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Learn about job opportunities with Cornell Cooperative Extension.


Agriculture Educator

Since 1913, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County has responded to the needs of local residents with unbiased, research-based information, tools and education that people have come to depend on and trust. Our programs are developed in direct response to community input, and are based on the most current information available from Cornell and other Land Grant Universities from across the nation.

The Agriculture Educator works as part of a collaborative team, providing oversight and expertise for agriculture-based 4-H youth development topics and also serves as the local agriculture expert. Responsibilities can vary quite a bit including advising 4-H youth and club leaders, connecting consumers to locally produced and nutritious agricultural products, overseeing initiatives (e.g. agricultural literacy, day on the farm, etc.), and everything in between. The Educator also fields questions, delivers programs, and helps connect people, producers, and growers to other regional or state-wide experts as needed. This position reports to the 4-H Team Leader and also works closely with the Executive Director on local (Rensselaer County) agriculture programs and initiatives.

Application Instructions

In the My Information section be sure to enter your full name, address, email, and phone number(s).

Include a cover letter, resume and at least three references (at least one who is a current or former supervisor or teacher). To attach documents, under the My Experience section use the Select Files button to search for files or use the Drop Files Here box to drag documents into your application. If you plan to upload more than one document, click the Upload icon for each additional document. Please note, once your application is submitted you will not be able to change your submission or add attachments. If you would like to add or update documents to your online application after submission, please contact Jim McNaughton, Association Lead Human Resources Manager, via e-mail

External Applicants: (including current employees of other Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations) please refer to Applying for a Job with Cornell Cooperative Extension (External Candidate) for additional guidance.

All Internal Applicants: Those who are currently employed by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association indicated in this job posting must apply online via their employee Workday account, which may be accessed here:

Apply By

Candidates are encouraged to apply by December 1, 2022. Position closing dates may change based on Association needs.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree.
  • Experience relevant to the role of the position.
  • Ability to meet the regular travel requirements associated with this position. A valid NYS driver’s license with the ability to drive and driving record acceptable for agency insurance coverage are required.
  • Ability to work flexible hours which may include evenings and/or weekends, and occasional overnight travel.
  • Commitment to help ensure diverse, equitable, and inclusive programs and reach diverse audiences.
  • Program Skills –Ability to effectively develop and deliver related programs and training. Serve as an effective subject matter expert for program participants, volunteers, outside organizations, and others. Maintain program participant data confidentiality. Ability to effectively participate in professional team efforts. Ability to plan and organize work responsibilities according to priorities developed with the supervisor.
  • Technology Skills - Ability to adapt quickly to new technologies, including for virtual programming. Proficiency or ability to learn and effectively use software including use of the internet, program related software, and Microsoft Office Suite including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Excel.
  • Communication & Marketing Skills - Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing with program participants, employees and others through a variety of media. Ability to effectively market program through social, print and other media, resulting in robust program participation. Ability to recruit, manage, engage, and motivate program participants. Ability to relate effectively to co-workers, advisors, community and professional leaders.
  • Work Environment – In addition to the Working Conditions; the work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions. This position works in a typical office environment. In addition, the position regularly lifts, moves, or transports program related materials, and equipment. The position regularly works in agricultural and outdoor weather conditions including extreme heat, precipitation and cold – especially during growing and fair seasons.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Degree or coursework in agriculture, animal or plant science, or related fields.
  • Experience in Cooperative Extension, information management, information technology, adult education, communications, or related fields.
  • Experience in public relations and production of digital media (e.g. media/video editing and distance virtual teaching platforms, etc.).
  • Ability to speak, read and write proficiently in the Spanish language or other non-English language as is spoken in the target community.

Position Responsibilities & Essential Functions

Program Responsibilities:

Program Assessment – 15%

  • Apply subject matter knowledge to identify educational gaps and trends in the community for both youth and adult audiences.
  • Analyze program needs and develop program needs assessments.
  • Make recommendations for programmatic offerings, enhancements or improvements.
  • May be involved in multidisciplinary and multi-associate team efforts to assess program.
  • Maintain direct linkage with Cornell University faculty and program units for program assessment guidance.
  • Ensure program assessment is within scope of the statewide Plan of Work.

Program Development – 15%

  • Apply subject matter knowledge to develop and create educational strategies and programs.
  • May assist in application of a high level of disciplinary subject matter knowledge to develop educational strategies.
  • Research, identify and select existing resources for the program.
  • Create program materials to address clients’ needs.
  • Make programmatic changes based on program evaluation outcomes.
  • Structure programs to meet the need of diverse program participants.
  • Develop program to meet changing local or priority issues; may assist with regional or multi-association issues.
  • Develop well integrated association educational efforts.
  • Use a system of ongoing involvement of citizens in the program development process which expresses the demographics of the community.
  • Interpret Association and University program direction to create educational programs.
  • Ensure program development is within scope of the statewide Plan of Work.
  • Maintain direct linkage with Cornell or other Land Grant University faculty and program units for program development guidance.

Program Delivery – 25%

  • Deliver agriculture related youth development programs based on plant and animal sciences to support both ongoing and new 4-H programs such as but not limited to: production and companion animals, gardening, farm safety, and veterinary science.
  • Deliver local agriculture programs for adults and youth like agricultural literacy, days on the farm, and other varied agriculture related topics.
  • Educate the public on Rensselaer County farms and farm products, helping people make connections to locally produced, nutritious foods.
  • Serve as subject matter expert in agriculture; field questions and provide highly complex non-standard responses to the public and Association staff. Connect people, producers, and growers to other regional or state-wide experts as needed.
  • Train and provide resources to Association staff to increase their knowledge on agriculture and related issues.
  • Apply subject matter expertise to create innovative lesson plans to deliver educational programs.
  • Adopt and enhance existing educational programs as is appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Foster acceptance of program, methods and policies to address community and individual needs and consider diverse audiences.
  • Deliver programs utilizing a variety of methods including direct teaching, distance learning, mass media, newsletters, etc.
  • Represent CCE as a subject matter expert before the public, community leaders, government officials, Cornell or other land grant universities as part of program delivery.
  • Work as a member/partner of local and regional program teams as well as with multi-county and statewide teams and work groups as is appropriate.
  • May be actively involved in multidisciplinary or multi-association team efforts to deliver program.
  • Evaluate and utilize a variety of proven educational methodologies.
  • Ensure program delivery is within the statewide and local Plan of Work and strategic plans.

Program Evaluation – 10%

  • Apply subject matter knowledge to evaluate educational program in accordance with program partner and funder outcome and reporting requirements.
  • Design or create program evaluation framework.
  • Implement program evaluation. Analyze collected program evaluation data.
  • Make recommendations for improvements.
  • May be involved in multidisciplinary or multi-association team efforts to design or analyze program evaluation.
  • Maintain direct connection with Cornell or other Land Grant Universities faculty and program units for program evaluation guidance.
  • Interpret evaluation data to the constituencies.

Applied Research – 5%

  • May support and participate in collaborative research projects with other local and regional team members, university and extension faculty and staff in developing and reporting measurable, outcome based project goals.

Administrative Responsibilities:

Direction – 10%

  • Plan assigned programs.
  • Plan effective strategic external and internal program communication/ marketing efforts in collaboration with the Association Executive Director, Team Leader and/or the Communications Coordinator.
  • Assist in developing, expanding, and enhancing relationships with local growers and producers, appropriate agencies, organizations, industries and community leaders for program.
  • May assist in the design of a system of ongoing involvement of citizens which expresses the demographics of the community.
  • Will provide input to the planning of program budgets.

Management – 10%

  • Manage assigned programs.
  • Assist in solving problems and resolving conflicts that arise in the program, utilizing appropriate policies and procedures. Provide policy interpretation and guidance to constituents.
  • Assist with the management of 4-H agriculture club volunteers including recruitment and involvement; helping to ensure robust program involvement.
  • Monitor income and expenses to ensure the spending is within budget constraint.
  • Effectively allocate financial resources to accomplish program objectives.
  • Oversee and apply for funding to enhance and continue agriculture programs.

Coordination/Operation – 5%

  • Compile existing resources into educational program materials.
  • Collect evaluation data from program participants based on existing framework.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director and/or Team Leader, submit grant or funding proposals as appropriate.
  • Complete required financial documentation to meet funders and/or association budget requirements.

Professional Improvement – 5%

  • In cooperation with Supervisor and/or Executive Director, jointly develop and pursue a professional development plan as a means to increase competencies relative to position accountabilities and to address changes and Association priorities.
  • Collaborate in activities that are in general support of Cornell Cooperative Extension and perform other duties as assigned.

Health and Safety – Applied to all duties and functions

  • Support the Association to maintain a safe working environment.
  • Be familiar with and strive to follow any applicable federal, state, local regulations, Association health and safety policy/procedure/requirement and standard.
  • Act proactively to prevent accidents/injuries and communicate hazards to supervisors when identified.

EEO/EPO and Policy – Applied to all duties and functions

  • Appreciate and embrace diversity in all interactions with clientele, staff, volunteers and the public.
  • Assist the Cornell Cooperative Extension system in reaching out to diverse audiences.
  • Aware of, and adheres to, established Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Rensselaer County policies, procedures and Cornell Cooperative Extension Skills for Success.
  • Contribute to the overall success of the organization by performing all assigned duties in a professional, timely and accurate manner.

Position Details

This is a full-time, exempt position. Compensation paid at the rate of $49,000 annually. Excellent benefits, based on eligibility, including:

  • Paid Vacation, Sick, and Personal leave
  • Paid Holidays
  • NYS Health Insurance Program (including free Dental Insurance)
  • NYS Retirement (NYSERS)
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Total Care Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Tax Deferred Annuity Plan
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Group Universal Life Insurance
  • Personal Accidental Insurance
  • Legal Plan Insurance
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • New York’s College Savings Program
  • ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

No relocation or VISA Sponsorship available.

For additional questions please contact Jim McNaughton, Association Lead Human Resources Manager, e-mail or phone (518) 765-3503.

Job Title:

Association Resource Educator



Pay Rate Type:



Contract College

Contact Name:

Jim McNaughton

Number of Openings:


Cornell Cooperative Extension is a collaboration among Cornell University, the United States Department of Agriculture, the State of New York, and the residents of New York State. Per NYS Law, county and regional extension service associations are subordinate government agencies. This employment opportunity is with the entities listed and not with Cornell University.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. Individuals who bring a diverse perspective and are supportive of diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.

Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell Cooperative Extension as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

Last updated November 2, 2022