This position is located in Lewistown, Montana, which is the county seat for Fergus County. Located in Central Montana, Fergus County covers approximately 4,340 square miles. The county is bordered on the north by the Missouri River and on the south by the Big Snowy Mountains. The county is approximately 2.8 million acres with beef cow-calf, dryland small grain, and dryland hay being the primary agricultural production enterprises. Lewistown is the county seat with a population of 5,923. Excellent schools and the Central Montana Medical Center are important aspects of this central Montana Community. Other small towns in the county include Denton, Grass Range, Moore, Roy, and Winifred. County population, according to July 1, 2022, estimates is 11,663.
The county ranks third in Montana in total market value of agricultural products sold and generates about $64 million in cash receipts in both livestock and crops annually. Approximately 113,000 acres of winter wheat, 41,000 acres of spring wheat, 39,000 acres of barley, and 171,000 acres of alfalfa hay are harvested annually and there are about 120,000 head of beef cattle and calves. Agricultural production, agri-business, and small manufacturing form the basis of the economy along with the education, medical care, and government office sectors. In 2022-2023, the 4-H program included 214 youth members, 60 Cloverbuds, and 63 adult volunteers in 12 organized clubs. Fergus County is a mix of three mountain ranges, an inter-mountain basin, open prairie, and the Missouri River breaks. A multitude of fishing, hunting, and recreational opportunities exist within the county and in the nearby area. Excellent schools and the Central Montana Medical Center are important aspects of this central Montana community.
The Extension agent in this full-time position will focus on providing leadership and educational programming in 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences. The Fergus County Extension Office is staffed by one other Extension Agent (Agriculture and Natural Resources and 4-H/Youth Development), a full-time 4-H Program Assistant, and one full-time administrative assistant.
We seek individuals who work professionally and effectively with diverse individuals, foster and maintain effective interpersonal relationships, exhibit excellent written and verbal communication skills and have the ability to contribute positively to the academic success of students and the mission of Montana State University.
Duties and Responsibilities
Develop, plan, implement, facilitate, and evaluate successful, research-based educational programs in 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences, as determined by local community engagement, that result in positive community impacts.
Provide shared leadership for development, planning, facilitation, and evaluation of the Fergus County 4-H program to foster positive youth development and volunteer recruitment and engagement toward a successful 4-H program.
Collaborate with local Extension staff and stakeholder groups to conduct continuous needs assessments in Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, and Community Development to inform programming priorities in Fergus County.
Embrace a team approach to planning, developing, and implementing the overall MSU Extension program in Fergus County.
Build and maintain collaborative working relationships with peer Extension agents, Extension specialists, county commissioners, and appropriate local individuals, groups, boards, agencies, and organizations to leverage educational programming in Fergus County.
Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, Youth Development, Human Development, or related field. Demonstrated ability to lead groups; assess needs; and plan, implement, facilitate, teach, and evaluate educational programs for youth and adult audiences. Demonstrated ability to provide effective leadership for Extension programming for youth, adults, and volunteers. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and communicate effectively with individuals, groups, and community organizations representing a wide variety of youth and adult audiences.
Master’s degree. At least one degree or relevant work experience in Family and Consumer Sciences, Youth Development, Human Development, or related field. Demonstrated ability to facilitate groups and help them find constructive solutions to locally identified issues. Extension experience or demonstrated understanding of the Extension education model.
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 Fergus County; and will be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. The successful candidate will also possess a familiarity with multi-cultural and different socioeconomic audiences, an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds, and a commitment to the principles of diversity, and dedication to supporting and enhancing Montana State University’s initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusiveness
Frequent travel throughout the county; occasional travel throughout the state.
Driver’s license or alternate transportation required?
Apply online at www.montana.edu, click on "careers."
Equal Employer Statement(s)
Equal Opportunity Employer, Veterans/Disabled
About Montana State University Extension
Brief Position Overview
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.