Job Specification

Position Title:
Vegetable Crops Specialist
Job Code:
12124 - Industrial Development Officer 3
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

As a Provincial Specialist, to lead Ontario's technology transfer in the assessment of new, emerging, or existing practices, products, technology, and research related to vegetable crops.

To coordinate projects designed to assess the applicability of new or existing practices, products, technology, research, programs and policies to Ontario conditions, including best management practices, which will ensure a competitive and environmentally responsible agri-food sector.

Duties / Responsibilities :

Consulting with client organizations and agencies as a Provincial Specialist, to identify concerns, issues, trends and new and emerging developments which may relate to and impact on provincial programs and policies and on information services and education and training needs of clients.

Coordinating and implementing programs and projects across commodities and disciplines with experts, industry and organization personnel to develop and prepare educational materials, management training tools and other programs, that meet the needs and training requirements on a range of issues.

Monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the delivery and implementation of information and education and training services and other programs, using performance measures to ensure that client needs are addressed efficiently and effectively.

Providing an effective liaison between the research community and industry to determine the applicability of new, emerging and innovative technologies to Ontario conditions and assist in the establishment of research priorities or activities.

Providing expertise to senior management related to vegetable crop production practices, technologies, and research across Ontario. Developing responses and approaches to issues of a highly sensitive and contentious nature. Developing strategies and build consensus to expedite senior level decision making processes.

Providing leadership in the identification, development and application of research and new and emerging technologies and methodologies and in communication to clients.

Linking provincial, national and international expertise to respond to needs of Ministry staff, consultants and the agricultural and rural community through developing policies and programs, leading edge information and educational materials, including developing seminars and courses, electronic and print information packages and designing and implementing demonstrations of new, emerging and innovative techniques and products.

Maintaining regular contact with clients and partners and developing coalitions and networks to facilitate delivery of program information services and education and training and encourage alternate service delivery.

Providing expert analytical and technology transfer support and back-up consultative capability to support ministry staff, private sector practitioners and industry organization staff in finding solutions to problems, and opportunities facing specific business operations and the industry as a whole.

Representing Provincial or Ministry interests on multidisciplinary working groups to develop provincial, national or international initiatives related to the vegetable crop sector.

Staffing and Licensing :

Valid Ontario Driver's License. Ability to travel in rural areas not serviced by public transportation.

Knowledge :

Position requires:

Knowledge and understanding of scientific theories, principles and practices of production, economics, business management and marketing related to the vegetable crop sector and understanding of related disciplines in the agricultural industry to review new, emerging and existing methods, techniques, programs and policies and investigate and identify their suitability for Ontario conditions and environment.

Knowledge of production practices and economics within the vegetable crop sector to develop expert leading edge information and educational materials that will assist clients with improving their competitive position.

Knowledge of agricultural industry, its economic significance, social importance and the roles and mandates of farm and commodity organizations in the rural community to assess the relevance and impact of new policies, program initiatives and practices on the vegetable crop sector.

Knowledge of acts and regulations that impact on vegetable crop sector organizations, producers, and agri-businesses in order to provide information on standards for production of commodities and to advise on compliance of production practices and techniques with legislation and regulations.

Knowledge of techniques and methods of adult education and training to develop educational and training materials for clients and colleagues and conduct training on new products and techniques.

Knowledge of consultation and group facilitation techniques, as well as needs assessment techniques, and program evaluation methods, in order to consult with clients on programs and information needs, and to evaluate if educational and training services and policies and programs are meeting client needs and program objectives.

Knowledge of research methods and practices, in order to investigate viability and applicability of new methods, techniques and technology; analyze validity of research findings; and prepare reports and make recommendations on their suitability and applicability for Ontario conditions.

Expert level of knowledge on current economic development issues, research accomplishments, environmental impacts and issues, production practices, marketing trends and theories as well as programs and services provided provincially, nationally and internationally by governments, universities and private institutions in the vegetable crop sector, to ensure that our client base has access to state-of-the-art information.

Skills :

Position requires:

Analytical and problem solving skills to assess information, education and training needs of agriculture and rural clients and to provide information, services and alternative innovative strategies and solutions in response to client requirements.

Analytical and evaluative skills to investigate issues, new trends and developments related to production, management and marketing in the vegetable crop sector, community economic development, and environmental sustainability.
Tact, diplomacy, and consensus-building skills to establish and enhance partnerships, coalitions and networks to facilitate program delivery, sharing of information, education and training.

Ability and capacity to communicate concisely, professionally and effectively in writing through the compilation and preparation of technical reports, briefing notes, articles and electronic media, and orally through group presentations and one-on-one dialogue.

Interpersonal skills in order to encourage and motivate agricultural and rural organizations to develop and support policies and programs that encourage the adoption and maintenance of sustainable practices in the agricultural and rural communities.

Interpersonal skills to develop and maintain effective provincial, national and international working relationships and demonstrated ability to develop partnerships with clients.

Verbal communication skills to discuss and present information, outlining options and recommendations on how technologies, policies and programs can be applied to facilitate understanding and promote acceptance by others.

Planning and coordination skills to manage own and other staff time on concurrent projects and activities to ensure that Ministry resources are effectively and efficiently used in meeting the Ministry objectives and addressing agricultural issues.

Project management skills to plan and coordinate activities in consultation with clients and stakeholders to identify time and resource requirements and to develop policy and program options for ministry and clients to address agriculture and rural issues.

Skill in administering contracts of service providers and forecasting and monitoring project budgets.

Ability to use computer applications for statistical analysis, data base management and electronic communications including the use of the Internet and social media.

Freedom of Action :

Position requires working under the direction of the Manager, in a team environment. Position is responsible for independently planning, organizing and completing both assigned and self-initiated projects. Position requires working with limited on-site supervision, and working within the practices, policies, standards and objectives of programs, and within recognized methods, procedures and practices related to the vegetable crop sector.

Position exercises latitude in making decisions in: determining effectiveness of information services, education and training, policy and programs and making recommendations on necessary changes, new areas and issues which should be covered; providing advice to clients individually or in groups.

Position requires independent judgement and freedom of action in initiating and maintaining liaison with specific key contacts both within the Ministry, other ministries, and with agriculture groups and organizations, and others as deemed appropriate.

Position requires freedom of action and judgement in managing projects, deadlines, and managing stakeholder program relationships. Freedom of action and judgement are required in providing outreach, program information, and outreach materials for use by clients and organizations, and training to field operations.

Position requires judgement and freedom of action when consulting with officials in client organizations and agencies as a Provincial Specialist in order to identify concerns, issues, trends and new and emerging developments which may relate to and impact on provincial programs and policies, and on information services and the education and training needs of clients.

Position requires freedom of action in establishing and maintaining frequent contacts with Ministry colleagues, staff from other government departments, and other farm and agribusiness partners and/or service providers such as educational institutions.

Position requires the submission of annual work plans and regular reports of results and activities to the Manager.

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