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Cornell University Extension Associate - Program for Farmer-Centric Digital Agronomy in Ithaca, New York

Extension Associate - Program for Farmer-Centric Digital Agronomy

Academic Job Description

Section of Soil and Crop Science, CALS

Program for Farmer-Centric Digital Agronomy

Extension Associate


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University's second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: We believe that achieving next-generation scientific breakthroughs requires an understanding of the world's complex, interlocking systems. We believe that access to nutritious food and a healthy environment is a fundamental human right. We believe that ensuring a prosperous global future depends on the ability to support local people and communities everywhere. By working in and across multiple scientific areas, CALS can address challenges and opportunities of the greatest relevance, here in New York, across the nation, and around the world.


Within CALS, the mission of the Section of Soil and Crop Sciences is to generate and communicate knowledge about agroecosystems and their sustainable management in the face of accelerating global change. We achieve this by educating students for stewardship of agro-ecosystems, conducting scientific research on sustainable land management, and using our extension and outreach programs for the benefit of our stakeholders.


Digital agronomy offers a possibility for farmers to accelerate their progress towards sustainable agriculture. The mission of the Transdisciplinary Innovation Lab on Digital Agronomy is to co-create solutions with farmers and their advisors that will enable a better collection, organization, curation, and usage of data on the farm. One aspect is to enhance On-Farm Experimentation with digital technologies and the other is to co-create solutions to help farmers and their advisors use data to their advantage.


Position Function

The Extension Associate will engage with farmers to coordinate on-farm experimentation activities which may include meeting with farmers to understand their needs, conducting in-field soil and crop sampling, gathering farm data (e.g., treatments, management, yield, etc.), processing data, and organizing workshops with farmers for OFE interpretations. The individual will also generate extension publications and maintain a website and social media to allow for two-way extension process. This position thus requires good communication skills, understanding of agronomy, being a good problem detector and solver, having good time management, and being comfortable with website and social media posting and maintenance. The position holder must be willing to develop new skills via self-education, online courses, and practice.


This is a full-time position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is a one-year appointment with possible long-term extension depending on funding and performance.


Anticipated Division of Time

The Extension Associate makes decisions directly as to the division of time, depending on the progression of the project. An approximate division of time is:

  • Program development, Implementation, and Evaluation (60%)
    • Develop a network of farmers interested in experimenting on conservation practices together and coordinate activities.
    • Identify challenges and develop solutions for experimenting together,
    • One-on-one consultations with key producers and industry partners related to program development and problem solving.
    • Analyze and evaluate major program efforts with the input of all program partners and make recommendations for enhancing these efforts.
    • Plan and implement educational programs utilizing various methods, including direct teaching through group experiences (i.e., OFE network), website, mass media, newsletters, social media, and distance learning.
    • Foster strong collaboration among faculty, peers, and industry.
    • Establish and maintain positive relationships with the many individuals and groups that support the work of the organization.
  • Management (20%)
    • Contribute to the writing of grant proposals.
    • Prepare quarterly reports, impact statements, and yearly success stories on program progress and accomplishments.
    • Support Cornell University and Cooperative Extension system-wide initiatives through participation in program work teams, ad-hoc committees, and advisory groups.
    • Recruit and supervise personnel (e.g., interns and students).
  • Content development (20%)
    • Write extension material and papers.
    • Contribute to develop other forms of extension material (i.e., videos, podcast, infographics, etc.).

Required Qualifications

  • MSc in agronomy (i.e., soil science, plant biology), agricultural engineering, or a related field with focus on precision agriculture or agricultural technologies and two or more years of related work experience.
  • Must be able to meet the travel requirements of the position as well as have and maintain a valid and unrestricted New York State driver's license and be cleared to drive for university business. Majority of the travel will be throughout New York State.
  • Experience with agronomic data management (e.g., generating and maintaining a project database) using programming software (e.g., R or Python).
  • Experience working with farmers (e.g., service, sales, research, extension, interviews, ...).
  • Proven organizational and time-management skills.
  • Creativity, energy, motivation, and positive enthusiasm.
  • Successful experience obtaining new funding, including grants and industry support.
  • Strong leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in agronomy (i.e., soil science, plant biology), agricultural engineering, or a related field with focus on precision agriculture.
  • Expertise in field crops research, soil and/or crop sensing, GIS, and programming (i.e., R or Python).
  • Excellent analytical skills, including experience with handling of large datasets, remote sensing, and analyses.
  • Experience with Website design and maintenance.
  • Experience with social media, podcast, webinars, and other online content for sharing information.

Supervision Exercised

  • Graduate students
  • Summer interns

To apply:

Please apply via Academic Jobs Online ().


Qualified candidates should submit a short cover letter, curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a (this can be a stand-alone document (preferred) or the information can be embedded in other parts of the application materials) outlining how, through research, teaching, service, mentoring, extension, and/or outreach, the candidate has and will contribute to support Cornell's historical mission of "any person ... any study," via the website.


Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified. For more information, please contact Dr. Louis Longchamps at .


CALS hiring range for this title is University minimum to $44,800 - 75,600


The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)
  • Unique applicable skills.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Life. Changing.


Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League and Land-grant university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.


Cornell's regional and global presence includes state-wide Cornell Cooperative Extension programs and offices in all counties and boroughs, global partnerships with institutions and communities engaged in life-changing research and education, the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, and the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.


Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual's genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law.


Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff to all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.





Pay Range:

$44,800.00 - $85,800.00

Pay Ranges:

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.

  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.

  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)

  • Unique applicable skills.

Familiarize yourself with Cornell's as well as the university's .


Employment Assistance:

For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting or email .


If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX at voice (607) 255-2242, or email at.


Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also request an appointment to use a dedicated workstation in the Office of Talent Attraction and Recruitment, at the Ithaca campus, by emailing .

Notice to Applicants:

Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by . This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual's genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law.

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff to all identities and backgrounds. We encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

2024-04-26

EEO Statement: Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Minimum Salary: 31200.00 Maximum Salary: 31200.00 Salary Unit: Yearly

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