Extension Educator-Fixed

Alma MI
Oct 02, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Working/Functional Title

Swine Production Educator

Position Summary

As part of Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) and the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute, this position will provide local as well as statewide leadership and educational programming expertise in program areas related to the pork industry. In addition, and as a result of the ongoing challenges relative to ensuring product safety and the ability to meet consumer demand, this position will also include a collaborative research and educational component focused on areas of concern to the industry such as disease transfer between and within herds, antimicrobial resistance, endocrine disruptors, and harmful exposures on-farm to biological, chemical and physical hazards. Following a research-to-practice (RTP) framework, collaboration with MSUE and industry specialists, emergency management teams, and other relevant stakeholders, will assure timeliness and value of this component of the position to the industry.

The chosen applicant will work with all types of pork production systems across Michigan, including extensive and intensive operations. They will collaborate across work teams, Institutes, and work with faculty, specialists and educators for overall advancement of Michigan agricultural industries. This position will be the local point-of-contact and provide leadership on relevant topics. The successful applicant will design, implement and evaluate educational programming that is evidence (research) based, will address the needs of clientele groups and 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, agri-business professionals, and consumers that will contribute to enhancing profitable agricultural products. They will contribute to the short and long-term viability of farms, the economic well-being of Michigan residents, and serve as an informational resource for Extension personnel. This position will be located in Gratiot County, Michigan.

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 at local, state and national levels;

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

  • Develop and utilize appropriate media methods to communicate current and timely information, research results, and resulting best practices 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 stakeholder 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

Masters -Swine production and mgmt or related

Minimum Requirements
  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution in a field of study related to swine production and management to be earned by date of hire;

  • Knowledge of general farming practices related to varied systems of pork production;

  • An understanding of the swine industry, including, intensive and/or extensive production;

  • Experience working in or with varied swine production systems;

  • Demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation;

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

  • Experience with marketing/promotion of educational programs;

  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills;

  • Experience and proven ability working productively with a team;

  • Self-motivated with demonstrated ability to work independently in an office environment without daily supervision and/or coaching.

  • 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 to race, 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 regularly travel within the assigned area and surrounding communities, as well as occasional statewide travel in order to perform the duties 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
  • 3-years’ experience in Extension program delivery or demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation (relevant experience acquired within the last 5-years preferred);
  • Experience conducting on-farm applied research with an interest in supporting efforts to build a forward-thinking research program that would encompass topics such as disease transfer between and within herds, antimicrobial resistance, endocrine disruptors, and harmful exposures on-farm to biological, chemical and physical hazards;

  • Experience analyzing and interpreting results;

  • Demonstrated ability to conduct several projects simultaneously;

  • Experience in successful contract and grant writing.
Required Application Materials

Applicants are asked to submit a current resume/CV, cover letter and four (4) professional references.

Special Instructions

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