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Farm Specialist - Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center


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The College of Agricultural Sciences ( at Penn State ( is a world leader in agricultural research and learning, driving discovery and solutions that make life better. The Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center located along state Route 45 consists of 2200 acres and is integral to facilitating cutting-edge transformative agronomic and horticultural crop research as well as serves as a living laboratory for the teaching and extension missions of the college. This dynamic facility is integral to the success of our faculty, students, and research staff as they conduct research to develop science-based solutions to local, regional, national, and global challenges and translate that knowledge for a broad stakeholder audience.

The Farm Specialist must be collaborative and have excellent management and communication skills to oversee technical service staff, work closely as a member of the farm leadership to allocate resources daily, manage cropland not in active research, and ensure a safe working environment for those working on and visiting the farm and regulatory compliance. This position will report to the Associate Director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the following:

+ Hire, manage, mentor, and evaluate technical service (full- and part-time) staff of approximately six and ensure compliance with the union contract.

+ Coordinate and collaborate with farm leadership daily to allocate resources including human resources to complete time-sensitive research related tasks.

+ Manage and direct all aspects of agronomic crop production (establishment, maintenance, harvest, and sales) on land not allocated for research each season including the maintenance of field cropping and pesticide application records.

+ Manage and coordinate regular maintenance of equipment and facilities using technical service personnel.

+ Coordinate landscape maintenance including mowing of all grass areas including common areas, alleyways, and roadsides.

+ Collaborate to develop and facilitate farm equipment safety and regulatory compliance protocols and coordinate training with college facilities and safety personnel.

+ Ensure that operations including pesticide handling and storage are compliant with all federal, state, and local regulations as well as university policies and guidelines.

+ Provide guidance and training for the operation of non-specialized research equipment such as tractors, mowers, as well as planting and tillage equipment.

+ Coordinate purchasing of materials and supplies with farm leadership to manage costs and submit receipts for reconciliation as needed.

+ Promote an inclusive work culture that promotes teamwork, growth, and effective working relationships among all farm staff as well as faculty and students.

Required education and experience:

+ Requires a bachelor’s degree or higher plus 6 or more years of experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience in crop production.

+ Requires a Pennsylvania public pesticide license core and category 18 Demonstration and research.

+ Previous experience with farming and facilities operations, including tractor and equipment operation.

+ Knowledge of best management practices for crop, soil, and pest management and other sustainable agricultural practices.

+ Must have strong supervisory and communication skills and experience managing technical service employees.

+ Demonstrated ability to manage large projects and translate priorities to field-level decisions.

+ A proven ability to build and sustain positive and collaborative working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.

+ A demonstrated ability to anticipate, perceive, diagnose, prioritize, and remedy problems.

+ Must be safety oriented; know, understand, adhere, and train others to conform to all safety requirements and regulations.

This position requires that you operate a motor vehicle as a part of your job duties. A valid driver’s license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks.

Application Requirement:

For full consideration for this position, please include a cover letter and resume at time of application.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in  all of   its forms.   We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.  

The salary range for this position, including all possible grades is:

$56,200.00 - $81,500.00

Salary Structure ( - additional information on Penn State's job and salary structure.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here ( .

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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University Park, PA

Farm Specialist - Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center

Full time
University Park, TX

Published on 05/21/2024

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