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Extension Agent - Agriculture and more - six positions

Please see Special Instructions for more details.

Applicants MUST indicate through system which positions they wish to be considered for. Each has specific areas of concentration within Agriculture, and many have 4-H responsibilities. Please read each description carefully. Screening of applications begins July 14, 2017, and continues until an adequate applicant pool has been established. Applicants should submit a cover letter, a response that addresses each qualification, plus the names, phone numbers and e-mails of five (5) professional references. In addition, applicant must choose which positions they wish to apply for. This position is administratively responsible to the Regional Department Head, through the hiring authority of the Executive Director of Extension. 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. For assistance in applying, please contact Linda Shott at linda.shott@montana.edu or Mary Fran San Soucie at maryfran@montana.edu. (406) 994-1752

Position Details

Position Information

Announcement Number FAC - VA - 17062
Quick Link for Internal Postings http://jobs.montana.edu/postings/8738
For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Linda Shott, linda.shott@montana.edu, (406) 994-1752.

Classification Title
Working Title Extension Agent - Agriculture and more - six positions
Brief Position Overview

We have an exciting opportunity to fill six Extension Agent positions at once in Montana. Here is your opportunity to apply for up to six different Extension Agent positions with one application! Please contact us if you have any questions when applying.

Faculty Tenure Track No
Faculty Rank Up to Assistant Professor
Position Number
Department Extension Agents/Field
Division Extension
Appointment Type Faculty
Contract Term Fiscal Year
Semester
If other, specify From date
If other, specify End date
FLSA Exempt
Union Affiliation
FTE 1.0
Benefits Eligible Eligible
Salary Salary commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications.
Contract Type LOA
If other, please specify
Recruitment Type Open

Position Details

General Statement

Montana currently has seven open Extension Agent positions in the agriculture field. The various emphases include: production agriculture, irrigated and dryland crop production, livestock production, farm and ranch financial management, range management, pest management, natural resource management, horticulture and 4-H/Youth Development. Please read description for each county, and indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for in answering the questions below.

BLAINE County
Located in Chinook, MT. COUNTY PROFILE: Blaine County is located in North Central Montana and borders Canada. Blaine County has an area of 4,227 square miles with an average of 1.5 persons per mile. The county has a population of 6,683 based on 2012 population estimates, with the largest centers at Chinook, Harlem, and Turner. Based on an agricultural economy, Blaine County also relies on oil and gas, tourism and education as primary sources of employment. Hunting, fishing, rodeo, softball and bowling are popular forms of recreation. The Missouri River Breaks National Monument is located along the southern border of the county. Bear Paw Battlefield National Park is located 15 miles south of Chinook and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation lies in the eastern third of the county. The 4-H program consists of approximately 170 youth members and 56 volunteer leaders in 7 organized clubs.

GENERAL INFORMATION: The main program emphasis of the Blaine County Extension Agent Position will be in the areas of Agriculture and 4-H/Youth Development. The office also has a full time Family and Consumer Science Agent, one full time Administrative Assistant and one part time Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed) educator.

FERGUS County
Located in Lewistown, MT. County profile: Located in Central Montana, Fergus County covers approximately 4,600 square miles. The county is bordered on the north by the Missouri River and on the south by the Big Snowy Mountains. The county is approximately 2.8 million acres with beef cow-calf, dryland small grain and dryland hay being the primary agricultural production enterprises. Lewistown is the county seat with a population of 6, I 00. Other small towns in the county include Denton, Grass Range, Moore, Roy and Winifred. County population, according to July 1, 2004 estimates is 1 1,539. The county ranks third in Montana in total agricultural cash receipts; third in winter wheat, alfalfa and all cattle and calves. There are approximately 830 farm ranch operations in the county. County agricultural production includes approximately 125,000 acres of winter wheat; 90,000 acres of barley; 156,000 acres of hay; and 68,000 head of beef cows and heifers. Agricultural production, agri-business and small manufacturing form the basis of the economy along with the education, medical care and government office sectors. Fergus County is a mix of three mountain ranges, an inter-mountain basin, open prairie and the Missouri River breaks. A multitude of fishing, hunting and recreational opportunities exist within the county and in the nearby area. Excellent schools and the Central Montana Medical Center are important aspects of the central Montana community.
GENERAL INFORMATION: The main focus of the Fergus County Extension Agent position will be the areas of production agriculture/marketing and natural resource management, along with 4-H/Youth Development and community/economic development, specifically in the agricultural area. The agent in this position works with the full time Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent and the full time 4H Program Assistant. The agent in this position shares portions of the 4-H program with the Family and Consumer Science Agent and the 4-H Program Assistant. Both agents and the 4-H Program Assistant work with the full- time administrative assistant for the Fergus County Extension Office. The Fergus County Extension Office also provides Extension education programs to the residents of Petroleum County, which is adjacent to the east boundary of Fergus County.

GALLATIN County
Located in Bozeman, MT. County Profile: Gallatin County is home to Montana’s Land Grant University, Montana State University and is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Current population is 104,502, a 16.7% increase from the 2010 census. Bozeman, the County Seat has a population of 43,405. Located on the northern and western border of Yellowstone National Park Gallatin County has excellent recreational opportunities including golf, fishing, skiing, hiking, climbing, and hunting. Small acreage landowners are an important part of the population with many interests varying from small scale food production to wildlife habitat enhancement to purely recreational interests. Gallatin County climate is conducive to an vibrant population of horticulture enthusiasts, and has an active Master Gardener program. Agriculture enterprises include cereal grain, cow-calf production, grain and potato seed production, forage and an emerging local foods production interest. In addition to this position, the MSU Gallatin County Extension Office includes a full-time Natural Resource field faculty, a full-time 4-H Youth Development field faculty.
General Position Responsibilities: The emphases of this full-time position are small acreage stewardship, horticulture, agriculture, and periodic assistance to the 4-H Youth Development field faculty. Gallatin County field faculty in this position will facilitate educational programs in locally identified foci within programmatic emphases. Faculty in this position will plan, implement and evaluate small acreage stewardship, horticulture, and agriculture Extension programs utilizing Extension teaching.


MADISON-JEFFERSON Counties
Located in Whitehall, MT. County Profiles: Madison and Jefferson Counties are situated along the continental divide in southwestern Montana. The Jefferson and Madison rivers and their tributaries lie in the valleys between mountain ranges including the Tobacco Root, Madison, Elkhorn, Boulder, Ruby and Gravelly ranges. Madison County population is 7,924 and Virginia City is the County seat. Jefferson County population is 11,853 and Boulder is the County Seat. Primary economic activity includes mining (gold and talc), agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation. Agricultural industries include cattle, sheep, horses, potatoes, forages, and small grains. A substantial number of small acreage landowners commute to larger communities for employment, while others, including some large parcels, are seasonally occupied with primarily outdoor recreation interests.
General Position Responsibilities: The emphases of this full-time position are Agriculture, Natural Resource Management and 4-H Youth Development. Madison-Jefferson Counties field faculty in this position will facilitate educational programs in locally identified foci within programmatic emphases. The office is also staffed with an Economic Development field faculty, Economic and Community Development field faculty, Agriculture and 4-H Youth Development program assistant and an office manager. The 4-H Youth Development program is very active and currently exceeds 350 4-H members with a strong group of 4-H volunteers. Faculty in this position will plan, implement and evaluate agriculture, natural resource, and 4-H Extension programs utilizing Extension teaching.

PONDERA County
Located in Conrad, MT. COUNTY PROFILE: 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 is the county seat and has, according to U.S. Census estimates for 2011, a population of 2,616. Total county population, according to that same resource, is 6,257. Other towns and communities in Pondera County include Brady, Dupuyer, Heart Butte, Ledger, and Valier. The county ranks fourth in the state for cash receipt from crops and seventh in overall farm income according to Montana agricultural statistics for 2012. Crops provide almost $79.7 million of that total with $25.5 million coming from livestock operations, including a significant number of purebred seed stock producers. Barley, winter wheat, spring wheat and hay are the predominant crops; the county ranks second in the state for barley production, fifth in winter wheat, and fifth in durum wheat. Other crops produced include canola, peas, lentils, corn and mustard. Pondera County is the largest swine producing county in Montana. Other major county industries include food processing, manufacturing, tourism and health care. Part of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is located in the western portion of the county. There are five Hutterite Colonies located in the county. Pondera County has approximately 94 4-H members and 34 volunteer 4-H leaders in five organized 4-H clubs. MSU Extension offices are located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and in all surrounding counties. Complete (K-12) school systems exist in the communities of Conrad, Valier and Heart Butte. Conrad is home to a community hospital and nursing home. 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.
General position responsibilities: The main job emphases of the Pondera County Extension Agent will be in the areas of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and 4-H/Youth Development. The office is staffed by one other agent, whose job emphases are in the areas of family/consumer sciences and 4-H/Youth Development, and one full-time administrative assistant who is supervised by both agents.

YELLOWSTONE County
Located in Billings, MT. COUNTY PROFILE: Located in south central Montana, Yellowstone County is Montana’s most populous county with an estimated population of over 150,000. Billings, the county seat, is the largest city within a 500 mile radius with an estimated population of 107,000 (2012) and is a major retail and wholesale trade, financial, energy, transportation and medical center. Billings also serves as a transportation hub for rail, truck, and air travel and is a major trade center for southern and eastern Montana and northern Wyoming. Agriculture in Yellowstone County is diverse from both a crops and livestock standpoint. Total cash receipts for agriculture are the highest in Montana totaling approximately $138 million. The surrounding 18 county trade area earns about $980 million annually for crop and livestock receipts. There are approximately 80,000 irrigated crop acres, 220,000 dryland crop acres, and about 1.3 million acres in pasture and rangeland. Irrigated crops consist of sugar beets, malting barley, corn, dry beans, small grains, alfalfa and corn for silage and grain. The primary dryland crop is winter wheat. Beef cow/calf operations and beef feedlots are the primary livestock enterprises.
Yellowstone County offers diverse educational opportunities, cuisine, arts and culture to people throughout the region. Laurel, a town of 7,300, is located 12 miles from Billings and other communities in the County include Ballantine, Broadview, Custer, Huntley, Lockwood, Pompey’s Pillar, Shepherd and Worden. Sixty eight public and private schools in the county (37 elementary, 13 middle, 10 high and 8 private) provide excellent educational opportunities. Billings is also home to MSU-Billings, the MSU College of Technology, and Rocky Mountain College. Established in 1883 and located along the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone County is rich in history. The only remaining evidence of the Lewis & Clark expedition, Clark’s signature on Pompey’s Pillar, is located in the county. The area also offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including skiing, hiking, biking, and boating. Yellowstone Park is easily accessible as well. Billings is a transportation hub with a large airport. It also has available an efficient MET Bus Transit System. Special cultural opportunities include the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Western Heritage Center, the Billings Symphony, the Alberta Bair Theater, and Zoo Montana. The medical corridor provides the most advanced healthcare services in a four-state area and Healthcare in Billings is an important economic anchor.
GENERAL INFORMATION: The main emphasis of the Yellowstone County Extension Agent position will be in the area of Agriculture. The Yellowstone County Extension Office has two other fulltime Extension agents, one whose focus is family and consumer science and one whose focus is 4-H/youth development. The office also has a 2/3 FTE horticulture program assistant and 1 full time and 1 half time administrative assistant.

Duties and Responsibilities

BLAINE County
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Plan, implement and evaluate educational programs in agriculture, with emphases on irrigated and dry land crop production, livestock production, weed control, farm management, range management and pesticide education.
  • Plan, implement and evaluate an educational youth program with emphases on 4-H, leader volunteer training, middle management and other community youth development activities. Share the responsibility of administering and coordinating the 4-H Youth program with the Family and Consumer Science agent.
  • Plan, implement and evaluate educational programs in home horticulture and home pest management.
  • Maintain an educational presence in communities throughout Blaine County especially Chinook, Harlem and Turner.
  • Serve as an ex-officio member of the Blaine County Fair Board.
  • Help facilitate the Montana Seed Show in Harlem, MT.
  • Work with local citizens through various advisory processes to identify needs, priorities and emerging program needs.
  • Coordinate with agencies, communities, organizations and boards involved in community development.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with other Extension Agents in cross-county programming efforts.

FERGUS County
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Plan, implement and evaluate educational programs in agriculture, with emphasis on livestock production, dryland crop production, weed management, horticulture, farm and ranch management, range management, and environmental management.
  • In cooperation with the FCS Agent and the 4-H Program Assistant, provide leadership for program development in 4-H, including developing ideas, facilitating and coordinating programs in the agriculture, animal and plant project areas, and responding to the needs and requests from 4-H leaders with educational programming.
  • Coordinate with current community leadership and provide educational programming in rural and economic development related activities.
  • In cooperation with the FCS Agent and the 4-H Program Assistant, provide leadership for program development in 4-H, including developing ideas, facilitating and coordinating programs in the agriculture, animal and plant project areas, and responding to the needs and requests from 4-H leaders with educational programming.
  • Provide the general public with informational resources and guidance for various agricultural, horticulture, pest management and/or other community concerns.
  • Serve on the Fergus-Petroleum Food and Agriculture (FA C) Committee and the Fergus County 4-H Leader’s Council.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with other agents and Extension specialists to plan and implement integrated, interdisciplinary educational programming.
  • Provide leadership for and conduct inspections of producers in Fergus and Petroleum counties, in the areas of certification for the Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Program.
  • Must possess or be able to obtain a Government Pesticide Applicator’s License, and serve as ex-officio member on the Fergus County Weed Board.
  • Work with local officials to determine needs, identify major issues, and assist in presenting/facilitating programs in the various communities of Fergus County, and have regular meeting with the commissioners to keep them up to date.

GALLATIN County
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Group instruction through workshops, seminars, and classes,
  • One-on-one instruction through personal visits, telephone conferences, and other constituent contacts,
  • Program or curriculum development, and
  • Design and development of instructional materials.
  • Agricultural and Natural Resource interests include livestock, range management, irrigated and dryland crops, weed management, consumer horticulture, and small acreage stewardship. Youth Development 4-H programs will include executive and strategic leadership including building volunteer capacity through active engagement to promote growth for youth and adults.

MADISON-JEFFERSON Counties
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Group instruction through workshops, seminars, and classes,
  • One-on-one instruction through personal visits, telephone conferences, and other constituent contacts,
  • Program or curriculum development, and
  • Design and development of instructional materials.
  • Field faculty in this position will notice seasonal shifts in demand among program emphases, and will often interact with many clientele with varying interests in a single day.

PONDERA County
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Plan, implement, teach, facilitate and evaluate educational programs in agriculture, with emphases on irrigated and dryland crop production, weed control, crop insect management, farm management, pesticide education, and livestock production.
  • Collaborate with the other Pondera Extension Agent, who has overall responsibility for the 4-H/Youth Development Program, providing support for program development, coordination, and evaluation of agriculture related 4-H projects and youth educational projects.
  • Respond to home-yard pest and horticulture questions and lead the Master Gardener Program.
  • Serve as ex-officio member of the Pondera County Weed Board and the Pondera County Conservation District.
  • Work cooperatively with Extension Agents involved in the 4-H portion of the multi-county Marias Fair and serve as the Fair Horse Committee Advisor.
  • Collaborate with neighboring agents developing and facilitating the Young Ag Producers education program.
  • Coordinate with agencies, communities, organizations and boards involved in community development.
  • In cooperation with the other Pondera Extension Agent, develop and maintain an active networks and partnerships to assist in Extension program planning.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with area Extension agents and with Extension specialists to conduct effective, integrated educational programming.
  • Collaborate with area weed management organizations and weed districts to provide weed management education, and help coordinate the annual Swift Dam Spray Day.

YELLOWSTONE County
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Plan, implement and evaluate educational programs in agriculture, including irrigated and dryland crop production, livestock production, farm and ranch financial management, range management, pest management, and pesticide training.
  • Provide support for program development, coordination, and evaluation of agriculture related 4-H projects and youth educational projects.
  • Network closely with policy makers, producer groups, government agencies and others in order to assess needs and guide local program priorities.
  • Serve as an ex-officio member of various and community boards and committees relating to agriculture.
  • Cooperate with other MSU Extension staff in implementing, maintaining, and evaluating a balanced interdisciplinary Extension program which will benefit the ongoing effectiveness of the Yellowstone County Extension program.
  • Complete and submit reports, evaluations, and other materials as required by MSU Extension. Utilize all available media sources, including electronic mail, the Internet and other advancing technologies to communicate with MSU Extension staff and others, and to research topics and disseminate information to clientele.
  • Must possess or be able to obtain a Government Pesticide Applicator’s License .

For MOST positions:

  • Possess or obtain a Pesticide Applicator’s Certification License

For ALL positions:

  • Utilize all media sources, including electronic mail, the Internet and other advancing technologies, including social media, to communicate and disseminate information.
  • Comply with all MSU Extension, federal, state, university and county reporting requirements.
  • Assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies.
  • Position requires frequent night and weekend work, extensive reading, frequent travel throughout the counties, occasional travel throughout the state of Montana, and travel to and from programs with adult and youth attendees.
  • Must possess, or be able to obtain, a Montana driver’s license or have other means of reliable transportation.
Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  1. Bachelor’s Degree
  2. At least one degree or relevant work experience in agriculture area related to duties listed for position or other related field
  3. Demonstrated ability to provide effective leadership to Extension programming
  4. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple and varied tasks and to accept and delegate responsibilities
  5. Effective written communication skills
  6. Experience helping diverse groups and individuals accomplish common goals
  7. Demonstrated knowledge and skills in the use of computers for dissemination of educational information, educational programming and management
Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  1. Master’s Degree
  2. Demonstrated ability to author and manage grant funds and other sources of outside funding
  3. Demonstrated ability to facilitate groups and conflict resolution skills
The Successful Candidate Will

The successful candidate will possess excellent human relations skills, the ability to work effectively with other staff members, evidence of good judgment, flexibility and innovativeness in order to respond to the changing needs of people in the county, and will be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. The successful candidate will also have familiarity with multi-cultural and different socio-economic audiences, an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds and a commitment to the principles of diversity.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

In addition to regular daytime office hours, this position requires some night and weekend work. The position also requires extensive reading, frequent travel throughout the county, occasional travel throughout the state of Montana, and travel to and from programs with adult and youth participants. The position also requires using a variety of teaching methods, and handling and operating a variety of demonstration and educational equipment.

Must possess, or be able to possess, a Montana driver’s license or have other means of reliable transportation.

In accordance with MSU policy, hiring will be conditional upon successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

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.

Physical Demands

Frequent travel throughout the county; occasional travel throughout the state. Handing and moving a variety of educational equipment. Ability to give presentations in outside venues.

The Program

Across Montana, there are 92 agents and 32 specialists in Extension who are MSU faculty members, living and working in more than 60 offices and communities statewide. These professionals serve in their local communities and counties, responding to emerging needs of families, producers, businesses and industry.

The Department
The College

MSU Extension improves the lives of Montana citizens by providing unbiased research-based education and information that integrates learning, discovery and engagement to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Posting Detail Information

Number of Vacancies Pooled position
Desired Start Date
Position End Date (if temporary)
Open Date
Close Date
Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on July 14, 2017; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

Applicants MUST indicate through system which positions they wish to be considered for. Each has specific areas of concentration within Agriculture, and many have 4-H responsibilities. Please read each description carefully.

Screening of applications begins July 14, 2017, and continues until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, a response that addresses each qualification, plus the names, phone numbers and e-mails of five (5) professional references. In addition, applicant must choose which positions they wish to apply for.

This position is administratively responsible to the Regional Department Head, through the hiring authority of the Executive Director of Extension. 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.

For assistance in applying, please contact Linda Shott at linda.shott@montana.edu or Mary Fran San Soucie at maryfran@montana.edu. (406) 994-1752

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.

Montana State University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination. As such, the University does not discriminate in the admission, access to or conduct of its educational programs and activities nor in its employment policies and practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, gender, age, political beliefs, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation or preference. In support of the University’s mission to be inclusive and diverse, applications from qualified minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

Montana State University makes accommodation for any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the hiring process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job. To request an accommodation, contact the Human Resources Office, PO Box 172520, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 59717-2520; 406-994-3651; recruitment@montana.edu .

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.

MSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures can be located on the MSU Website: www2.montana.edu/policy/affirmative_action/ .

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Response to Each Required and Preferred Qualification
  3. Resume
  4. List of Five (5) Professional References
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. Blaine County (Chinook, MT)(Primarily Agriculture and 4-H)
    • I would like my application considered for this position
  2. Fergus County (Lewistown, MT)(Primarily Agriculture and 4-H)
    • I would like my application considered for this position
  3. Gallatin County (Bozeman, MT)(Primarily Agriculture)
    • I would like my application considered for this position
  4. Madison/Jefferson Counties (Whitehall, MT)(Primarily Agriculture and 4-H)
    • I would like my application considered for this position
  5. Pondera County (Conrad, MT)(Primarily Agriculture and 4-H)
    • I would like my application considered for this position
  6. Yellowstone County (Billings, MT)(Primarily Agriculture)
    • I would like my application considered for this position