Position duration: Two year appointment, renewable up to four years total.
Open date: November 19th, 2021
Next review date:Friday, Dec 3, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: Friday, Apr 1, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.
The new UC Merced Food Resiliency through Equity, Sustainability, and Health(FRESH) program is developing a new experimental farm (FRESH Farm) that will occupy approximately 45-acres on the Merced campus. The Farm will serve as the central feature for research and educational programs in sustainable agriculture. The vision for the FRESH Farm is that of a functional campus showpiece and will provide world class facilities and infrastructure to support research on sustainable land management, regenerative agriculture, precision agriculture, automation/robotics, machine learning/AI, and the exploration of the future of farm work. In addition, the Farm will serve as a community hub, hosting a farmer’s market, outreach events, and providing a rich array of learning opportunities for all ages.
FRESH is hiring a full-time Farm Coordinator to serve as key personnel in the development, implementation, and management of the FRESH Farm and its programs. The Coordinator will shepherd the Farm through the current design phase into building and cropping, providing technical and project support to ensure its success in collaboration with a multifaceted team of faculty, staff, and students. The right candidate will possess a dynamic set of project management and interpersonal skills alongside a technical understanding of agricultural operations as well as an interest in professional development and growth. The position offers a unique opportunity to establish a long term research site and novel programs that will benefit the Central Valley of California and beyond.
The position is multidimensional, specific tasks include: Project Coordination (45%) – The Farm Coordinator will be central to planning and implementation of building and infrastructure project scope, timelines, budgeting, permitting, and approvals according to UC procedures. Development of farm procedures and practices. Decreasing responsibilities over time as farm is implemented. Experience with project management is required, including budget tracking and proposal development. The coordinator will be involved in liaising with advisory committee(s), UC Administration, Collaborating Organizations (Merced Community College, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources, California State University), specific campus projects (e.g., Labor and Automation in California, LACA) as needed throughout the farm planning and operations cycle. The manager will also support on-campus and external communications regarding the farm, including attending conferences, information sessions, and providing written and verbal updates. Experience in multi-objective stakeholder environment is an asset. Familiarity of the university environment is preferred.
Farm Operations Management (35%) – The Farm Coordinator will be central to planning, budget, supervision of staff, recordkeeping and reporting, procurement, inventory management and maintenance. Increasing responsibilities as farm is implemented. Responsibility for overall farm operations to see that FRESH provides a good environment for scientists to successfully complete their research projects. Physical labor will be required for the implementation of farm operations and participation in research. Familiarity with agricultural operations is required, experience with facilities management is preferred. Experience with machinery and maintenance is an asset.
Education and Research Support and Outreach (20%) – The Farm Coordinator will provide guidance/resources, participate in study design, budgeting support, grant writing. They will serve as an ex officio member of a steering committee evaluating and facilitating research proposals as they are submitted to the Farm governance. Optional participation in grant development, research activity, and scholarly publication. The Farm Coordinator will also engage in educational activities as appropriate to the FRESH mission, which could include providing resources, budgeting, and grant writing to support the educational mission of the university. They will monitor facility capacity and usage as well as work with Farm governance to create policies and procedures for teaching and training related activities.
Outreach activities include but are not limited to on and off campus engagement with community stakeholders and media. Other duties may be required as assigned, as well as occasional travel to support FRESH initiatives. An alternate work schedule is likely, including occasional 10-12 hour days and weekend assignments.
Masters is required, PhD an asset. Preference to candidates studying agriculture, agricultural engineering/technology, environmental systems, and food systems. Field-based research and program development experience is an asset.
As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/5000695/SARS-CoV-2_Covid-19. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Posting closes once the position has been filled and start date negotiable.
Master's level education in agriculture, agricultural engineering/technology, environmental systems, food systems, or other related field, plus two years of progressive work experience related to the position.
PhD is an asset and field-based research and program development experience is an asset.
Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/DiscHarassAffirmAction).
The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students (https://www.ucmerced.edu/fast-facts), UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (https://merced2020.ucmerced.edu/).
UC Merced is the first new American research university built in the 21st century, with a mission of research, teaching and service. The campus opened Sept. 5, 2005, in the San Joaquin Valley. The university is about an hour north of Fresno, two hours south of Sacramento, two hours southeast of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, and 90 minutes west of Yosemite National Park.