Agriculture & Food Systems Program Manager -Cobleskill, NY

Updated: about 4 hours ago
Location: New York City, NEW YORK
Job Type: FullTime

The Agriculture & Food Systems Program Manager for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties will be responsible for developing, planning, delivering/implementing, and evaluating agriculture education, outreach, and initiatives, and providing resources to build capacity to support and grow agricultural economic development initiatives; help farmers improve the marketing of their farm products; provide educational resources and facilitate access to agricultural technical assistance programs; enhance and share agricultural data; and support the sustainability of agriculture infrastructure and farmland protection.
The Program Manager’s activities will enhance agricultural production, agriculture management, and agriculture business development and marketing, including agritourism. The primary audience will include agricultural producers and related service providers; and existing and emerging entrepreneurs in production, processing and agriculture-related businesses. The Program Manager will enhance local knowledge by linking local agricultural stakeholders with the expertise of local, and regional representatives to enhance the sustainability, growth, and development of agriculture, agritourism, and value-added agriculture enterprises in Schoharie and Otsego Counties.
The Program Manager will collaborate with a variety of agriculture and community stakeholders, including but not limited to local government, aligned non-profits and agricultural service providers, agriculture advisory committees, and each County’s Agriculture Farmland Protection Board, in the advancement of each County’s Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan (AFPP).
The Program Manager will embrace the Skills for Success behaviors as outlined herein, including health and safety, job skills, inclusiveness, adaptability, self-development, communication, teamwork, service-mindedness, stewardship, and innovation.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in agriculture, economic development, business management, marketing, agriculture education, or related discipline, plus two years of program/functional experience in a related field.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with proven ability to work effectively with advisory boards and committees; and ability to collaborate effectively with professional teams and local/regional agriculture service providers.

  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, plan, deliver and evaluate projects by identifying and using program resources, research and evidence-based practices.

  • Ability to organize and manage tasks under changing priorities, and balance work appropriately between program, outreach, and professional services.

  • Ability to communicate effectively, respectfully and accessibly through verbal, written, and digital methods, including using technology (e.g., audio, video).

  • Must have a basic level of proficiency with the software necessary for performing work responsibilities: Windows, Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite.

  • Ability to operate office equipment such as computer, calculator, fax, printers, laminators, shredder.

  • Ability to maintain files current and orderly.

  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality relating to client and volunteer matters.

  • Ability to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines.

  • Ability to work as a team member and communicate effectively.

  • Ability and willingness to work with diverse audiences and maintain cultural sensitivity.

  • Ability to identify problems and suggest solutions.

  • Have a willingness to learn new skills and information.

  • Valid NYS Driver’s License and the ability to meet travel requirements associated with this position.

  • Ability to work flexible hours which may include evenings and/or weekends, as appropriate.

  • Ability to carry supplies and equipment, including by stairs and in outdoor/agricultural settings with or without reasonable accommodation.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in agriculture, economic development, business management, marketing, agriculture education, or related discipline, plus two years of program/functional experience in a related field.

  • Experience in agricultural/horticultural enterprises, in agriculture outreach and education in Cooperative Extension, or other non-profit/service organizations.

  • Knowledge of Schoharie/Otsego Counties’ people, land, and farm enterprises.

Position Responsibilities and Essential Functions

Program Development - 5%

  • Apply subject matter knowledge to provide input in the development of educational strategies.

  • May support the research, identification and selection of existing resources for the program.

  • May influence the creation of program materials to address client needs.

  • May have direct linkage with other Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, Cornell University faculties, and regional specialists from the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (ENYCHP) and the CNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program (CNYDLFC) and program units for program development guidance and support.

  • Support diverse, existing, and emerging regional agricultural, commercial horticultural, value-added processing, and agritourism efforts, responding to identified program gaps, trends and the goals of both the Schoharie and Otsego County AFPPs.

  • Involve stakeholders in programs that reflect regional demographics to meet the needs of diverse participants / constituents. 

Program Delivery - 25%

  • Apply subject matter knowledge to create innovative lesson plans to deliver educational programs.

  • Teach innovative educational programs with discretion.

  • Teach existing educational programs as designed occasionally.

  • May represent CCESO and each County’s AFPP implementation efforts to the community, local elected officials, or Cornell University as part of program delivery.

  • May interact with program participants and provide standard/moderately complex nonstandard responses. 

  • Use a variety of traditional and innovative methods to deliver educational programs, resources and information to farmers and stakeholders in Schoharie and Otsego Counties

  • Collaborate with stakeholders, committees, and multidisciplinary team and/or agency efforts to achieve program delivery goals, including fostering collaborations and linkages with the ENYCHP and CNYDLFC regional teams.

  • Deliver programs and resources through traditional and hybrid platforms with extensive and multi-faceted outreach in Schoharie and Otsego Counties.

  • Ensure that program delivery is within scope of CCE’s mission and AFPP goals.  

Applied Research - 5%

  • May collect and process field samples related to the programs and/or for applied research projects conducted in partnership with CCE specialists and Cornell University faculty.

  • Maintain direct linkage with program teams, CCE specialists, and Cornell University faculty and program units for guidance in applied research.

  • Communicate social, economic, and environmental changes to Cornell University specialists who are engaged in research of interest that may be studied and/or acted upon.

  • Ensure applied research is within scope of the CCE Association and state-wide Plan of Work.  

Administrative Direction - 25%

Program Direction

  • Determine program priorities that reflect CCESO’s and each County’s AFPP goals through engagement with the Association’s Agriculture and Horticulture Program Advisory Committee.

  • Enhance and expand program partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders and agriculture service providers who represent the demographics of Schoharie and Otsego Counties including, but not limited to:

    • Agriculture and Farmland Protection Boards

    • County Soil & Water Conservation Districts

    • County (NYS) Farm Bureaus

    • County Planning and Economic Development Agencies and/or IDA’s

    • Cornell Cooperative Extension specialists and Cornell University faculty

  • Work with the Executive Director to nurture a diverse and engaged Agriculture & Food Systems Program Advisory Committee.

    Financial Direction

  • Anticipate and project program expenses.

  • Propose unit/functional budget for assigned programs based on established financial guidelines or procedures.

  • Provide program related information for the budget development process and to the Executive Director.

  • Allocate unit/function budget amounts.

  • Assist in identifying and developing grant or other funding proposals in order to secure resources for the enhancement and expansion of the implementation of agriculture programs goals.

Communications/Marketing Direction

  • Plan for mass media efforts related to program/function.

  • With discretion, plan effective strategic external and internal program communication efforts.

Staffing Direction

  • Provide program related information to the staffing plan development process.

  • Work with the Executive Director to develop and review progress of professional development plans as needed to increase competencies.

  • Draft Implementation Plans, Outreach Plans, and Program Reporting for annual review. 

Administrative Management - 30%

General Management

  • Demonstrate judgement and discretion to independently solve problems and resolve conflicts that arise in the program, utilizing appropriate policies and procedures, as needed.

  • Provide policy interpretation and guidance.

  • Provide overall grant management for assigned grants and/or contracts.

 Program Management

  • Ensure program activities conform to the Association’s Plan of Work.

  • Effectively allocate program resources to accomplish Association program objectives.

  • Manage agriculture program-related educational and administrative activities.

  • Monitor programs to ensure they are research-based and compliant with the Association’s policies, the objective of its Plan of Work, and funding requirements.

  • Coordinate and collaborate with the Association’s Agriculture and Horticulture Program Advisory Committee and other program committees as requested.

  Financial Management

  • Monitor the Program income/expenses to ensure spending is within the program budget constraints.

  • Effectively allocate financial resources to accomplish program objectives.

  • Manage, allocate, and monitor program resources effectively to accomplish program objectives, in collaboration with the Executive Director and related committees.

  • Seek guidance from the Executive Director for identifying and managing operating variances.

 Staffing Management

  • Provide management (including recruitment and selection, and interpretation of HR policy) and supervision (including guidance, performance feedback, and annual performance reviews) to designated staff (e.g., interns, technicians, temporary or other program positions).

  • Assure positive, team-based employee relations.

  • Provide supervision and feedback to assigned program support staff in accordance with the Association’s policies and procedures, with guidance from the Executive Director as necessary.

Administrative Coordination/Operation - 5%

  • Compile research-based educational resources for educational materials and for distribution to program participants and the public.

  • Assist in utilizing effective marketing strategies to disseminate information and promote programs and resources through diverse media including newspaper, radio, publication, social, and other outlets.

  • Provide information as requested to assist with preparation of reports, impact statements and success stories on program accomplishments for Board, funders, committees, and others as necessary.

  • Coordinate marketing and promotion of resources through media and collaborations.

  • Coordinate program planning, implement established program schedule.

  • Collect evaluation data from program participants based on existing framework.

  • Collect applied research data based on existing framework

  • Collect program needs assessment data based on existing framework.

  • Contribute to the development and fulfillment of relevant grants and contracts.

  • Complete grant, program, and travel reports on a timely basis. Submit financial receipts and documentation based on existing framework.

  • This position may require transport of program participants and/or materials/resources in performing position responsibilities.

Professional Improvement – 5%

  • In cooperation with Supervisor and/or Executive Director, jointly develop and pursue a professional development plan as a means to increase competencies relative to position accountabilities and to address changes and Association priorities.

  • Collaborate in activities that are in general support of Cornell Cooperative Extension and perform other duties as assigned.

Health and Safety – Applied to all duties and functions

  • Support the Association to maintain a safe working environment.

  • Be familiar with and strive to follow any applicable federal, state, local regulations, Association health and safety policy/procedure/requirement and standard.

  • Act proactively to prevent accidents/injuries and communicate hazards to supervisors when identified.

EEO/EPO and Policy – Applied to all duties and functions

  • Appreciate and embrace diversity in all interactions with clientele, staff, volunteers and the public.

  • Assist the Cornell Cooperative Extension system in reaching out to diverse audiences.

  • Aware of, and adheres to, established Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Schoharie & Otsego Counties policies, procedures and Cornell Cooperative Extension Skills for Success.

  • Contribute to the overall success of the organization by performing all assigned duties in a professional, timely and accurate manner.

Position Details

This is a full-time, exempt position with an expectation of 40 hrs/week. Starting annual salary of $52,000.

Excellent benefits, based on eligibility, including:

  • Paid Vacation, Sick, & Personal time

  • Paid Holidays

  • NYS Health Insurance Program (including FREE Dental Insurance)

  • NYS Retirement

  • Long-Term Disability Insurance

  • Total Care Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  • Voluntary Tax Deferred Annuity Plan

  • Voluntary Flexible Spending Accounts

  • Voluntary Group Universal Life Insurance

  • Voluntary Personal Accidental Insurance

  • Voluntary Legal Plan Insurance

  • Voluntary Long Term Care Insurance

  • Voluntary Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance

  • Voluntary Pet Insurance

  • Voluntary New York’s College Savings Program

Please be sure to read the Notice to Applicants found on the Jobs with CCE page:

How To Apply:  Applicants (including current employees of other Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations) must apply online through the APPLY button in this job posting. Current employees of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie & Otsego Counties are considered internal applicants and must apply online through their Workday account which may be accessed here: .  For details on how to apply, visit:

Please submit resume, cover letter and references. Consider indicating in your application all information you feel would be helpful for selection committee members to know.   Once the application is submitted you will NOT be able to change your submission or add attachments. Be sure that you have followed all directions and requirements listed in the job posting. 

No relocation or VISA sponsorship available.

Please contact Lori North, HR Lead Manager, email  with questions.  


Job Title:

Association Program Manager



Pay Rate Type:



Contract College

Contact Name:

Lori North

Number of Openings:


Cornell Cooperative Extension is a collaboration among Cornell University, the United States Department of Agriculture, the State of New York, and the residents of New York State.  Per NYS Law, county and regional extension service associations are subordinate government agencies.  This employment opportunity is with the entities listed and not with Cornell University.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. Individuals who bring a diverse perspective and are supportive of diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.

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

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