The position will focus on start-up and existing producers/growers who employ commercial agriculture or growing practices in an urban or small-scale environment to either generate revenue or to share their product with others. The position will serve as a resource for knowledge and technical information regarding horticultural production for urban or small farming enterprises.

The University is looking for candidates with skills and experience in: engaging stakeholders in urban agriculture/small farms; developing and strengthening networks; and teaching and facilitating informal educational agricultural programs that are relevant to Hennepin County. The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge to new and future programs that support and enhance the production and economic development of urban and small farms within Hennepin County.


  1. Provide research-based urban and small-scale agriculture resources, education, and support.
  2. Build relationships with agricultural professionals to foster educational efforts and economic development.
  3. Provide relevant education and support to urban and small farm agriculture in the county.
  4. Design/conduct educational programs and make them accessible and welcoming to diverse participants.
  5. Provide technical assistance and expertise in urban agriculture/small farms.
  6. Communicate effectively and positively with colleagues and stakeholders about the work.

For example:

  • Design, develop, deliver/implement, and evaluate local educational programs for urban and small scale growers/producers based on local needs and expectations, developing and maintaining effective county, regional, University and state partnerships that further the development and delivery of Extension educational programs.
  • Engage with producers, agricultural professionals and stakeholders to build rapport and working relationships to benefit educational efforts.
  • Utilize numerous delivery methods to teach around urban and small farm issues that are important to maintaining the viability, profitability and sustainability of agricultural operations in the county.
  • Adapt Extension programs for audiences with a range of knowledge, background, and cultures.
  • Work in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), county environmental and land management services, and agricultural and natural resources. professional organizations to provide educational programs relevant to the county.
  • Provide Extension and university resources in partnership with urban agriculture and small farms groups.
  • Provide technical assistance and information related to urban agriculture and small farms based on local needs and expectations.
  • Ensure that Extension programs, facilities, committees, and employment opportunities are accessible to new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences.
  • Grow as a professional through publication, attendance at conferences, self-directed study and other means.
  • Document professional performance using the annual performance review, professional plan of work and promotion for educators without rank.



Required Education (to be documented on application materials): Bachelor’s degree is required by start date of position (tentatively March 2023). At least one degree in an agriculture related discipline is required, i.e. plant science, horticulture, agronomy, soils, livestock production, agricultural economics, agricultural education, or other closely related field.

Required Skills/Abilities (to be documented on application materials):

  • Current knowledge in urban agriculture or small farms.
  • Demonstrated ability to create new educational programs based upon past successes or failures.
  • Demonstrated strong written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated strong oral communication skills.
  • A proven ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships and collaborations with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, including those that may have diverse missions, goals, cultures, and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated skill in Microsoft and Google suite applications and with social media.


Additional Requirements:

  • Must have a valid driver’s license and own means of reliable transportation with required liability insurance.
  • Personal cell phone that can be used, as needed, for work purposes and published in the Extension public staff directory; reimbursement is not provided.
  • Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office location.
  • Must be able to travel within the designated communities and provide in‐person programming.
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including occasional evening and weekend work.
  • Working ability to perform tasks involving sitting, standing, bending, or twisting, with occasional exertion of up to thirty pounds of force.
  • Ability to work on a computer for prolonged periods of time.
  • Must be able to lift, push, pull 20 lbs routinely and 40 lbs rarely, as well as sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.
  • Must be able to submit proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit a completed religious/medical exemption and agree to comply with the University’s testing requirement.
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States; this position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship.


Preferred Skills/Abilities:

  • Experience related to one or more of the following topics: vegetable production, fruit production, beginning farmer training, alternative cropping systems, soil fertility, and/or farm business management.
  • Ability to articulate the public value of educational programming in urban agriculture and small farms.
  • Experience developing and conducting educational programs.
  • Experience using technology for communication, information finding, teaching and report writing.
  • Previous experience as an Extension professional or other educationally related position (within horticulture or agriculture).
  • Practical, hands-on experience with agriculture and equipment/tools.
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • A Master’s degree is preferred.



  1. This is a full-time, annual Academic Professional appointment at the level of Assistant Extension Educator (9625ST). The appointment is reviewed for renewal annually, with continuation dependent on performance, results, availability of county funds, and program needs.
  2. Internal promotion is available and meeting the promotion policy criteria to achieve promotion is expected.
  3. A full University of Minnesota benefits package is available: https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/About-Working-U/Benefits-Summaries-Prospective-Employees.
  4. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.
  5. Salary commensurate with education and experience; estimated starting salary range $47,000 – $57,000.



University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. Our mission is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Extension strives to attract and retain high-quality, passionate employees, and weave diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of Extension’s programming and employee engagement https://extension.umn.edu/



Please apply at: https://extension.umn.edu/about‐extension/careers, Job Opening ID: 353908

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position. Please include the following attachments with your online application:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume or Vitae
  • Diversity statement: In 500 words or less, highlight your unique strengths, experiences, perspectives, and values as they relate to equity, diversity and inclusion. Your statement could include the following:
  • o Personalized views and experiences
  • o Topics through the lens of your own knowledge or experience
  • o If you don’t have personal experience on a topic, reflect on why
  • o Demonstrated learning and growth

Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required during the interview process.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions, https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/Help-Job-Applications/Using-Job-Application-System.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please email employ@umn.edu or call 612‐624‐UOHR (8647).


For questions about this position, contact:

Sarah Chur, Program Leader, Extension Center for Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, bergsj@umn.edu.

For questions about applying online, contact:

Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources, tiffmcm@umn.edu.



Application review will commence on February 20, 2023.



Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University’s Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit: https://safe-campus.umn.edu/return-campus/get-the-vax


The University of Minnesota and Extension recognize and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U: http://diversity.umn.edu.