Position Summary

Descriptive Title

Wabaunsee County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent

Position Description

About This Role:

Wabaunsee County is in the beautiful Flint Hills between Manhattan and Topeka in northeast Kansas and has a population of just over 7,000. There are three school districts in the county and together they are the largest employers.

Extension agents are professional educators who serve as a link between Kansas State University and communities across Kansas. Agents are jointly responsible to the director of K-State Research and Extension (represented by a designated administrator) and the local extension board.

This position will be responsible for diverse agriculture programming, including overseeing a newly started Master Gardener program, as well as sharing responsibility for community vitality and 4-H youth development.

In Wabaunsee County, beef cattle ranching & farming makes up the agriculture sector. The extension office employs two agents, a 4-H program assistant/office professional, and a part-time office professional.

 

Location:
Office located in Alma, KS.

 

Duties/ Responsibilities:
Extension agents are professional educators who serve as a link between Kansas State University and communities across Kansas. Agents are jointly responsible to the director of K-State Research and Extension (represented by a designated administrator) and the local extension board.

  • Lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of research-based educational programming related to agriculture and natural resources. Programming may include but is not limited to: agronomy; livestock production; agricultural economics, management, and public policy; horticultural production and management; and natural resources conservation and environmental stewardship.
  • Coordinate Wabaunsee County’s growing Extension Master Gardener Program, a team of extension-trained volunteers who provide horticultural education  and service within their communities.
  • Share leadership for the development, implementation, and evaluation of 4-H youth development programs for school-aged youth in cooperation with volunteers and extension colleagues. Programming will include but is not limited to: community clubs support; out-of-school programs; school enrichment; volunteer management; and outreach to create new program opportunities with existing and new community partners.
  • Share responsibility for community vitality programming that helps our communities become better places to live, work, and play. Programming will strengthen social, civic, economic, and technological capacity of communities through leadership development and civic engagement.
  • Successful extension programs require agents to:
    • Identify local needs and emerging issues related to K-State Research and Extension’s five Grand Challenges (water and natural resources; community vitality; health; developing tomorrow’s leaders; and global food systems) by engaging with program development committees and other community organizations and professionals.
    • Design appropriate educational strategies to engage clientele. Strategies might include educational programming in a community-based setting; events and activities that provide experiential learning opportunities; use of innovative technologies; individual educational consultations; and group facilitation.
    • Collaborate with local partners to meet community and programming needs.
    • Develop and implement strategies to serve diverse audiences and to ensure K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider of educational programming.
    • Collect and communicate evidence of educational program impact.
    • Cultivate expertise in a subject matter competency area by engaging as a member of a Program Focus Team.
  • Pursue internal and external funding to support educational programming.
  • Serve as a member of the Wabaunsee County team, cooperating in the planning and delivery of county-wide programming and related events.
  • May periodically be assigned to serve as the local unit director providing administrative oversight for fiscal operations; coordination of personnel; the development, delivery, and reporting of program impact; and other administrative functions assigned by the director for extension’s representative and the extension board.

 

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Academic coursework, professional development, or prior employment related to the position responsibilities.
  • Evidence of strong academic and/or professional performance, as documented by college transcripts or documented success in increasingly responsible professional positions.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with individuals, groups, and through mass media.
  • Familiarity with various ethnic and socioeconomic audiences; an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds; and a commitment to supporting and enhancing K-State Research and Extension’s initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which will include some nights, weekends, and overnight travel.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree.
  • Commitment to personal and professional development.
  • Competence using electronic communication and computer applications to fulfill programming responsibilities.
  • Self-motivation and ability to work with minimal supervision while balancing multiple projects.
  • Understanding of educational program design, promotion, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Experience with volunteer recruitment, support, and management.
  • Skills in group facilitation.
  • Knowledge of adult and youth teaching/learning processes.
  • Experience seeking and administering external grant funding.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with both English and Spanish-speaking learners.

Other Requirements:

  • Access to a personal vehicle and the ability to obtain/maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment.

 

More Information

Salary, Benefits, and Professional Development:

  • Salary commensurate with professional experience and available funding, as negotiated by the regional extension director, the local extension board, and the applicant. The base starting salary is $45,000 for a bachelor’s degree with no professional experience and $49,000 for a master’s degree with no professional experience.
  • Extension agents are Kansas State University educators and have the Board of Regents retirement plan; vacation and sick leave; and eligibility for health and life insurance. For a complete list of benefits see: www.k-state.edu/hcs/benefits.
  • Reimbursement for travel related to achieving program objectives.
  • New agents will be provided with comprehensive Early Career Professional Development training throughout their onboarding period.  This series will include virtual and in-person training and networking opportunities.
  • Tuition assistance is available to full-time employees and their spouse/dependents.

We Support Diversity and Inclusion:

Kansas State University embraces diversity and inclusion. The university actively seeks individuals who foster a collegial environment and cooperative interactions with coworkers, students, and others. The University is dedicated to promoting the Principles of Community.

How to Apply:
Please submit the following:

  • Cover letter (detailing experiences related to responsibilities and qualifications)
  • Resume
  • Contact information and email addresses for three professional references.
  • Copy of academic transcripts showing degree(s) received. (For applicants still in college, a list of courses from the college/university website is acceptable.)

Application Deadline:
Applications will be accepted until February 27, 2024.

Background Screening Statement:
In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

Travel Requirements

Some overnight travel will be required. Travel related to achieving program objectives will be reimbursed.

Driver’s license or alternate transportation required?

yes

Contact Name

Mary Hellmer

Contact Email

ksrejobs@ksu.edu

Contact Phone

(785) 532-5790

Application Instructions

For more information visit: www.ksre.k-state.edu/about/careers

Equal Employer Statement(s)

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

About K-State Research and Extension

K-State Research and Extension is a statewide network of educators sharing unbiased, research-based information and expertise on issues important to Kansas. It has established local, state, regional, national, and international partnerships. It is dedicated to a safe, sustainable, competitive food and fiber system and to strong, healthy communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis and education. With 131 years of research and 104 years of extension, K-State Research and Extension has been improving the quality of life and standard of living for Kansans for a century. K-State Research and Extension is a partnership between Kansas State University and the federal, state, and county governments. Research completed is used by extension agents and others to help solve community issues. This integrated system connects the university to every county through locally based educators who serve as sources of objective information. K-State Research and Extension is a short name for Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service.