Extension Educator- Agriculture Production Systems, Rice & Steele Counties
University of Minnesota Extension - Owatonna, MN

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Rice/Steele Counties
Extension Educator, Agricultural Production Systems


Title: Extension Educator- Agriculture Production Systems
1.0 FTE Position: Funded by Rice & Steele Counties
Extension Center: Extension Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (EFANS)
Location: Rice & Steele County Extension Offices
UM Ext Rice County UM Ext Steele County
1900 Fairgrounds Dr #17 635 Florence Ave
Faribault, MN 55021 Owatonna MN 55060

Application Review: Applications will be reviewed starting November 18, 2013. Position is open until filled.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota, a land grant institution with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The mission of the University of Minnesota Extension Service is: “Making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota.”

Rice and Steele counties lie within an hour’s drive south of the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Metro region and contain the towns of Northfield, Faribault, Owatonna and Blooming Prairie. Population of the two counties is about 86,000. Agriculture is one of the largest industries in the counties, accounting for incomes of $170,593,000 from livestock production and $218,893,000 from crop production. There is a diverse agriculture system with a wide mix of farm sizes, production systems, livestock and crops. Cattle and hogs are the major livestock industries and corn and soybeans dominate the cropping systems. However, there is significant organic production, alternative livestock and crop production, and small and sustainable farms across the counties. There are many lakes in Rice County elevating water quality concerns for farmers and landowners. Drainage issues for agricultural production are a concern for both counties.

This Extension Educator will primarily focus on providing support for EFANS’s programs that are relevant to the local community. This support will involve local program development, delivery, marketing, evaluation, coordination, logistics and possibly participation in scholarly research. This position will also provide technical assistance and information in the area of crops, livestock, agricultural business management, and possibly horticulture. Special effort will be required to maintain competency in multiple discipline areas of agricultural production as well as knowledge of local/federal/state agency programs.

This position is accountable to the Program Leader for South Local Positions in EFANS for program direction, performance evaluation and personnel actions in her/his supervisory role.


  • Develop and maintain effective regional, university and state partnerships that further the development and delivery of Extension EFANS educational programs.
  • Design, develop, deliver/implement and evaluate local educational programs based in scholarly/scientific theory and research, and reflective of local needs and expectations of production agriculture.
  • Provide technical assistance and information in the areas of crops, livestock, farm management issues based on local needs and expectations
  • Use technology for program design, program delivery, reporting, communication, trend monitoring, and locating information.
  • Utilize and maintain local media and other delivery methods – such as newsletters, email, website, etc. - to promote programs, educate the public about agriculture and assess community needs.
  • Work in partnership with NRCS, SWCD, County Planning & Zoning, Environmental Services, Commodity groups and agricultural professional organizations to provide educational programs relevant to the county.
  • Provide assistance to the Master Gardener program including:

o Work with Master Gardener coordinators to develop and maintain a regular system(s) of communications
o Work with Master Gardeners in setting annual program goals
o Work with coordinators to oversee finances by coordinating with the counties
o Work with coordinators to ensure work focuses on education of others and aligns with state program focus and needs as well as county needs.

  • Garner funds and resources, as required, to support local educational programs through grants and other means, as outlined in Extension’s research development plan and guide.
  • Foster and contribute to a positive work climate with colleagues, advisory groups, audiences and partnerships.
  • Conduct scholarly research in collaboration with University faculty.
  • Continue professional development in scholarship, program development and delivery via conferences, additional graduate work, self-directed study and other appropriate means of maintaining a high level of expertise.
  • Ensure that Extension programs, facilities, committees, and employment opportunities are accessible to new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is preferred.
  • At least one degree in a field of production agriculture is required, i.e. agronomy, soils, livestock production, agricultural economics, agricultural education


  • Experience and /or educational specialization must be related to one or more of the following topics: row crop production, forage production, soil fertility, tillage systems, alternative cropping systems, plant/crop science, farm business management.
  • Experience as a volunteer or in managing volunteers is desirable.

Required Skills/Abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communication.
  • Technology-enhance learning skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and stakeholders.
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate public value of educational programs.

1. The Extension Educator position has an annual University academic professional appointment. Renewal is dependent on local funding, program need, performance, and results.
2. The University of Minnesota benefits package is available with this full-time appointment.
3. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy. (Must provide own means for traveling throughout the state and legally required vehicle insurance.)
Salary commensurate with education and experience.

Please apply online via the Employment System https://employment.umn.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=115618

Please attach:

  • Vitae
  • Cover letter

Three professional letters of reference, and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) are also required to complete your application.

  • To submit three professional letters on-line, you can attach them to the "references" section of the "optional documents."
  • *To submit your unofficial transcripts on-line, you can attach them to the "Additional Document" section of the "optional documents".

If three professional letters of reference and your unofficial transcripts cannot be submitted online send them to the address below. Also, if you have questions about applying online please contact:

Naaz Babvani
Extension Human Resources
260 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave.
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN 55108
Telephone: 612-624-3717
Fax: 612-624-7749

November 18, 2013 initial application review; position will remain open until filled

*To check the status of your application, log-in to the University of Minnesota employment website at https://employment.umn.edu/. To log-in, you will need the user name and password you create when you apply for the position.

**Any offer of employment is contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status or sexual orientation.

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ABOUT EXTENSION The University of Minnesota Extension Service is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota, a land grant...