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Montana State University Extension Agent - Horticulture - Yellowstone County in Bozeman, Montana

Position Details

Position Information

Announcement Number FAC - VA - 22126

For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Larry Brence at 406-874-8236 or at lbrence@montana.edu

Classification Title Extension Agent

Working Title Extension Agent - Horticulture - Yellowstone County

Brief Position Overview

This position is located in Billings, MT.

The primary duty for County Extension Faculty is to assess local community needs, then develop, implement, and evaluate Extension programming to meet those needs. The main emphasis/emphases of the Yellowstone County Horticulture Agent position will be in the areas of horticulture and small landowner educational programming. The Yellowstone County Extension Office is also staffed by full time agents in the areas of 4-H/Youth Development, Agriculture, and Family and Consumer Sciences. There are also two administrative assistants tasked with supporting the work of the agents.

Faculty Tenure Track Yes

Faculty Rank Up to Professor

Position Number 4B7000

Department Extension Agents/Field

Division Extension

Appointment Type Faculty

Contract Term Fiscal Year

Semester

If other, specify From date

If other, specify End date

Union Affiliation Exempt from Collective Bargaining

FTE 1.0

Benefits Eligible Eligible

Salary Salary commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications.

Contract Type MUS

If other, please specify

Recruitment Type Open

Position Details

General Statement

This position is located in Billings, MT.

Located in south central Montana, Yellowstone County is Montana’s most populous county with an estimated population of over 165,000. Billings, the county seat, is the largest city within a 500 mile radius with an estimated population of 117,000 (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.

Extension work at MSU is defined as, the creation of partnerships, programs, and plans through Extension, or other community-based research, that leverage the knowledge and resources of the university and the public/private sector to enhance learning, discovery, and engagement; educate and engage citizens; strengthen communities; address locally identified issues and problems; apply and disseminate knowledge; and contribute to the public good.

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. There are 58 public and private schools in the county (37 elementary, 13 middle, 10 high and 8 private) that 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 is an important economic pillar in the community.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assess the needs of clientele to effectively plan, implement and evaluate horticulture and small scale or specialty agriculture educational programs for youth and adults such as the Master Gardener program.

  • Assess the needs of clientele to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate small landowner educational programs for both youth and adults. Small landowners are generally defined as those who own or manage less than 160 acres.

  • Collaborate with other staff and community members to oversee the development and use of facility demonstration gardens.

  • Assist groups and individuals in identifying entrepreneurial agriculture opportunities to improve their economic position.

  • Assist and educate home and landowners in making ecologically sound landscape management decisions.

  • Identify plant, insect and plant diseases and provide practical solutions

  • Assist with Private Applicator (Re)Certification Program. Must possess or be able to obtain a Government Pesticide Applicator’s License.

  • Cooperate and collaborate with area Extension agents and other faculty to do effective, integrated educational programming.

  • Collaborate with members of the research community on increasing the knowledge base and success of specialty crops.

  • Increase the knowledge base on the economics of growing and marketing specialty crops.

  • Access grant funds to strengthen Extension program capabilities.

  • Collaborate with County Department Head on educational programs and county budget.

  • Share responsibility with other Extension staff in implementing and maintaining a balanced, interdisciplinary Extension program.

  • Assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies.

  • Utilize all available media sources and technologies to communicate with MSU Extension personnel and others, and to disseminate information to clientele.

  • Comply with all federal, state, university and county reporting requirements.

    Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Bachelor’s Degree.

  • At least one degree or significant work experience in horticulture, agriculture, or related fields.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead groups; assess community needs; and develop, organize, plan, teach, and evaluate effective Extension programs.

  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, train, and provide professional development to volunteers.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple and varied tasks, and to accept and delegate responsibilities.

  • Demonstrated understanding of adult learning theory and its application to community-based education and outreach.

    Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Master’s degree.

  • Experience in vegetable, fruit, or ornamental crop production and/or applied research.

  • Experience in various aspects of agriculture relevant to south central Montana.

  • Experience in organic food production practices.

  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate groups.

  • Demonstrated ability to help groups find constructive solutions to controversial issues.

  • Grant writing experience.

    The Successful Candidate Will

The successful candidate will: possess excellent human relation skills; a high level of professionalism; the ability to work effectively with other staff members; evidence of good judgment; flexibility and innovation to respond to changing needs of people in Yellowstone County and will be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.

The successful candidate will also have a familiarity with multi-cultural and different socioeconomic audiences, an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds, a commitment to the principles of diversity, and be dedicated to supporting and enhancing Montana State University’s initiative for diversity, equity and inclusiveness.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

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.

Must possess currently or be eligible to obtain a valid State of Montana Driver’s license and have an acceptable driving record (less than 12 points), or have other reliable means of transportation. Must have access to a vehicle to use for work (mileage will be reimbursed), and have minimum vehicle liability insurance. Do NOT send a copy of the driver’s license.

Position requires frequent night and weekend work, extensive reading, frequent travel throughout the county, occasional travel throughout the state of Montana, and travel to and from programs with adult and youth attendees.

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

The Program

The scholarship of Extension work at MSU is defined as, “The creation of partnerships, programs, and plans through Extension, or other community-based research, that leverage the knowledge and resources of the university and the public/private sector to enhance learning, discovery, and engagement; educate and engage citizens; strengthen communities; address locally identified issues and problems; apply and disseminate knowledge; and contribute to the public good.”

The Department

The College

Posting Detail Information

Number of Vacancies 1

Desired Start Date Upon completion of a successful search

Position End Date (if temporary)

Open Date

Close Date

Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on June 20, 2022; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

Please note – for this position – Five (5) references have been requested.

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.

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: https://www.montana.edu/hr/recruitment/dualcareer.html

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