Job Listings

Virginia SARE State Program Assistant

Virginia Tech
Job Location:
Blacksburg, 24061
Extension and Outreach

Job Description

The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences (SPES) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Virginia Tech seeks to fill a calendar-year administrative and professional position for the Virginia Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) State Program Assistant. The responsibilities are: To serve as a state program assistant to provide educational support and programming for Virginia SARE's (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) professional development program and Virginia State University's Small Farm Outreach and Technical Assistance Program for the Shenandoah Valley region. To provide educational support to Virginia SARE's professional development programming to build the capacity of Extension, USDA professional (e.g., NRCS personnel), and mentor-farmer leaders to understand and implement sustainable agriculture research and educational programs. To provide research-based educational programs to small and socially disadvantaged farmers, landowners, veterans, and farm families in assigned counties of Virginia, specifically the counties in the central and northern Shenandoah Valley region, to improve their profitability, sustainability and quality of life. To provide educational support to Virginia SARE's professional development programming to build the capacity of Extension, USDA professional (e.g., NRCS personnel), and mentor-farmer leaders to understand and implement sustainable agriculture research and educational programs. This is a full-time, 12-month, administrative professional (AP) faculty position. Position is 40 hr./week with benefits depended on continued funded and annual performance review. Salary range: Depends on professional education, experience, and demonstrated abilities.
Time and responsibilities will be split between the statewide Virginia SARE professional development program and serving regionally with the Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) in the Shenandoah Valley.

Required Qualifications

Master's Degree (MA or MS) in a relevant sustainable agriculture and farm management-related discipline from an accredited college or university; or, have a Bachelor's Degree (BA or BS) with at least three or more years of experience in a related field. Experience in agricultural production, soil and water conservation, marketing, extension education and some knowledge of sustainable agriculture and community food system related issues; Valid driver's license; Knowledge of website content management systems (e.g., Wix, WordPress, etc.); Knowledge of major crops and livestock enterprises, production practices, and farm business management principles and practices; Working knowledge of USDA farm programs including the loan process; Skill in the use of personal computers, including word processing, spreadsheets, database management, presentation and graphic applications; Skill in report writing, developing and delivering educational material to farmers; Demonstrated ability to work with small and disadvantaged farmers; to plan, develop and implement comprehensive agriculture education programs for adults in formal and informal settings; to establish and maintain close working relationships with a broad variety of individuals, groups and organizations; to develop, market and promote program goals and objectives; Demonstrated ability to communicate with individuals and groups that work with socially and economically disadvantaged people; Ability to manage time and responsibilities to serve two complementary educational programs.
Stationed in Harrisonburg, with occasional work travel related to educational and professional development programs throughout Virginia. Some overnight travel required. Must be collaborative and collegial and committed to maintaining good relationships with cooperating organizations, agencies, and business colleagues. Work hours require flexibility related to travel and some weekend assignments. Be able to provide own transportation on a regular basis when a state vehicle is not available.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience in agricultural production/marketing, soil health, cover cropping, and food systems related work; Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Publisher; Demonstrated creativity, independence and high motivation; Strong work habits, project management skills and the ability to work independently as well as with a project team; Evidence of developing publications based on individual research.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with Experience

Review Date


Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Eric Bendfeldt at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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