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Associate Director for Small Farms Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program Academic Coordinator III (24-01)

Location: UC ANR - Davis

Date Posted: March 25, 2024
Closing Date: May 13, 2024

Job Description: Download

Position Overview

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for an Associate Director for Small Farms, University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (UC SAREP) Academic Coordinator III.  

The UC SAREP Associate Director for Small Farms is responsible for directorship of the UC ANR Small Farms Network and statewide coordination of small farms applied research and extension activities, with guidance from the UC SAREP Director. The Associate Director for Small Farms will work in coordination with other Associate Directors and program leaders within UC SAREP, a statewide program within UC ANR that builds networks between researchers and practitioners, strengthens local efforts by providing relevant data and data analysis, creates tools for farmers and local food system practitioners, and conducts original research on issues that cut across disciplines and work with stakeholders.

Programmatic Responsibilities:  The Associate Director for Small Farms will:

  • Coordinate statewide efforts of a team of UC Cooperative Extension advisors, academic coordinators, and staff supporting small farms through extension, applied research, outreach, and technical assistance.
  • Oversee large statewide contracts and grants supporting the Small Farms Network, including coordination and reporting of multi-county efforts, budget oversight, communication with funding agencies on progress, deliverables, and success stories, and evaluation of outcomes and impacts.
  • Work with the UC SAREP Director to identify new funding opportunities to support outreach, technical assistance, extension, and applied research benefiting small farms in California, including preparation of grant applications, continuation of state agency contracts, and donor engagement.
  • Oversee development of statewide training and technical assistance resources for small farms, collaborating closely with Small Farms Advisors, academic coordinators, and program managers as well as nonprofit partner organizations, public agencies, and other stakeholders.
  • Work with the UC SAREP Director and the Small Farms Program Manager to coordinate professional development activities for Small Farms Advisors, academic coordinators, and staff.
  • Synthesize research-based information and needs assessments from county-based programs to communicate the impacts of the UC ANR Small Farms Network and challenges and opportunities for small farms at a state and national level through engagement with partner organizations, policy makers, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders.
  • Lead the coordination and preparation of co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles, conference presentations, policy papers, and technical memoranda presenting best practices and extension methods developed for small farms, needs and challenges of small farms, and research highlighting crops, production systems, economics, and policy impacts for small farms in California.


  • Regularly communicate and collaborate with UC Cooperative Extension Small Farms Advisors to assess clientele needs, coordinate collaborative grant proposals, and identify resources to support county-based small farms research and extension programs.
  • Lead strategic planning and visioning efforts for the UC ANR Small Farms Network to identify new interdisciplinary collaborations and set research priorities to enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of small farms in California.
  • Provide input on small farms clientele needs and work collaboratively with the UC SAREP Director and other Associate Directors for strategic planning, fundraising, and cross-program collaboration within UC SAREP.
  • Supervise the Small Farms Program Manager and from three to five grant-funded Small Farms Academic Coordinator II positions focused on specific programs or disciplinary expertise.
  • Coordinate efforts between the Small Farms Network and the Local Farm and Food Innovation (LFFI) program to enhance economic development efforts for small farms and food businesses and supervise the Local Food and Farm Innovation (LFFI) Small Farms Administrative Officer.
  • Engage with the UC ANR Small Farms Workgroup, providing leadership and coordination where needed to the larger group of UC Cooperative Extension advisors with programs relevant to small farms.
  • May serve as a secondary supervisor and contribute to merit and promotion reviews for advisors affiliated with the Small Farms Network, as appropriate following discussion with the advisor and UC SAREP Director.

Education:  A minimum of a Master's degree in a discipline of the agricultural sciences (such as horticulture, agronomy, plant science, agroecology, soil science, entomology, plant pathology, or weed science), environmental sciences, agricultural economics, or a closely related field relevant to small farm agricultural production, management, economic viability, or regulatory compliance is required at the time of appointment. A PhD or other advanced degrees are encouraged.


Additional Requirements

  • Demonstrated experience in developing and leading successful extension programs, or demonstrated program leadership in a related field such as adult education or community development.
  • Demonstrated professional accomplishment and subject matter expertise in an academic discipline addressing critical issues in agricultural production, economics, or policy relevant to small farms.
  • Demonstrated commitment to listening to and prioritizing the education needs of diverse clientele, including socially disadvantaged and underserved communities of farmers and ranchers.
  • Proven track record of fundraising through extramural funding and/or development opportunities.
  • Success in building, supporting, and leading diverse teams in an inclusive
  • Evidence of ability to effectively manage projects, including setting clear, measurable goals and objectives.
  • Strategic planning and visioning skills to determine new directions for program activities, funding sources, and interdisciplinary collaborations.
  • Administrative experience including managing contract and grant budgets, reporting and evaluation, and understanding and following institutional policies.
  • Experience supervising staff, students, or volunteers including performance management, conflict resolution, and team building skills.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion both for UC ANR employees and for clientele served by UC ANR programs.
  • 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.
  • This is not a remote position. The candidate must be available to work onsite. In accordance with UC ANR Flexible Work Guidelines, flexible work agreements are available upon approval by supervisors and periodic re-evaluation.


Salary & Benefits


The beginning salary will be in the Academic Coordinator III series and commensurate with applicable experience and professional qualifications. The step placement in this series is based on experience.  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-iii.pdf

The academic coordinator position is a three-year renewable term appointment. Performance in this position is evaluated annually with merit actions being evaluated every three years.


Benefits: Comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and paid holidays. Refer to https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html


To review the full Position Vacancy Announcement:  Please click on Job Description (Download) listed above.


How to Apply:  Visit https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #24-01)


Closing Date:  To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by May 13, 2024 – (open until filled)

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at https://siss.ucdavis.edu/ as a resource.


Contact Tatiana Avoce; email: tavoce@ucanr.edu


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.