Extension Agent

Montana State University   Conrad, MT   Full-time     Education
Posted on June 15, 2022
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General Statement: This position is located in Conrad, Montana. Pondera County is located in the Golden Triangle area of Montana, one hour north of Great Falls and within two hours of Glacier National Park. Conrad, the county seat, has a population of around 2,600, with total county population just under 6,500. Other towns and communities in Pondera County include Brady, Dupuyer, Heart Butte, Ledger, and Valier.

Land distribution in Pondera County is 69% cropland and 30% pastureland. Census data indicates the county ranks third in the state for market value of crop products sold and seventh in all agriculture products (2017). Crops provide $76 million, with $35 million coming from livestock, including significant cows and calves. Additionally, the county ranks third in hog production. Small grains, pulse crops, oilseeds, and hay are the predominant crops. Other major county industries include manufacturing, tourism, and health care. A portion of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is located in the western part of the county. There are five Hutterite Colonies in the county.

Pondera County 4-H has 97 members and 28 volunteer leaders enrolled in the program, which includes four organized 4-H clubs and one shooting sports project club. Complete (K-12) school systems exist in the communities of Conrad, Valier, and Heart Butte. Conrad is home to a community hospital and an assisted living facility. The county offers a variety of recreational opportunities which include skiing, golfing, hunting, fishing, and camping. The mountains and lakes in the surrounding area are popular recreational sites.

We seek individuals who work professionally and effectively with diverse individuals, foster and maintain effective interpersonal relationships, exhibit excellent written and verbal communications skills and have the ability to contribute positively to the academic success of students and the mission of Montana State University.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop, plan, implement, facilitate, and evaluate successful, research-based educational programs in Agriculture, with emphases on agronomy, irrigated and dryland crop production, pest management, horticulture, and livestock production, and Community Development that result in positive community impacts.
  • Share leadership for the Pondera County 4-H program with the Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development Agent to foster positive youth development and adult engagement and a successful 4-H program.
  • Collaborate with local Extension staff and stakeholder groups to conduct continuous needs assessments in agriculture, 4-H youth development, and community development to inform programming priorities in Pondera County.
  • Embrace a team approach to planning, developing, and implementing the overall MSU Extension program in Pondera County.
  • Build and maintain collaborative working relationships with peer Extension agents, Extension specialists, county commissioners, and appropriate local individuals, groups, boards, agencies, and organizations to leverage educational programming in Pondera County.
  • Collaborate with Extension faculty and staff to plan and execute the four-county Marias Fair.

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in agronomy, crop production, agriculture, or related field.
  2. Demonstrated ability lead groups; assess needs; and plan, implement, facilitate, teach, and evaluate educational programs for youth and adult audiences.
  3. Demonstrated ability to provide effective leadership for Extension programming for positive youth and volunteer development.
  4. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with individuals, groups, and community organizations representing a wide variety of youth and adult audiences.

Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills:

  1. Master’s degree.
  2. At least one degree or relevant work experience in agronomy, crop production, or agriculture, or related field.
  3. Demonstrated ability to facilitate groups and help them find constructive solutions to locally identified issues.
  4. Extension experience or demonstrated understanding of the Extension education model.

The Successful Candidate Will: The successful candidate will possess excellent human relation skills; a high level of professionalism; the ability to work effectively with other staff members; evidence of good judgment; flexibility and innovation to respond to changing needs of people in Pondera County; and will be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. The successful candidate will also possess a familiarity with multi-cultural and different socioeconomic audiences, an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds, and a commitment to the principles of diversity, and dedication to supporting and enhancing Montana State University’s initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information: This position, if filled at the Master’s degree level, will be tenure-track. A successful candidate without a Master’s degree will be required to complete their Master’s degree, in a program area relevant to their Extension position, within six (6) years of their start date. Failure to do so may result in termination.

Work hours vary and are influenced by community needs. Work outside of normal business hours, including evenings and weekends, is not unusual. Position includes continuous professional development, frequent travel throughout the county, and occasional travel throughout Montana.

Must possess currently or be eligible to obtain a valid State of Montana Driver’s license and have an acceptable driving record (less than 12 points),or have other reliable means of transportation. Must have access to a vehicle to use for work (mileage will be reimbursed),and have minimum vehicle liability insurance. Do NOT send a copy of the driver’s license.

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

The Program: The scholarship of Extension work at MSU is defined as, “The creation of partnerships, programs, and plans through Extension, or other community-based research, that leverage the knowledge and resources of the university and the public/private sector to enhance learning, discovery, and engagement; educate and engage citizens; strengthen communities; address locally identified issues and problems; apply and disseminate knowledge; and contribute to the public good.”

Posting Detail Information

Number of Vacancies 1

Desired Start Date: Upon completion of a successful search

Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on July 15, 2022; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

Please note – for this position – Five (5) references have been requested.

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.