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Job Opportunities in NW Indiana


Northwest Urban Agriculture Educator and Local Food Coordinator - Lake County, Northwest, IN - Field Extension Educators (Job Number: 1802083)

Purdue Extension, Lake County

The Northwest (NW) Urban Agriculture Educator and Local Food Coordinator will work with state, regional, and local advisory committees in conducting needs assessments to identify critically important issues in urban areas in the Northwest Region of Indiana. This position will build partnerships and strengthen linkages with county and regional agencies, agricultural organizations, decision makers, homeowners, and residents interested in the science of urban agriculture. Serve as a key resource in local foods and sustainability related efforts in this region as well as across the state. Also, have responsibility for developing and implementing contemporary, comprehensive programming, which may include gardening, horticulture, animal husbandry, local foods, sustainability, conservation and environmental stewardship.  


  • Ensure all efforts are made to reach diverse audiences and provide equitable access to programs and facilities

  • Develop and cultivate external funding sources to enhance educational programming 

  • Effectively use urban agriculture to contribute to the overall social and economic development in urban areas in the Northwest region of Indiana in conjunction with the Urban Agriculture Coordinator

  • Carry out the outlined in the SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education) Gary Urban Agriculture program which includes the Urban Agriculture Certificate program

  • Develop a Northwest Indiana urban ag network including farm visits and meetings; coordinating field trips to Detroit, St. Louis, and Indianapolis; managing a tool sharing and internship program; and developing a mobile market for urban farms in Gary

  • Coordinate with the Diversified Farming and Food Systems assistant program leader to carry out programs associated with Local Food programs including Market Basket 360, Local Food Summits, and other programs pertinent to local food programming in Indiana

  • Implement activities outlined in the SARE Gary Urban Agriculture project and coordinate with committee members to ensure that the tasks are implemented, monitored, and evaluated

  • Develop and submit research and development grants related to local food systems to grow this program throughout the region and state

  • Collaborate with researchers in the Purdue University system to increase participation of faculty and staff in urban agriculture and local food system projects

  • Develop programs to have statewide impact where they are not established

  • Provide expanded educational opportunities (skills and knowledge) for those engaged in urban agriculture, horticulture, and local foods to Extension educators in the Northwest region of Indiana as well as the general public

  • Provide content for ANR (Agriculture and Natural Resources) and DFFS (Diversified Farming and Food Systems) newsletters 

  • Determine relevance and impact of educational programs in urban agriculture and local food systems 

  • Share related findings with PU CES, local, county and state stakeholders, and advisory groups 

  • Network with other agriculture professionals and agencies, as well as local foods organizations and be a recognized resource of educational programming throughout the state

  • Participate in area, state, and national professional development activities that are consistent with the Educator’s professional growth and development plan 



  • Master's degree in agriculture related field

  • Four years working in urban agriculture, local foods, horticulture, and/or diversified farming

  • In lieu of degree, consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of related education and required work experience (Bachelors + 6 years' experience)

  • Demonstrated communication, leadership, mentoring, teamwork and group process skills

  • Demonstrated well developed personal/interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work with minimal supervision, including prioritizing workloads to meet deadlines

  • Flexibility and creativity in the workplace

  • Knowledge of basic educational methods and the ability to effectively communicate/teach program specific material

  • Knowledge and skill with computer technology in preparing and making presentations, data analysis and retrieval, word processing, email and internet applications

  • Ability to work effectively with diverse audiences and stakeholders

  • Proven ability to write and manage internal and external grants 

  • Willing to travel across the state, using personal vehicle 

  • Valid U.S. or Canadian driver's license 

Additional Information:

  • Purdue will not sponsor an employment related visa for this position.

  • A valid driver’s license is required for all Extension Educator positions.

  • A background check and MVR check is required for employment in this position.

  • FLSA: Exempt (Not eligible for overtime).

  • Retirement Eligibility: Defined Contribution Waiting Period.

  • Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

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Value-Chain Coordinator

Farm connect program (part-time)

More information coming early 2019 on a NEW Value-Chain Coordinator position for NW Indiana!