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Job Vacancy #19-22 Extension Agent, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, and Food Systems, Jefferson County, Golden, CO   arrow

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our staff and providing culturally responsive programs and services. Therefore, we encourage responses from people of all backgrounds and abilities. We invite you to review Colorado State University’s Principles of Community that guide our mission and vision of access, teaching, service, and engagement.

Inspired by its land-grant heritage, CSU is committed to excellence, setting the standard for public research universities in teaching, research, service, and extension for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado, the United States, and the world.

Jefferson County is one of the five counties making up the Denver metropolitan area. Once an agricultural and mining area, Jefferson County is now a thriving suburban, business, industrial and residential community interspersed with small farms, urban agriculture and ranchettes. It’s located where the great plains meet the Rocky Mountains with some of the most magnificent scenery in the country. Outdoor lovers have three national forests and two state parks to choose from as well as a vibrant Open Space parks system. The Jefferson County Extension office, along with this position, is staffed by a county director/agent; two 4-H youth development agents; a family and consumer sciences agent; a natural resources agent; two horticulture program associates; two 4-H program coordinators; a Family Leadership Training Institute coordinator; and three support staff. To learn more about Jefferson County Extension, visit the  website at or the Colorado State University Extension website at:

APPLICATION PROCESS AND DEADLINE: For full consideration, all materials must be RECEIVED no later than 11:59 PM Mountain Time on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Please submit the following to to apply:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Transcript of college(s) course work showing degrees conferred. Please remove all references to birth date or social security number.
  • Special Required Documentation – Statement (no more than 5 pages) of how you meet all applicable “Required” and “Preferred” Job Qualifications. Please respond to each bullet point separately.

All applicants will be contacted approximately 15 working days after the deadline regarding their status. Next steps and interview dates will be shared to those moving forward. Four professional references will be requested of applicants that advance in the interview process.

For questions regarding the application process, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at (970) 491-5836 or email For questions regarding the job vacancy, responsibilities, and salary, please Eric Hammond at 303-637-8016 or


The Extension Agent will provide leadership and guidance in the development, delivery, and evaluation of Extension horticulture, Plant Diagnostics and Integrated Pest Management (IPM), plant pathology and food system programs. The person will have knowledge of horticulture principles, plant pathology and diagnostics, plants, trees, insects, and urban food systems. They will have a proven track record of working well with people and experience working in the field of laboratory diagnostics to address horticulture issues related to yards, gardens, and small farms. The individual will work well in a team environment using strong verbal and written communication skills to develop relationships with staff, customers, and partners, and to address common horticulture diagnostic issues. This individual works as a member of the local county Extension Team and as a local representative of Colorado State University. The agent works cooperatively with other Extension agents in their program area, and statewide with specialists and partners to develop and deliver quality programming; information; yard, garden and small farm outreach, and plant diagnostic services to the citizens of Colorado. This individual works under the guidance and supervision of the Extension Director of Jefferson County.


Program Planning, Development, Delivery, Evaluation, and Reporting

Job Duty Category: 55%

  • Based on community needs, develop, deliver, evaluate, and report on research-based educational programming in horticultural crop production, turf management, integrated pest management, plant pathology and entomology for both consumer and green industry audiences using a variety of educational venues including but not limited to webinars, workshops, newsletters, blogs, website, new releases, radio programs, speakers’ bureau, and volunteers. 
  • Provide educational information and teaching in plant diagnostics to Colorado Clinic Master Gardeners by providing hands-on workshops throughout the growing season; providing opportunities to recognize and study real-time plant health issues, to better equip these volunteers to accurately and effectively diagnose plant problems that are submitted to CSU Extension offices; support plant diagnostic efforts in the county.
  • Develop and promote culturally appropriate programming that is inclusive of youth and adult audiences that are diverse and/or underserved.
  • Participate in professional development activities as appropriate or as required by position.
  • As part of the Jefferson County Extension team, recruit, select, train, evaluate and recognize volunteers.
  • Respond to horticulture questions from volunteers and community members, conduct site visits and lawn checks.
  • With input and support from the Extension team, assist with updating and maintaining all website and social media platforms with relevant program related content and information. 
  • Complete the CMG training required of volunteers in the first year of hire. 
  • Actively participate in, developing a Plan to Invest and regularly report program activities and outcomes to the Environmental Horticulture and Food Systems Program Reporting Units 
  • Author and/or develop scholarly works that enhance programming delivery and / or general knowledge. Materials developed may include but are not limited to journal articles, websites, fact sheets, poster sessions, reports, newsletters, electronic media, lesson plans, activity sheets, presentations at professional meetings, etc.
  • Practice cost recovery as appropriate. Identify and pursue appropriate resources (grants, contracts, in-kind contributions, sponsorships etc.) to enhance the identified program work.
  • Participate in one or more Extension work teams, working within the programmatic group and serving as a regional resource in plant pathology and food systems for other agents, agencies, and community groups.
  • Oversee the regional plant diagnostic clinic in Jefferson County.
  • Assist with the management, training and evaluation of plant diagnostic clinic volunteers, support training and recognition of Colorado Master Gardener volunteers.
  • Cross-market CSU Extension at all educational programs and activities.
  • Manage the horticulture program budget.
  • Assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies including reaching out to underserved and underrepresented audiences.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Relationships and Partnerships

Job Duty Category: 20%

  • Foster and support strong relationships between the county, the university, and Extension by serving as a liaison to ensure county needs and interests are represented and university resources are engaged.
  • Communicate and coordinate resources, research, programming, and results with staff of Colorado State University and other agencies and institutions to enhance program development, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Assess program needs and identify community assets, outcomes, and strategies with advisory committees, green industry, and other partners. Evaluate and document expected results and impacts of educational programs; communicate these to stakeholders.
  • Maintain effective communication and develop strong partnerships with staff in adjacent counties providing support to the horticulture and natural resources programs, county staff, and Colorado State University specialists in horticulture, food systems, and related programs.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Perform Plant Problem Diagnoses

Job Duty Category: 15%

  • In cooperation with horticulture team, work to implement, evaluate, and constantly improve local horticulture and food systems programming and its alignment with natural resources programming.
  • Support horticulture staff in program coordination and delivery of program specific, cross-program and multi-county work.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Supervision, Program Leadership, and Management

Job Duty Category: 10%

  • In cooperation with horticulture team, work to implement, evaluate, and constantly improve local horticulture and food systems programming and its alignment with natural resources programming.
  • Support horticulture staff in program coordination and delivery of program specific, cross-program and multi-county work.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

SALARY: The salary range for this position is $45,000 – $72,000. Starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.


  • Completed master’s degree. 
  • One degree must have been completed in horticulture, plant science, plant pathology, soil science, entomology, forestry, agriculture, or a closely related field.
  • Course work and/or professional experience must provide a broad and significant understanding of plants, insects, plant pathogens, diseases, and diagnostics.
  • Minimum 2 years professional experience in plant diagnosis/integrated pest management and working in a plant diagnostic lab.
  • Demonstrated experience/training in the recruitment, training, and management of volunteers.
  • Demonstrated food system experience or evidence of an understanding of food systems.
  • Demonstrated experience working with people as individuals and in groups; ability to forge equitable and successful partnerships with other professionals and organizations.
  • Evidence of drive and initiative. Must be a self-starter.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability.
  • Ability to communicate through teaching, public speaking/presentation, and writing as demonstrated through application materials and experience.
  • Demonstrated use of technology in managing and/or delivering educational programs.
  • Personal or professional commitment to diversity as demonstrated by persistent effort, active planning, allocation of resources and/or accountability for diversity outcomes.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.


  • Bilingual (English-Spanish)
  • Demonstrated experience working in food systems, farming or urban agriculture.

BENEFITS: Colorado State University is committed to providing employees with a strong and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Visit CSU’s Human Resources website for detailed benefit plan information for permanent full-time and part-time faculty and administrative professional employees in the following University benefit areas.

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or pregnancy in its employment, programs, services and activities, and admissions, and, in certain circumstances, marriage to a co-worker. The University will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity and equal access institution and affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-1715,

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836,

The Coordinator for any other forms of misconduct prohibited by the University’s Policy on Discrimination and Harassment is the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, Co. 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836,

Any person may report sex discrimination under Title IX to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education.

BACKGROUND CHECK: Colorado State University strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will also be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the University, it is reasonable and prudent to do so. Application process and additional information may be obtained at