Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University

Program ID:Cornell-Cornell Cooperative Extension-VITICULTURESPECIALISTLAKEERIEGRAPE [#8954, WDR-00010144]
Program Title: Viticulture Specialist – Lake Erie Grape Program (Extension Associate - Cooperative Extension); Portland, New York
Program Type:Non tenure-track faculty
Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Areas: Viticulture / Horticulture
Appl Deadline:2017/10/01* finished (posted 2017/02/27, listed until 2017/10/01)

*** this program has been closed, and no new applications will be accepted. ***

Viticulture Specialist
Extension Associate
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program
Cornell Cooperative Extension
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
Cornell University 

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) provides the educational outreach functions for Cornell University’s role as New York State’s Land Grant University.  Programmatically, Cornell Cooperative Extension connects the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Human Ecology (CHE) with 55 off-campus Associations, Integrated Pest Management, New York State Sea Grant, Area Specialists, and CCE New York City.

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program consists of Extension Educators and research faculty/staff from Cornell University and Penn State University devoted to projects aimed at increasing yields, product quality, diversity and improvement of cultivars, efficiency of production, profitability and adoption of environmentally sound cultural and pest management strategies. There are approximately 30,000 acres of vineyard in the Lake Erie region of New York and Pennsylvania grown on 840 farms, making this the largest grape growing region outside of California. The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is supported, in part, by five county Cornell Cooperative Extensions including:  Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties in New York and Erie County in Pennsylvania.

Provide commercial grape growers/producers with the knowledge and resources necessary to assess production and management practices that will enhance their profitability and sustain the growth of the juice and wine grape industry in the Lake Erie region. 

The job duties include:

  • Provide leadership for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs that addresses producer-identified needs and opportunities.  Emphasis is on grape production including: soil and site selection, growth control, integrated pest management, nutrition and water management, and harvest management.
  • Provide producers and industry with a framework to analyze production and management alternatives and to maximize profit opportunities based on emerging best-management practices, new varieties, consumer market demands, etc.
  • Plan and implement educational programs utilizing a variety of methods including direct teaching through group experiences, mass media, newsletters, electronic technology and distance learning.
  • Analyze and evaluate major program efforts with the input of all program partners and make recommendations for enhancing these efforts.
  • Prepare quarterly reports and yearly impact statements on program progress and accomplishments.
  • When necessary, pursue funding to support projects.
  • Initiate and conduct field demonstrations and in-depth applied research projects appropriate to the needs of commercial grape production in the Lake Erie Region.  When necessary, pursue funding to support projects.
  • Individually and collaboratively explore and pursue new and additional funding sources to enhance and extend program opportunities.
  • Support Cornell University and Cooperative Extension system-wide initiatives through participation in program development work teams, ad-hoc committees and advisory groups.
  • Foster strong collaboration among faculty, peers, and industry.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities appropriate to program and personal skill enhancement.

This position is full-time and will be located at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory in Portland, New York. This is a three-year appointment with possible extension depending on funding and performance.

Required Qualifications:

  • Masters Degree in Agriculture from an accredited institution with a major in Viticulture, Horticulture, or closely associated field.
  • 2+ years of relevant work experience in Agribusiness, Crop Production, Cooperative Extension, or closely related fields. 
  • Experience in conducting, interpreting, evaluating and communicating the results of applied research.
  • Knowledge of the philosophy, objectives and operation of an informal education system such as Cornell Cooperative Extension.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to work with diverse audiences in group and one-on-one settings; ability to work effectively with advisory boards and committees, community and funding partners.
  • Proven organizational and time-management skills.
  • Ability to define, conduct and interpret applied research and demonstration projects.
  • Successful experience obtaining external funding, including grants and industry support.
  • Strong leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Fundamental competence utilizing current technology as a management and program delivery tool (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Internet and Web development).
  • Appreciation of Agriculture as a business and as a lifestyle.
  • Creativity, energy, motivation and positive enthusiasm.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as essential job functions require.
  • Must possess or have the ability to acquire a New York State Certified Pesticide Applicators License within one year from start date.
  • Must be able to meet the travel requirements of the position, including having reliable transportation or having and maintaining a valid New York State driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Coursework in Weed Science, Crop Production, GIS, Economics of Production, Pest Management, Plant Pathology, Soils, Adult Education, and Communications.
  • Solid knowledge in current and emerging issues and production practices related to bulk juice grape production based on 3+ years of relevant work experience.
  • Experience in initiating and conducting field demonstrations and in-depth applied research on general viticulture topics, including soil fertility, mechanization, and vine size management.
  • Knowledge and/or experience in current and emerging Grape and Wine Production and Marketing practices.
  • Experience in writing grant proposals.

To apply:

Please apply via Academic Jobs On-line (

Qualified applications should submit a cover letter, résumé, names of at least three individuals who can be contacted to provide letters of recommendation.

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

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the description.

Further Info:
6592 West Main Road
Portland, New York 14769

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