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Education and Mentorship Coordinator AC 2 UC Organic Agriculture Institute (AP 23-20)

Date Posted: January 11, 2024
Closing Date: February 26, 2024

Job Description: Download

Position Overview

Location Headquarters: Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
or TBA/County Location

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for an Education and Mentorship Coordinator, Academic Coordinator II.  UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers, educators and support staff dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and community health issues. Research, outreach and education from locally based Cooperative Extension offices serves 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.


The Education and Mentorship Coordinator (Academic Coordinator II) will work with the program team at the UC Organic Agriculture Institute (OAI) to support the development, implementation, and communication of effective applied education and mentorship programs and activities to address the identified critical needs of certified, transitioning and aspiring organic farmers across multiple scales of production, as well as other relevant organic stakeholders, in a way that is consistent with the UC OAI Strategic Plan.

The Academic Coordinator has a statewide responsibility for their scope of work, development and implementation of programming and projects while being locally contextual and meet the unique needs of organic agriculture stakeholders at a regional level when necessary and appropriate. The key stakeholders the Academic Coordinator is responsible to include organic growers, underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers, organic consultants and certifiers, non-profit partner technical assistance (TA) providers and advocacy organizations, as well as public agencies, regulators and policymakers.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Education and Mentorship Coordinator will:

Coordinate a New Student Field Course on Organic Agriculture

  • As part of a collaboration with UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and UC Berkeley, the UC OAI is helping launch a new 8-week summer field course that provides graduate and undergraduate students with applied experiential learning opportunities focused on organic agriculture. The course will be a combination of on- and off-campus activities that combines traditional coursework with applied production, research and extension learning opportunities.
  • Work with project partners to help develop, coordinate and administrate all field course activities, including student enrollment.
  • Build and maintain relationships with partner organizations and UC campuses around graduate and undergraduate educational activities focused on organic agriculture.
  • Help facilitate student enrollment, as well as identify student recruitment opportunities. 

Facilitate an Organic Mentorship Network

  • The Academic Coordinator, in partnership with California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), will help to develop and coordinate a new organic farmer mentorship network in California.
  • Showcase participating mentors/mentees through field days, videos and/or written articles.

Provide Technical Assistance to Transitioning Organic Farmers

  • Help growers transitioning to certified organic production complete their Organic System Plans (OSPs).
  • Provide guidance on the development of OSPs through presentations and/or written training materials.

Develop Extension Programming

  • Provides expertise in adult learning pedagogy and extension methods to coordinate the development of innovative approaches to outreach and education for small- to large-scale certified, transitioning, and aspiring organic farmers.
  • Responsible for managing logistics for educational programming taking place at organic farm demonstration sites such as video content creation, farmer profile interviews, and field days.

Outreach and Promotion

  • Enhance the ability of the UC OAI to regularly engage with organic, stakeholders, increasing the visibility of UC OAI programs to the broader public.
  • Further, will coordinate and outreach with partner organizations to build synergies in overlapping educational and mentorship work.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Facilitate gatherings and engage with diverse stakeholders to identify education and mentorship needs.
  • Design educational opportunities based on engagement with partner organizations that provide technical assistance to small and mid-sized, diversified, and socially disadvantaged farmers.
  • Provide sound science-based input and represent the interests and needs of stakeholders served by UC OAI in committees, working groups, alliances, public comments, and hearings organized by public agencies or other organizations.

Analysis and Assessment

  • As needed, conduct literature reviews, statistical analyses, and/or policy assessments to answer applied questions and outline solutions to the most pressing challenges for organic agriculture education.
  • Design, analyze, and synthesize results from surveys and feedback from events that are designed to capture stakeholder educational and mentorship needs/interests.
  • Ensure stakeholder needs are assessed and develops program goals to successfully meet stakeholder needs, in alignment with UC ANR’s Strategic Initiatives and Public Value Statements.
  • Use activities stated above to inform program assessment and improvement, strategic planning, policy engagement, and future programmatic directions.

Outreach and Promotion

  • Enhance the ability of the UC OAI to regularly engage with organic, diversified, and small-scale agricultural stakeholders as well as the broader public.
  • Present results from analyses and assessments at conferences and public meetings.
  • Share programmatic updates and communicate regularly with key stakeholders for organic and small-scale farms, policymakers, and the broader public.
  • Report accomplishments, results, and potential or actual impacts to scientific and lay audiences.

Build and Maintain Partnerships

  • Build relationships and leverage resources with key educational partners to enhance the efforts of collective programs to facilitate education and mentorship. Partners can include the stakeholders listed above as well as campus-based academics, researchers, and Cooperative Extension personnel.
  • Coordinate partnerships to co-develop joint educational and mentorship resources (e.g., information clearinghouses, training and knowledge sharing networks, etc.) to be shared across non-profit and agency partners to build technical assistance capacity to serve organic and small-scale producers.

Counties of Responsibility:  This position is a statewide position, and will be headquartered at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KREC) or TBA/County location.

Reporting Relationship:  The Academic Coordinator is administratively responsible to the UC Organic Agriculture Institute Director.

Qualifications and Skills Required 

Required Qualifications

Education:  A minimum of a Master’s Degree in agricultural, environmental, or social science, with coursework or experience relevant to agricultural extension, education and mentorships, as well as organic agriculture is required at the time of appointment.

Additional Requirements

  • A strong background in agricultural or environmental education and/or mentorship
  • Training and experience in extension education methods, communication, and facilitation.
  • Attend events around the state of California.
  • This is not a remote position. The candidate must be available to be onsite. In accordance with UC ANR Flexible Work Guidelines flexible work agreements are available upon approval by supervisors and periodic re-evaluation.
  • 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.

Desired Experience:

  • Ability to manage extramural funding.
  • Passion and desire to pursue a career in Cooperative Extension.
  • Ability to prepare and deliver communications to farmers, crop consultants, regulators, certifiers, policy makers, funders, and other external stakeholders.
  • Prior experience working in an agricultural setting or working directly with farmers.
  • Experience communicating technical information to culturally diverse audiences.
  • Experience in building partnerships and working with multidisciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively plan projects, manage teams and assist in implementing an applied education and mentorship program, including setting measurable goals and objectives.

Skills Required:  To be successful, Academic Coordinators require skills in the following:

Technical Competence and Impact

  • Interdisciplinary understanding of food systems and on-farm agricultural production contexts for stakeholders served by the UC OAI (i.e., organic, small-scale, and/or diversified producers).
  • Ability to design and implement a program that leads to positive changes and impact within the community and beyond.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare, deliver, and evaluate research, educational materials, and extension programming.

Project Management

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively plan projects, manage time, and assist in implementing the education and mentorship programs of the UC OAI – including setting measurable goals and objectives


  • Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Public speaking to diverse audiences.
  • Ability to communicate and coordinate effectively with diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to share complex information in a manner tailored to the audience.

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

  • Develop collaborative teams with other UC ANR academics, campus-based specialists and faculty and/or others, to address priority issues for UC ANR.
  • Interact with UC ANR Program Teams, specialists, campus based Agricultural Experiment Station faculty (if appropriate) and others within the research/extension network to develop, strengthen and expand program goals.
  • Be an effective listener and communicator, take responsibility for our own actions, motivate others, keep commitments and cultivate political and industry support for UC ANR.
  • Build relationships to work with diverse populations and acclimate to varying circumstances.

Lifelong Learning

  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement.

Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review (including Professional Competence, University and Public Service and Affirmative Action and DEI) at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/355229.pdf

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

  • DEI: Further to the above, academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/Office_-_Team_Management/Diversity_Equity_Inclusion_Belonging/
  • Affirmative Action: Further to the above, academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/
  • 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 will be in the Academic Coordinator II series, Step 1- $78,342 annually of the Academic Coordinator II, Fiscal Year Salary Table.  For information regarding the Academic Coordinator series salary scales, please refer to: https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2023-24/july-2023-acad-salary-scales/t36-ii.pdf

This appointment is a limited term appointment.  The merit cycle is every two years.   The performance in the position will be evaluated annually.  The position will be extended based on the continued need for the position, performance and availability of funding.

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 holidays. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #23-20)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by February 26, 2024 (open until filled).


Contact Tatiana Avoce; email:  tavoce@ucanr.edu

 “Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring work authorization without need of employer sponsorship for the duration of the appointment period.”

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

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.