Extension Educator-Fixed

Working/Functional Title

Farm Mgmt Educator, Kalamazoo

Position Summary

As part of Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) and the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute (AABI), the successful Extension Educator will provide local as well as statewide leadership and educational programming expertise in Farm Management with emphasis on whole-farm business analysis.  The successful applicant will work with farmers and agribusiness across southwest Michigan and work statewide as appropriate. Southwest Michigan reflects much of the diversity of agriculture in Michigan with many large and progressive farmers farming the region. This position will collaborate across work teams, Institutes and commodity groups, and work with faculty, specialists and educators for overall advancement of Michigan agricultural industries. This position will be the regional point-of-contact for Southwest Michigan leadership and educational programming expertise in farm management with an emphasis on farm business analysis, business transition, income tax education, and general farm business management topics such economics of technologies and return on investment. The successful applicant will design, implement and evaluate educational programming, that is research based, will address the needs of clientele groups; ensure dissemination of research-based information through various methods, including multi-media, in-person education, social media, use of distance education technologies, written articles, bulletins, etc. The successful candidate will provide learning experiences and information for farmers and agri-business professionals that will contribute to enhancing profitable agricultural products, contribute to the short and long-term viability of farms, and the economic well-being of Michigan residents, and serve as an informational resource for Extension personnel.

Characteristic Duties/Responsibilities

  • Develop, conduct and evaluate innovative educational programs that meet current and projected needs;

  • Communicate and interact with community groups to evaluate the needs of the clientele;   

  • Serve as an information resource to clientele, partners and  Extension staff;

  • Collaborate with MSU Extension staff to  conduct and evaluate programming efforts;

  • In concert with the MSUE work team(s), work with federal, state and county agencies to complete needs assessment of the community and develop effective programming;

  • Create and promote positive public relations for MSU Extension and the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute;

  • Author, produce and submit regular research-based educational articles;

  • Develop and utilize appropriate media methods to communicate current and timely information, research results, and relevant industry updates, as well as a schedule of current and future activities;

  • Actively participate in professional development opportunities;

  • Gather and report programming outputs and impacts, to demonstrate program effectiveness and to guide future program priorities for MSUE, the AABI Institute and the work group aligned with; 

  • Work to ensure that community needs assessments, program development and recruitment efforts include the engagement of Michigan’s diverse residents across race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences;

  • Understand and implements Civil Rights policies and procedures; 

  • Other duties or projects as assigned by the Institute Director. 

Required Degree

Bachelors -Agriculture/Farm Management

Desired Degree

Masters -Agriculture/Farm Management

Minimum Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in field of study related to farm business management with an expectation to complete a Master's degree within a specified time frame, in a related field, after employment; or, Master’s degree from an accredited institution in a field of study related to farm business management;
  • Demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation;

  • Ability to create and carry-out a project plan from research of initial concept to project completion and follow-up;

  • Ability with marketing/promotion of educational programs;

  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills;

  • Experience and proven ability working productively with a team;

  • Proficiency in use of technology (e.g. web research, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook for mail/calendaring, distance technology, etc.) for day-to-day work and  educational program delivery, record keeping, reporting, team-based communications and overall management;

  • Demonstrated success in program development and delivery to diverse audiences/communities including but not limited torace, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences;

  • Proven ability in establishing and working with a diverse network of constituents and community members across race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences to assist with program development and outreach;

  • Understanding of and ability to implement Civil Rights principles and compliance standards;

  • Ability to lift and carry educational materials, equipment, etc. up to 25 lbs.;

  • Ability to travel in local and surrounding communities and occasional long distance travel are required as a regular part of this position; transportation is the responsibility of the employee.

  • Other skills and/or physical abilities required to perform duties of the position.

Desired Qualifications
  • Persons possessing both a Bachelor of Science degree in a Farm Management related field, and a Master of Science degree in an agriculture related field are encouraged to apply; or, persons with formal training in finance or economic analysis and small business related experience, with the understanding to either have or acquire a M.S. degree in an agribusiness related field are encouraged to apply;
  • 3-years’ experience in Extension program delivery or demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation (relevant experience acquired within the last5-years preferred);

  • Familiarity with agricultural accounting and analysis software and tools;

  • Knowledge of farm financial statements; agricultural tax regulation, cash accounting and associated software;

  • Knowledge of general farming practices related to livestock and crop production

  • Interest in working with farmers, as well as educating the farm community on matters addressing agriculture related economics subjects.

Required Application Materials

In addition to a current resume and cover letter, applicants are asked to provide four (4) professional references with email addresses.

Special Instructions

Application review will begin September 11, 2017 and continue until a suitable candidate has been identified.

This position is a full-time, end-dated appointment renewable annually based upon successful performance and continued funding.