State Master Gardener Coordinator, State Extension Administration Office

Colorado State University

Fort Collins , Colorado

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our staff and providing culturally responsive programs and services. Therefore, we encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and abilities. We invite you to review Colorado State University’s Principles of Community that guide our mission and vision of access, teaching, service and engagement. 

Colorado State University is a land-grant institution with a three-part mission of teaching, research, and outreach. The campus is located in the city of Fort Collins, the county seat of Larimer County. Fort Collins is a progressive community of approximately 156,000 situated 65 miles north of Denver on Interstate 25. Located at an elevation of 5,000 feet, Fort Collins has a clear, dry climate and generally pleasant temperature throughout the year. 

Extension is a major component of the University’s outreach organization serving Colorado’s 64 counties. Extension’s total annual budget of approximately $28 million supports approximately 325 extension specialists, agents, administrators, and staff. Through its county, state, and federal partnerships, Extension currently focuses its efforts in Environmental Horticulture; 4-H Youth Development; Community and Economic Development; Family and Consumer Science; Health, Nutrition and Food Safety; Food Systems; Cropping Systems; Livestock and Range; Natural Resources; and Energy. Working closely with local and state advisory groups to determine local program needs and direction, Extension draws on the resources of 13 different departments in five colleges to provide non-credit educational programs based on research-generated knowledge.

The Colorado Master Gardener (CMG) program is Colorado State University Extension’s second largest state-wide program. Active in 34 county Extension offices across the state, the CMG program is made up of 1,311 volunteers who answer and address technical horticulture questions from the general public and county communities in support of their local Extension office. This outreach is accomplished in a multitude of ways including demonstrations, classes, workshops, Q & A booths, one-on-one contacts, youth gardening programs, and written media. Due to Colorado’s varied topography and diverse micro-climates horticultural practices and instruction must be adapted to fit local conditions. The CMG program provides a platform to address this diversity and unique local growing conditions.

The Colorado Gardener Certificate (CGC) program is a revenue-generating sister program providing the same in-depth 12-week training course required by all apprentice CMGs without the required volunteer component. The revenue generated is shared by the hosting county Extension office and the state office.

The CSU Extension Certified Gardener Badge Program is a non-credit on-line instructional course based on the CMG curriculum. Designed to be flexible, self-paced, and structured around the individual’s needs, the certified gardener badging program allows participants to earn digital badges by taking individual courses, bundling courses, or completing the full program.

Position Summary
The position provides leadership, guidance and direction for the Colorado Master Gardener Program, Colorado Gardener Certificate Program and manages the on-line CSU Extension Certified Gardener Badge Program. The state Master Gardener Coordinator works cooperatively with county-based and university Extension personnel to determine programmatic needs and provides appropriate support, facilitation and linkages to university and external resources including marketing and promotion of the core programs listed above.

Required Job Qualifications
• Completed Master’s degree. One degree must have been conferred in Horticulture, Public Horticulture, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Weed Science, Forestry, Natural Resources, Small Acreage Management, Urban Agriculture, Community Food Systems, Extension Education or closely related plant sciences field.
• Minimum of three years’ experience in volunteer management.
• Successful experience in developing and managing financial support for educational programs including budgets, fundraising, grant writing, contracting, and/or cost recovery efforts.
• Ability to communicate through teaching, public speaking/presentation and writing as demonstrated through application materials and experience.
• The ability to use technology in managing and delivering educational programs.
• Experience teaching with and developing curricula for online instruction, using learning management systems such as Canvas (preferred), Blackboard, or Moodle.
• Evidence of drive and initiative.
• Demonstrated leadership ability.
• Demonstrated ability in marketing programs.
• Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.

Preferred Job Qualifications
• Training and experience in consumer horticulture (growing and managing fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants).
• Experience with the Master Gardener program as a coordinator.
• Demonstrated experience with mass media (radio, TV, popular press and social media).
• Ability to read and converse in Spanish.

Diversity Statement
Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Leadership and Management of the Colorado Master Gardener and Colorado Gardener Certificate Programs, and the Extension Certified Gardener Online Badge Program

• Provide statewide leadership to the Colorado Master Gardener program and serve as a resource to County Extension personnel via coordination and effective communication.
• Work with agents and/or program coordinators statewide, in all counties/regions hosting CMG programs.
• Coordinate the scheduling and annual training for the CMG and CGC programs, including updating necessary paperwork.
• Assist in hosting/coordinating training for county agents on volunteer and program management.
• Manage and update Master Gardener program materials (including curricula development) and administrative portals (including the volunteer management system).
• Manage the Master Gardener Program budget.
• Teach Master Gardener and consumer horticulture classes as needed.
• Attend state and national Master Gardener conferences and serve on appropriate committees to engage with national Extension Master Gardener coordinators.
• Facilitate meetings and discussion with statewide CMG Advisory Committee.
• Coordinate training for Extension agents to enhance volunteer management, recognition, retention and adult learning strategies to strengthen the Master Gardener Program.
• Manage the CSU Extension Certified Gardener Online Badge Program.
• Market and promote the CMG, CGC, and online badging programs to both internal and external audiences.

Initiate and Develop Relationships and Partnerships

• Acquire extramural funding via grant writing to support, develop and enhance the Colorado Master Gardener program.
• Collaborate with faculty in campus departments to facilitate instruction of the CMG and CGC programs.
• Build relationships with Colorado’s professional green industry to enhance understanding of and cooperation with the Extension CMG/CGC program and to promote the Extension Certified Gardener Badge Program.
• Assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies including reaching out to underserved and underrepresented audiences.