Agriculture Extension Educator

University of Wisconsin- Extension

La Crosse,  Wisconsin

POSITION & PROGRAMMATIC FOCUS:
The Agriculture Extension Educator designs, delivers, and evaluates research-based educational programming and services aligned with the position’s programmatic focus. The Agriculture Extension Educator is an employee of the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension within the Agriculture Institute of the Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources. The Agriculture Extension Educator is also a primary member of one of the centers within the Agriculture Institute, either the Center for Animal Agriculture, Center for Crops & Soils, Center for Farm Management, or the Center for Horticulture. If appropriate and desired, Extension Educators can affiliate with other Cooperative Extension centers in order to best address the programmatic focus of the position.

This Agriculture Extension Educator position will serve La Crosse County. Through this position, this individual will carry out programming that directly addresses the local needs of the community and is approved by the La Crosse County Administrator, Area Extension Director for their area and Center Director. In addition to the focus on agronomy/plant sciences, agricultural economics/farm financial management, horticulture, and natural resources, the Agriculture Extension Educator’s programs will respond to local needs, and will provide a connection to the broader University of Wisconsin research, education, and outreach resources.

ADMINISTRATIVE RELATIONSHIPS:
The Agriculture Extension Educator position is accountable to the Area Extension Director for all matters related to performance and day-to-day work activities. The Educator is also required to prepare an annual plan of work that will be reviewed and approved by the La Crosse County Administrator, the Area Extension Director and Center Director. The Agriculture Institute administers the budget for the position. Area Extension Directors will work with La Crosse County to identify opportunities for their input on identifying programming needs and reviewing performance.

PRIMARY DUTIES:

  • Design, deliver and teach culturally relevant community-based educational programs through a variety of methods
  • Conduct and collect ongoing assessments of community educational needs
  • Create a plan of work that integrates research and community needs
  • Conduct and report on program evaluations to improve program effectiveness and demonstrate value to programmatic and funding partners
  • Regularly prepare educational and promotional materials using appropriate technology
  • Identify, recruit and develop volunteer leadership necessary to carry out the position’s plan of work
  • Build, strengthen and sustain trust-based relationships to promote cooperative and respectful work environments
  • Develop and maintain relationships with programmatic and funding partners in ways that effectively communicate Extension’s value
  • Collaborate with program-related community coalitions and partnerships
  • Regularly consult with and report to Extension partners at the county and state levels to ensure accountability
  • Develop and follow a professional development plan to ensure proficiency in priority content, current research and relevant competencies
  • Be responsive to evolving position, program, office and organizational needs; perform adjusted or additional duties as requested
  • Contribute leadership, as needed, to ensure effective Extension office operations

Programming

  • Utilize knowledge of the local communities and audiences to identify needs and deliver agriculture specific programming that is relevant to the geographic area;
  • Access, develop or adapt culturally relevant and research-based educational programming based to local audiences, using learner-centered activities and lessons that meet identified needs and align with Cooperative Extension’s broader priorities;
  • Reach and engage diverse audiences in ways that are inclusive and do not discriminate, ensuring full access to programs, facilities, and educational services; and
  • Evaluate and report on communities focused programming and educational services utilizing established tools and processes to inform future program design, improve effectiveness and demonstrate value.

Collaboration & Relationships

  • Collaborate with personnel affiliated with the Agriculture Institute and across the state, who may not be in the same county, tribe, or area, to promote positive work relationships, develop and adapt similar and relevant programming, and access and contribute to shared resources;
  • Collaborate with personnel in the county, who may not be affiliated with the Agriculture Institute and Centers, to promote a positive office environment, determine local needs, and share resources;
  • Develop and maintain respectful working relationships with local partners and agencies to deliver programming;
  • Collaborate with personnel across organizational structures in Cooperative Extension and engage in interdisciplinary work that improves the effectiveness of local programming
  • Promote Cooperative Extension and its programs towards building greater program access, visibility, and a positive reputation for Cooperative Extension

Accountability

  • Create a plan that identifies the relevant local audiences and their needs for programming around the areas of agronomy/plant sciences, agricultural economics/farm financial management, horticulture, and natural resources, describes the relevant programming to meet their needs, connects to larger program objectives of Cooperative Extension and assesses programming effectiveness.
  • Communicate plans, activities, and achievements to relevant stakeholders;
  • Ensure programs serve and reach audiences reflective of the diversity of the county;
  • Submit reports that meet the requirements, policies, and established practices of Cooperative
  • Extension and partners, including federal Civil Rights requirements.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • A Master’s degree in the relevant field or a Bachelor’s degree with at least 3 years of professional experience related to the programmatic responsibilities of the position
  • Current content knowledge in fields related to the purpose of this position such as crop production and management, nutrient management, integrated pest management, on-farm research, ag economics and farm business management and agricultural entrepreneurship
  • Relevant field and work experience in the area of programming
  • Ability to communicate effectively using a variety of methods and technology
  • Ability to work cooperatively with county partners, other agencies, community-based services, or organizations to address educational needs
  • Strong interpersonal skills and problem-solving
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain professional work environments
  • Ability to effectively manage conflict
  • Knowledge and skills to effectively interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, including those associated with race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of human diversity
  • Experience managing multiple tasks, timelines, and schedules while maintaining high quality of work
  • Demonstrated skill in interpreting, utilizing, and applying evidence-based information and research findings
  • Demonstrated success in developing, delivering, and evaluating educational programs for diverse audiences utilizing a variety of educational techniques, methods, and modes
  • Demonstrated experience developing effective partnerships or coalitions with community partners and local governments

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Effective group and educational facilitation skills
  • Identify, recruit and develop the volunteer leadership necessary to carry out the position’s program of work
  • Provide professional guidance and counsel to program related groups and organizations
  • Build community coalitions and partnerships while collaborating with a diverse network of community-based agencies, groups, and individuals to address local concerns through educational programming
  • Demonstrated willingness to learn on an ongoing basis and ability to adapt to changing programming and workplace priorities
  • Ability to work independently as well as demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
  • Knowledge of adult learning principles
  • Demonstrated educational program management skills including grant-writing, budget development, and fiscal resources management
  • Successful experience developing volunteers and managing volunteer-delivered programs
  • Successful experience working with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Demonstrated skills in building and maintaining professional work environments
  • Ability to promote programs through various media and public relations strategies
  • Rural experience with an understanding of farm practices and related industries

WORKING CONDITIONS

  • Expected to make individual arrangements for transportation adequate to meet position responsibilities and essential job functions.
  • Work evenings or weekends as needed to meet local needs.
  • Carrying educational equipment, up to 25 lbs.

POSITION BENEFITS AND SALARY:
State of Wisconsin benefits including retirement, vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and other insurances.

SALARY RANGE:
Commensurate based on degree and experience



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