Field Specialist Food Safety

University of New Hampshire's picture
Job Description: 

A comprehensive land-, sea-, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public university and is ideally located in the rural town of Durham, with ready access to the Maine and New Hampshire seacoasts, Boston, and the White Mountains. The University actively creates and nurtures a dynamic learning environment in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives, life experiences and cultural backgrounds pursue goals with mutual respect and shared spirit of inquiry. UNH has just under 13,000 undergraduate students and 2,200 graduate students.

The primary role of the field specialist is to work with target audiences in each food system sector to determine food safety education needs, establish priorities, and develop, market, implement, evaluate and report food safety education programs in alignment with the food safety team’s vision and goals. The field specialist will facilitate the application of research-based knowledge and information from the University of New Hampshire, the nationwide Land-Grant system and other sources of reputable research.

The position is headquartered in UNH Cooperative Extension’s Rockingham County Office, located in Brentwood, NH. The person serving in this role is expected to conduct programming in Rockingham, Hillsborough, southern Merrimack and southern Strafford Counties and statewide on occasion.

Funding has been secured for a full-time (100%) position through June 30, 2019, after which time 50% of the position is contingent on receipt of additional funding. The successful candidate will be responsible for working with his/her program team leader and work team to seek external resources through grants, contracts and program fees.

Responsibilities & Duties: 

Work closely with the Food Safety team members to develop and implement high impact, relevant, food safety education programs on a regional basis to all sectors of New Hampshire’s food system. Collaborate with other Food and Agriculture work teams including fruit and vegetable; dairy, livestock and forage crops; agricultural business management; and UNH Cooperative Extension’s Education Center, to identify food safety needs and deliver and evaluate food safety programs. Work with all sectors of the food system including, but not limited to; production, processing, retail and consumers, to identify food safety education needs and to develop, market, implement, evaluate, and report program results. Involve UNH faculty, state specialists, Cooperative Extension advisory councils, relevant state agencies, businesses, stakeholders, and members of education program target audiences, e.g. food service workers and agricultural producers, in program development and implementation as appropriate. Contribute to marketing, social marketing efforts and web content as well as other technology based marketing and food safety educational programming. Work with state specialists and field specialists on the Food Safety work team to secure external funding to support food safety projects and activities. Participate in grant funded projects led by colleagues as appropriate and approved by the team chairperson. Ensure programmatic involvement of under-served and under-represented audiences and that all educational programming is conducted in full accordance with civil rights, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action (AA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policies and procedures. Respond to requests for educational information and make referrals as appropriate.

Work with other Food Safety AoE Field Specialists to complete impact reporting and program evaluation under the direction of the AoE Chair and the Program Team Leader. Prepare accomplishment and impact reports required by Cooperative Extension, county government, partners and funders. Develop and implement a professional development plan consistent with personal and organizational goals. Obtain and maintain appropriate certifications in food safety. Participate in staff meetings, including program team meetings, county staff meetings, and county advisory council meetings as well as other meetings as appropriate. Keep accurate, complete and timely work records and reports. Demonstrate effective interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills. Demonstrate effective problem solving skills. Conduct effective meetings, presentations and group decision making processes for food safety.


Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s Degree in food science, nutrition, food microbiology or a closely related science-based field from an accredited university. A strong candidate with a Bachelor’s Degree in appropriate discipline with experience may be considered if they are willing to obtain a Master of Science Degree within 7 years of hire. Relevant food safety education experience. Demonstrated ability to design, deliver and evaluate education programs. Excellent writing skills. Ability and desire to work with a variety of audiences. Ability to work productively with indirect supervision. Self-motivated and directed. Demonstrated ability to work with others in a collegial team atmosphere. Strong interpersonal and problem solving skills in a team setting. Demonstrated willingness to learn on an ongoing basis. Ability to adapt to changing programming and workplace priorities. Frequent travel is required and mileage will be reimbursed at the federal rate. 

Additional Preferred Qualifications:
Experience working for or with Cooperative Extension. Food industry experience. Knowledge/experience in agricultural production. Knowledge/experience with food safety programs such as ServSafe®, HACCP, GAP, and FSMA. Experience in both formal and informal adult education. Effective interpersonal and communication skills. Demonstrated success in securing funding for educational programming.

Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.