Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist

Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


The primary purpose for this position is to help coordinate Purdue University’s Extension efforts through the diversification of Indiana agriculture. The position will work closely with the Assistant Program Leader for Diversified Farming and Food Systems, Faculty leaders, Extension specialists and educators. They will connect with farmers and governmental and non-governmental organizations across the state to provide support for their operations.

Additional duties will include but are not limited to:

·         Coordinate strategic planning efforts surrounding certified or non-certified organic agriculture Extension programs. Guide the development of program objectives and foster grant proposals including salary support to build a Purdue agriculture Extension and applied research program around organic practices. Collaborate with Extension specialists and educators and research faculty to encourage and/or develop research and demonstration at Purdue Agricultural Centers (PACs) and with collaborating organic farmers (on-farm research). Coordinate the organic certification paperwork at the different PAC locations.

·         Identify key professional development opportunities to build Extension’s capacity to deliver local programming on organic certification, production, and marketing and related aspects of diversified agriculture. Coordinate and lead development of professional development programs for Extension educators and specialists and partner agency personnel in these areas.

·         Support signature program development for stakeholders interested in diversified farming systems and delivery to enhance capacity in organic and diversified agriculture. Mentor and assist county educators with client consultations on organic and diversified agriculture. Visits to stakeholders across the state to develop relationships. Coordinate annual Indiana Organic Grain Farmer Meeting.

·         Professional development in the areas of organic certification, organic production, organic marketing, farm diversification and other areas pertaining to stakeholder needs.


·         Master’s degree with academic training and/or professional experience relevant to position responsibilities.

·         Four years of experience required.

·         Minimum of 2 years of direct experience in organic agriculture and 2 years of experience in Extension, teaching or coordination of educational or grant programs.  Experience providing services directly to farmers is strongly preferred.


·         Knowledge of basic educational methods.  Knowledge and skill with computer technology in preparing and making reports, presentations to a variety of audiences, data analysis, storage and retrieval, email and internet applications.  Strong and creative communication, leadership, mentoring, teamwork and group process skills.

·         Ability to work with minimal supervision, including prioritizing workloads to meet deadlines, and preparing and accurately interpreting and summarizing reports. Ability to effectively communicate/teach program specific material to a diversity of audiences. Ability to seek, secure and administer funding to support the work of the diversified agriculture programs that will provide funding continuity to meet the ongoing identified needs of the program.



·         Enthusiasm for supporting entry into farming.

·         Have an appreciation for the diversity of agricultural pursuits/enterprises and combinations thereof and appreciate opportunities for all regardless of crop, production system, species, geography, urban or rural or scale.


Additional Information:

·         Purdue will not sponsor employment authorization for this position.

·         A background check is required for employment in this position.

·         Travel using personal vehicle (mileage reimbursement provided) and evening and weekend work is an integral part of this position.

·         FLSA: Exempt (Not Eligible For Overtime)

·         Retirement Eligibility: Defined Contributions Immediately

·         Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.


Application Submission:

·         Qualified candidates currently employed by Purdue University should apply at: https://performancemanager8.successfactors.com/sf/jobreq?jobId=13520&company=purdueuniv

·         Qualified candidates not employed by Purdue University should apply at: https://career8.successfactors.com/sfcareer/jobreqcareer?jobId=13520&company=purdueuniv


Please contact Petrus Langenhoven, Chair, Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist Search Committee, at plangenh@purdue.edu with questions about this position.