Extension Associate - Produce Safety Alliance Department of Food Science College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA), based in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, is a collaborative project with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) to provide educational outreach assistance to fresh produce growers and packers, including grower cooperatives, to increase their understanding of the critical role they play in public health by implementing food safety practices on the farm and in packinghouses. Since 2010, the PSA has been developing a national curriculum and training program to educate fruit and vegetable growers, educators, industry members, and regulatory officials on current best practices and guidance related to produce safety, as well as the regulatory requirements that were issued by the US FDA in November 2015 as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This education and outreach will be achieved through the delivery of the standardized, multi-lingual training and education program that has been developed to assist fruit and vegetable growers, produce industry personnel, and and regulatory agency personnel with understanding and implementing the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
As a key member of the PSA team, the Northwest Regional Extension Associate (NWREA) will be responsible for planning, organizing, instructing, and evaluating PSA training programs for produce growers, extension educators, and regulatory personnel in their region. Due to extensive national collaboration established by the PSA, it is anticipated the NWREA will interact with a diverse population of individuals and stakeholder groups across the country with specific emphasis in the Pacific Northwest and collaborate with Land-Grant University personnel. The NWREA will facilitate and provide leadership for conference calls and webinars and be directly involved in training other individuals to use the developed curriculum; provide continual feedback to PSA leadership through preparation of regional impact reports, training evaluations, and outreach activities. Must be willing to travel regionally and nationally a significant amount of time (~50%), including non-traditional and weekend work hours. This position will be located in the Northwest U.S. with exact location being flexible within the region.
One year term with renewal depending on performance and available funding.
Master of Science (MS) degree in Food Science, Horticulture, Environmental Science, Agricultural Science or equivalent and a minimum of 5 years of experience in a related field. Advanced knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices, produce safety, and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Experience training growers. Demonstrated ability to work well with a variety of diverse audiences to organize and conduct trainings, webinars, and other outreach activities to produce growers and industry members. Prior experience in developing partnership networks, preparing training materials and managing data, managing a successful program and experience with third party audits. Must be a self-starter, interested in helping people understand and learn how to implement produce food safety practices and co-management on farms and in packinghouses. Proven ability to identify and relay technical scientific information to a non-scientific audience in a practical and respectful manner, including ability to conduct literature reviews and provide appropriate information to diverse audiences. Experience must demonstrate sound judgment, creativity, management and problem-solving skills, and the ability to work well within a team of professionals. Ability to plan ahead and anticipate potential conflicts so that they can be fairly resolved in a transparent and documented way. Ability to work in a team environment but be independent to accomplish required tasks and objectives while regionally located. Must be personable, maintain a positive attitude, be flexible, and be able to take criticism related to program development and delivery so that many ideas can be shared to achieve the best outcome. Must exercise sound and ethical judgment when acting on behalf of the University. Prior presentation preparation, public speaking, and adult education experience a must. Must have and maintain a valid Driver's License and have dependable transportation that allows for travel to regional locations. Must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. Proficient in Microsoft office suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and data entry procedures required. Possess excellent organizational, writing, and communication skills and take pride in their work. Work closely with the supervisor under remote supervision, keep supervisor informed of progress, and work independently to complete tasks.
PSA Lead Trainer or PSA Trainer. Ph.D.in Food Science, Horticulture, Environmental Science, Agricultural Science or equivalent with experience working in produce safety. Proven ability to facilitate group discussions and lead teams of people through to completion of tasks/assignments in an efficient, safe and timely manner. Research experience in an area relevant to produce safety such as surface water quality or compost production. Fluency in Spanish. Prior experience writing grant proposals and refereed journal publications desired. Experience with Adobe suite (Acrobat), webinar programs (Zoom, Adobe Connect, Go-To-Meeting), and basic social media platform proficiency (Facebook, University blogs, Twitter) preferred. Ability to work with University, regional, and national media outlets to provide factual and timely updates about training activities, regulatory impacts, and PSA updates a plus.
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