Extension Field Specialist in Agronomy Assistant/Associate/Full Extension Professional – New ...

Job description

Job Title: Extension Field Specialist in Agronomy Assistant/Associate/Full Extension Professional – New Madrid, MO
Location: Missouri Southeast Region
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 34305
Job Description

LOCATION: New Madrid, Missouri and primarily serves New Madrid, Dunklin, Pemiscot, and Mississippi counties in the Southeast region with additional coverage as needed.

The University of Missouri (MU) Office of Extension and Engagement’s distinct land-grant mission is to improve lives, communities and economies by producing relevant, reliable and responsive educational strategies throughout Missouri. Our dedicated and knowledgeable faculty and staff collaborate with researchers and community leaders to develop and deliver programs that address needs of Missourians including: educational attainment; environmental concerns; community, economic, business and workforce development; global food systems; and health systems. For more information about MU Extension and Engagement, please visit http://extension.missouri.edu.

Extension faculty serve for 12-months in non-tenure track appointments to the promotable ranks of assistant, associate, or full Extension Professional. The rank at time of appointment or promotion is consistent with the standards of achievement and experience established by the faculty.

MU Extension faculty are commonly known as Specialists. State Specialists are responsible for all counties in the state of Missouri, and Field Specialists serve multiple counties within a region. Some Field Specialists may have a geographic focus or programmatic specialization that reaches outside of their region. Specialists provide educational opportunities that enable businesses, farms, families and communities to strengthen the economy and enhance quality of life. Additionally, Specialists create partnerships with civic and business organizations, educational institutions, local leaders and key stakeholders to identify priorities, increase resources, and determine how research-based education can best meet the needs of the citizens.

Agriculture and Environment (A&E) Extension at the University of Missouri has one goal. That goal is to double the economic value of Missouri agriculture by 2030 while sustaining our natural resources. An essential mechanism for reaching that goal comes through the Small Business Development Center for Agriculture, Food and Forestry at MU. This Center is a partnership between A&E Extension and Missouri's Small Business Development Centers. All programs in A&E Extension are research-based and designed to promote, enhance, and develop viable and sustainable production systems.

This position will be filled at a 0.90 FTE, 36 hours a week.


The core duties of MU Extension Specialists are to Educate, Create, and Connect. The emphasis among these duties and specific deliverables will vary for different appointments and evolve from year to year. Direction for the year is developed in an annual plan of work for the program area and for the individual.

  • Educate. For Field Specialists in A&E, the primary responsibility is to deliver onsite Extension teaching and programming, online courses, continuing education, technical assistance, and consultation. Field Specialists work alongside State Specialists to support the individual, organizational, and community goals of Missouri learners and clients.
  • Create. Field Specialists collaborate with State Specialists to develop innovative and research-based educational materials and scholarly products, such as curricula, publications, presentations, websites, apps, and other teaching resources. Part of this collaboration includes methods to evaluate and improve how programs and services result in learning, behavior change, and impact on the individuals and communities. Field Specialists contribute to the scholarship of extension, which may include applied research as opportunity allows.
  • Connect. Field Specialists engage with communities and stakeholders, which include Extension Councils, government officials and agencies, commodity groups, nonprofit organizations, agribusinesses, and key producers. Strong connections help generate revenue to sustain and grow valued programming through grants, contracts, fees, gifts, and partnerships. Extension faculty foster diversity and inclusiveness by providing educational programs that connect to the varied needs of Missourians and their communities.

Specialist Emphasis

Program specialization: This position is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating agronomy educational programs focused on the major agronomic crops in the region. Programmatic emphasis will be placed on best management practices, pest control, plant diseases, brush and weed control, soils, nutrient management, irrigation, IPM, pesticide certification, water quality, and other topics that arise. In addition, responding to general horticulture needs may be required on occasion.

Further, this position will collaborate with colleagues in the Small Business Development Center for Agriculture, Food and Forestry at MU. In this capacity, the specialist will be evaluated on new sales, new jobs, and business investments in the specialist's discipline and coverage area.

Professional expectations

  • All Extension Faculty, regardless of appointment category or type, are expected to demonstrate knowledge of subject matter, competency in communication, program delivery, inclusivity, good interpersonal relations, leadership, professionalism, organizational skills, and familiarity with MU Extension.
  • All Extension Faculty participate in professional development opportunities to continuously improve skills and increase research-based knowledge. Extension faculty maintain a positive outlook, high personal standard of excellence, passion for the mission, vision and values of MU Extension.
  • Field Specialists collaborate in interdisciplinary teams, committees, and task forces. Specialists work with colleagues located in county offices, across regions, with other university campuses. Field Specialists also work with colleagues in other disciplines to provide robust solutions to needs identified in the community.
  • Specialists travel throughout Missouri regularly, using their own transportation, with occasional travel out of state. Extension Specialists must work effectively, flexibly, and independently, often with little guidance. Working evenings and weekends is often required to meet the needs of learners, clients, and stakeholders. Other duties and responsibilities will be expected to support the mission and purpose of MU Extension.
  • All Extension faculty conduct all activities in accordance with the Civil Rights Acts, Title IX, Rehabilitation, Americans with Disabilities Act and local, state and region affirmative action plans.


Programmatic supervision is received from the Education Director of the Plant Health and Production program area within A&E. Regional leadership is received from the Southeast Regional Director.


This position is located in New Madrid county and is part of the University of Missouri, also known as Mizzou or MU. Mizzou is the Flagship University of the four-campus University of Missouri system. It is the state’s land-grant university, is a member of the American Association of American Universities (AAU), and is one of the most comprehensive universities in North America. MU’s broad undergraduate programs and its graduate, professional and research programs attract annual enrollment of more than 30,000 students. MU is centrally located in Columbia, MO, which is consistently ranked as one of America’s most livable cities. MU Extension and Engagement programs are located on all four campuses and in 114 counties and St. Louis city.


This position requires an earned doctorate or master's degree in Agronomy or Plant Science or a related field at time of appointment. The graduate program should have involved an in-depth study related to row crop production, soil science, crop physiology, and pest and weed management.

Candidates will be evaluated on:

Preferably, candidates will have experience in innovative teaching strategies that engage others, including strong listening, written, and oral communication skills. Preference will be given to candidates who show the potential to integrate new and emerging technology into teaching strategies, conduct and evaluate educational programs, and collaborate with university colleagues, agricultural stakeholders, and community leaders.

Application Materials

Complete the brief online application and be prepared to upload:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume/CV
  • Copies of all academic transcripts, and
  • a list of 3-5 references
Benefit Eligibility

This position is eligible for University benefits. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement, and educational fee discounts. For additional information on University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits website at http://www.umsystem.edu/totalrewards/benefits

Diversity Commitment

The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America. For more information, call the Vice Chancellor of Human Resource Services/Affirmative Action officer at 573-882-4256.

To request ADA accommodations, please call the Disability Inclusion and ADA Compliance Manager at 573-884-7278.


To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links:




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Job No:
Posted: 8/27/2020
Application Due: 11/25/2020
Work Type: