Position Summary

Position Description

NDSU Extension Food Systems Specialist

The Extension Specialist, Food Systems is a 12-month, non-tenure track, 100% Extension position located in Bismarck, ND.  The specialist is a member of a statewide Extension Family and Community Wellness team responsible for providing leadership to create and deliver innovative learning experiences that empower North Dakotans to improve their lives and communities through science-based education. This position offers the opportunity to develop applied programming related to increasing consumers knowledge of where their food comes from and confidence in modern agricultural practices.

The position includes, but is not limited to, the following responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership for and coordination of transformational educational programs and outreach in food systems and food supply chain issues from a consumer perspective. These topics may include animal and crop production, food processing, and food technology.
  • Coordinate programs and targeted interventions in ND to include topics on improving consumer trust in modern agricultural practices and integrated systems that address complex issues that link food and consumers.
  • Identify and contribute to the development of programs that county/area staff can teach to local constituents.
    Partner with/mentor Extension educators/agents and community agency staff.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate a continuum of educational programs and initiatives that:
    – are appropriate and effective to attract new and diverse audiences;
    – are based in scholarly and scientific theory and research;
    – incorporate high-level teaching skills for optimal audience engagement and impact;
    – communicate results through effective and creative evaluation and reporting to appropriate stakeholders; and
    – utilize appropriate technology
  • Develop and maintain relationships with stakeholder groups (e.g., state and regional agencies, government officials, city planners, public health agencies, commodity groups, community groups, for-profits and non-profits, and community members) to:
    – obtain a wide range of feedback on planning and programmatic efforts;
    – identify place-based solutions that are responsive to consumer understanding of food systems and food supply related issues;
  • Contribute to research and scholarship.

The responsibilities of this position also will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Read and abide by all the rules and regulations for faculty at NDSU as outlined in the NDSU Policy Manual.
  • Secure extramural funding to support community health and wellness Extension programming.
  • Contribute to a positive work environment through cooperation, collaboration and teamwork with others by developing and maintaining good working relationships with co-workers, faculty, staff, employees, and clientele.
  • Participate in local, regional and national professional associations, whenever possible.
  • Participate in program planning and training efforts as required.
  • Assure compliance with equal opportunity policies.
  • Assist in the development and enhancement of programming for youth.

Minimum Qualifications

  1. Master’s degree, by start date, in food science, food technology, food systems, agricultural sciences, agriculture communications or related discipline.
  2. Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusiveness.
  3. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with individuals, groups and through mass media.
  4. Effective interpersonal skills, including ability to interact and collaborate effectively with a diversity of colleagues.
  5. Organizational management skills including the ability to conduct oneself professionally, be self-directed in the work environment, work flexible and extended hours.
  6. Manage time and resources (including grant writing) to efficiently accomplish the duties of the position.
  7. Basic computer skills and ability to use Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Extension work experience.
  2. Experience designing and delivering educational programs.
  3. An established record of external funding.

Salary:  Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application:  Screening will begin 3/30/23 and continue until filled.

Applicant Materials Required:

Cover letter addressing each of the minimum and preferred qualifications, curriculum vitae, three professional references, and unofficial transcript.


NDSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes single or family health insurance coverage with premiums paid for by the university – with an effective date for new employees the first of the month following date of hire. Other benefits include: wellness benefits, basic life insurance, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual leave, EAP, sick leave and holiday pay. Optional benefits include: supplemental life, dental, vision, long-term care insurance, flexible spending account, and supplemental retirement plans.

About Us:

North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student focused, land-grant, research university. We educate leaders who solve national and global challenges by providing affordable access to an excellent education that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment.

NDSU is in the highest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, R1, granted to the top research institutions in the country.

NDSU has offices across the state of North Dakota, and the main campus is in Fargo, on the Minnesota border. Along with Moorhead, Minnesota, Fargo forms one of the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle. The community is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live.

No Smoking Notice:

As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

EO/AA Statement:

North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable.

Veteran’s Preference Notice:

This position is subject to North Dakota Veteran’s Preference requirements.

Reasonable Accommodation Information:

North Dakota State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact Human Resources at 701-231-8961 or ndsu.hr@ndsu.edu.

Land Acknowledgement:

We collectively acknowledge that NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands. We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region. (see www.ndsu.edu/inclusioncouncil/native_american_initiatives/).


Contact Name

Nicole Smith

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