Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist – Santa Maria, CA or Watsonville, CA

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  • Santa Maria, California, Watsonville, CA
  • Salary: $65,000.00 - $75,000.00 / Yearly
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Job Detail

  • Job ID 30252
  • Experience Field experience, agricultural development, or experience with cross-cultural immersion in an agricultural context.
  • Industry Agriculture
  • Qualifications Bachelor's or Master’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences, Horticulture, Agribusiness, or a closely related field.

Job Description

Are you the type of person who enjoys steady employment from a stable company but craves the innovation and creativity involved in a startup? Do you value the impact and influence of your work on a wider audience? Do you appreciate the hard work of bringing strawberries to the table?

Title: Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist
Reports to: Director of Grower Education
Location: Santa Maria, CA or Watsonville, CA

Annual Salary Range: $65,000 – $75,000

Overview:

The Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist at the California Strawberry Commission plays a pivotal role in enhancing the support and development of strawberry growing operations along the Central California coast. This position is perfect for someone with a passion for the strawberry industry and a dedication to building relationships with strawberry growers and their employees. As the primary liaison, the Specialist will focus on evaluating and meeting the needs of California strawberry growers.

Key responsibilities include facilitating educational programs in areas such as best practices in food safety, strawberry production, labor management, and pesticide safety. The Specialist, as a member of the 5-person Grower Education team, will collaborate across various departments within the Strawberry Commission to advance the strategic goals of the industry.

Executing field-based projects is a critical aspect of this role and demands excellent communication skills to effectively inform and educate growers, shippers, and farm-level employees. Fluency in Spanish is crucial. The candidate should be based in, or willing to relocate to, Watsonville, Santa Maria, or the Oxnard/Ventura area. Occasional overnight travel will be required.

The Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist will work full-time on site in one of CSC offices located in Watsonville, Ventura, or Santa Maria, CA with regular travel throughout California’s strawberry growing districts. The normal schedule for this position is 40 hours per week Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

Key Responsibilities:

Extension:

  • Develop and implement specialized agricultural extension programs targeting strawberry growers, focusing on Food Safety, Leadership Skills, Labor Management, Strawberry Production (Pest/Disease Control, Water Management), and Regulatory Compliance.
  • Create new education programs informed by research findings to enhance strawberry production practices for growers and their employees.
  • Produce educational materials, resources, and guidelines for growers and field-level employees, ensuring the content is informative, practical, and accessible.

 

District Outreach:

  • Conduct surveys and maintain professional relationships with strawberry growers, their employees, and key industry stakeholders.
  • Organize and lead informational meetings on critical and emerging topics, ensuring timely and efficient coordination.
  • Connect CSC staff with growers and industry members to facilitate cross-departmental initiatives.
  • Work closely with CSC staff to monitor and address emerging issues affecting growers, particularly in production practices, food safety, regulatory affairs, and labor.

 

Qualifications:

Required:

  • Professional fluency in oral and written Spanish and English. The candidate must be biliterate.
  • Live within or be willing to relocate to Watsonville/Salinas, Santa Maria or Ventura strawberry production region.
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences, Horticulture, Agribusiness, or a closely related field.
  • Comfortable with in-person or online group facilitation.
  • Proficient in Microsoft applications and collaboration tools.
  • Must be a self-starter and have initiative to network with various stakeholders.
  • Overnight travel within California.
  • Ability to lift equipment and supplies (up to 40 lbs.) and utilize hand tools in diverse settings indoors and outdoors.
  • Valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving record.
  • This position requires the ability to perform essential in-person activities, with the appropriate safeguards, including a vaccination(s) in accordance with Title VI, the ADA, EEOC guidance and FEHA.

 

Desired:

  • Proficiency in using modern data collection and analysis tools (such as PowerBI, Tableau, or ArcGIS)
  • Field experience, agricultural development, or experience with cross-cultural immersion in an agricultural context.
  • Strong commitment to working with growers and farm employees.
  • MS in a field relevant to agricultural education, production, research, or another relevant field.
  • Experience developing and delivering bilingual education programs in agriculture.
  • Technical knowledge in agricultural production, agribusiness, human resources, labor management, labor policy, regulatory affairs, or farm-level management.
  • Multimedia communication skills to interact with diverse audiences.

 

What We Offer:

  • Competitive Salary
  • Health, Vision & Dental Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Enterprise-level professional development
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Profit Sharing Plan
  • 457 Plan

 

Submission:

E‐mail resume and cover letter to opportunity@calstrawberry.org with “Grower Outreach & Extension Specialist” in the subject line.

 

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

The California Strawberry Commission is an equal opportunity employer. We prohibit discrimination and harassment (including sexual harassment) against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, and related medical conditions), national origin or ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, genetic information (including testing and characteristics), domestic violence, veteran or military status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law. We will not tolerate any unlawful discrimination or harassment by any employee, including supervisors and co-workers. Our commitment to equal opportunity employment applies to all persons involved in our operations and all areas of employment including, but not limited to hiring, recruitment, promotion, termination, compensation, benefits, and training. Reasonable accommodations will be made for disabled applicants and employees as well as pregnant employees upon request.

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