Small Farms Advisor Applied Research and Extension -Fresno and Madera Counties, California – 23-17

  • Full Time
  • Fresno

Website University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

Small Farms Advisor Applied Research and Extension -Fresno and Madera Counties, California – 23-17

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

County Locations: Fresno County, Madera County

Date Posted: October 10, 2023

Closing Date: November 28, 2023

Job Description:

Position Overview

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for a UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Small Farms Advisor. UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers and educators dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and health issues. Over 150 UC ANR UCCE advisors conduct research, outreach and education from locally based CE offices serving all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. Our mission is to bring the University of California directly to Californians through research, extension and education programs that support:

  • Sustainable, safe, and nutritious food production and delivery
  • Economic success in a global economy
  • A sustainable, healthy, and productive environment
  • Science literacy and youth development

By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC system.

Location Headquarters: Fresno County, Fresno, California


The Small Farms Advisor will conduct an integrated program of extension and applied research to support economic viability and sustainable production for small-scale farms in Fresno and Madera Counties. This position will support a clientele of specialty crop producers on small-scale and diversified farms, including underserved farmers growing unique crops for niche markets. Crops include a variety of vegetable, fruit, and herb crops as well as tropical and subtropical crops grown on small acreages, such as Asian specialty vegetables and herbs, vegetable crops for farmers market and other direct market sales, strawberries, caneberries, emerging crops such as moringa, and small-acreage fruits such as jujube and guava. These crops are often grown in diversified production systems and include both conventional and organic production, and many are sold at culturally specific niche markets and/or contribute to food security for diverse urban and rural communities. While there is no defined limit for acreage, most farms covered by this position are 80 acres or less, with the majority under 50 acres, and target their produce towards alternative markets.

The Small Farms Advisor will address critical issues related to sustainable crop production, economics and marketing, and compliance with regulatory programs and requirements including food safety, labor, pesticide use, nitrogen fertilizer use, and groundwater management. Support for small-scale growers will include field consultations, problem solving, and technical assistance in addition to applied research. The Small Farms Advisor will also provide expertise in soils, irrigation, crop nutrition, and integrated pest management, including through collaborations developed with other UCCE advisors and specialists, UC faculty, and private industry representatives. An existing team of several staff providing education, technical assistance, and applied research support is available to support the goals of this position through current externally funded projects.

Applied Research. The Small Farms Advisor will develop and implement an applied research program to provide science-based solutions for small-scale, diversified, and underserved growers, address current and emerging issues in production, economics, and policy, and promote local and regional problem solving. The applied research program will be based upon a needs assessment and may include partnerships with a variety of campus and county-based colleagues as well as partner organizations. Field research activities may be conducted on private farms and at the nearby Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE). Applied research, extension, technical assistance, and policy communication include extensive collaboration with growers, community-based nonprofit organizations, and public agencies.

Extension and Education. Extension education activities include the dissemination of science-based research results and educational information using a variety of methods, including individual consultations, presentations at grower, agency, and industry meetings, workshops, short courses, tailgate meetings, and field demonstrations. Dissemination methods further include radio outreach, collaborations with external partners, publications and newsletters in UC ANR and peer-reviewed journals, public comments and policy papers, technical reports to public agencies, and use of contemporary and emerging electronic tools (such as online learning, web content systems and repositories, and social media), along with specialized and public media outlets. Bilingual outreach in Hmong, Spanish, and other relevant languages is a key component of this position. The Small Farms Advisor will supervise the Hmong Agricultural Assistant in Fresno County and will supervise and/or provide programmatic guidance to county-based staff in the UC ANR Small Farms Network conducting outreach, education, technical assistance, and research activities.

Grower Clientele. UC ANR’s public value for equity and inclusion is a major focus of Small Farms Advisor positions, with the goal of reaching farmers who face barriers to accessing programs and resources, and who may benefit from targeted bilingual and/or culturally appropriate outreach, training, and technical assistance, as well as communicating the needs and challenges of underserved clientele to policy makers and community partners. Small-scale and underserved farmers in Fresno and Madera Counties often have limited resources, and their economic viability can be affected by regulatory requirements with a lack of fit between smaller or diversified farms and regulatory and incentives programs set up for larger farming operations. Research that addresses policy solutions to these challenges is encouraged.

UC ANR Small Farms Network. This is an exciting opportunity to join a team of highly motivated UCCE colleagues who are passionate about their work and are dedicated to making a difference within their communities and throughout California. There is excellent potential for collaborative projects within the UC ANR system. The Small Farms CE Advisor will be a key member of the UC ANR Small Farms Network (SFN), a statewide team of small farms advisors and extension staff under the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) statewide program, and will work closely with the SFN to collaborate on joint efforts and accomplish statewide goals.

Counties of Responsibility. This position will be headquartered in the UCCE Fresno County office located in Fresno, California and will support small farms clientele in Fresno and Madera Counties.

Reporting Relationship: The Small Farms Advisor serves under the administrative guidance of the UCCE Fresno-Madera Multi-County Partnership (MCP) County Director and under the programmatic guidance of the UC SAREP Director.

Qualifications and Skills Required

Required Qualifications

Education: A minimum of a Master’s degree in plant science, crop science, agronomy, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, horticulture, weed science, plant physiology, agroecology, or a related discipline in the agricultural sciences, or in agricultural economics, is required at the time of appointment.

Additional Requirements

  • Technical competency and demonstrated ability in applied agricultural research and extension techniques applicable to the clientele, crops, and production systems for the position.
  • Ability to plan, implement, and evaluate educational programs and publish applied research.
  • Ability to build partnerships and to work with multidisciplinary teams to address crop production challenges as well as social, economic, and environmental challenges for small-scale farms.
  • Ability to effectively set goals, manage teams, and oversee activities across multiple projects.
  • Ability to adapt research and extension efforts in response to key needs and challenges of grower clientele.
  • Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed, proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicle used is required. Must possess valid California Driver’s License to drive a County or University vehicle.
  • The CE Advisor must possess or obtain within one year a Qualified Pesticide Applicator Certificate (QAC) or License (QAL) prior to applying or supervising the application of any pesticide.
  • This is not a remote position. The candidate must be available to work onsite.

Skills Required

To be successful, the CE Advisor requires skills in the following area:

Technical Competence and Impact

The candidate should have a solid understanding of key concepts related to specialty crop production including irrigation and nutrient management, pest management, and economic constraints and be able to design and implement a program that leads to positive changes and impact within the community and beyond. There is an expectation that advisors evolve and grow across their career and respond to changes in the industry and clientele.


The candidate should demonstrate excellence in written, oral, and interpersonal and information technology communication skills. Public speaking to stakeholders is a routine part of this position. Proficiency in another language such as Spanish, Hmong, Lao, Thai, or Punjabi would benefit the program but is not required.

The candidate should demonstrate the ability to share complex information in a manner tailored to different audiences. The ability to work with small farms clientele across a wide range of demographic groups, technical backgrounds, literacy levels, and socio-economic classes is essential.

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

The candidate should demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively as a team member with key external stakeholders and county-based staff, as well as with colleagues within the UC ANR Small Farms Network and UC SAREP.

The candidate should be aware of and willing to actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Lifelong Learning

Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement. Ability to shift program focus as times and organizational needs change.

Desired Experience

  • Interest in and a desire to pursue a career in Cooperative Extension.
  • Experience in conducting field research in agriculture.
  • Experience in planning and implementation of research and/or extension activities.
  • Ability to evaluate crop production and management problems.
  • Experience conducting education, research, technical assistance, field work, or other activities with small-scale farmers.
  • Experience in people management, such as supervising staff, students, or volunteers.
  • Experience managing grant-funded projects and/or securing extramural funding.
  • An understanding of how public policy impacts agricultural management and producer decision-making.

Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review (including Professional Competence, University and Public Service and Affirmative Action and DEI) at:

About UC ANR

The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across the state of California. We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers Statewide Programs and Initiatives (SWP/I’s) that focus research and extension on solving priority problems that engage ANR academics and UC faculty in integrated teams to work on complex issues requiring trans-disciplinary approaches; as well as UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in counties throughout the state.

Learn more about

  • UC ANR at
  • UC ANR in counties:
  • Our Strategic Initiatives
  • Our Public Value statements at:
  • DEI: Further to the above, advisors are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Affirmative Action: Further to the above, advisors are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy:
  • The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives, and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

Salary & Benefits

Salary: The salary range for this Cooperative Extension Advisor position is Assistant Rank, Step I ($79,500) to Step VI ($100,900). Step placement in the advisor series is based on applicable experience and professional qualifications. For information regarding Cooperative Extension Advisor salary scales, please refer to the University of California website: If the successful candidate is currently a UCCE Advisor, the candidate will be offered the position without change to the candidate’s current rank, step, salary and/or appointment terms; and if applicable, is eligible to retain indefinite status.

This position is eligible for indefinite status following three successful reviews and subject to terms noted in UC ANR Policy and Procedure Manual, Section 315

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and paid holidays. This position is eligible for sabbatical leave privileges as per the terms of the University policy. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at:

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: and choose “applicants” (refer to position #23-17)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by

November 28, 2023


Contact Katie Kilbane; email:

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at as a resource.

University of California Cooperative Extension

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited.

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