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University of Minnesota
Extension Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Posted: 03/13/2019
Extension Educator – Agriculture and Horticulture, Wright County

Title: Extension Educator – Agriculture and Horticulture

Position: Funded by Wright County. Full-time, with primary office location in Buffalo, MN.

Extension Center: Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR)

Location: Wright County Extension Office, 3500 Braddock Ave NE, Buffalo, MN 55313

Application Review: Initial deadline is April 8, 2019; Position is open until filled.


Wright County lies in East Central Minnesota, bordered on the north by the Mississippi River and the east by the Crow River. Farmland, rivers and lakes characterize the landscape. This county is one of the fastest growing in the state with a population of approximately 130,000 due to the proximity to the Twin Cities. Major cities include Buffalo, St. Michael and Monticello. Crop and livestock production in Wright County includes corn, soybeans, forages, pastures, small grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, beef and poultry. Wright County also leads Minnesota in the number of horses, ponies, mules, burros and donkeys. Market values for crop and livestock production are in excess of $227 million. There are untapped agriculture and horticulture opportunities due to the proximity to the Twin Cities.


The University is looking for candidates with skills and experience in: engaging stakeholders in agriculture and horticulture; developing and strengthening networks; and teaching and facilitating informal educational programs that are relevant to Wright County. Emphasis areas of the position include commodity crops, forages, livestock, horticulture and small farms. The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge to new and future programs that enhance and expand the programming in agriculture and horticulture. Special efforts will be required to maintain competency in multiple Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) discipline areas as well as knowledge of local/federal/state related programs.


  1. Build relationships with agriculture, horticulture and natural resources professionals to foster educational efforts and economic development.
  2. Provide relevant education and support to agriculture, commercial horticulture and forest-related enterprises.
  3. Design/conduct educational programs and make them accessible and inviting to diverse participants.
  4. Provide technical assistance and expertise in the areas of agriculture, commercial/consumer horticulture and forest products/management.
  5. Communicate effectively and positively with colleagues and stakeholders about the work.

For example:

  • Design, develop, deliver/implement and evaluate local AFNR programs in order to connect community needs to expertise and expectations. Engage with producers/consumers, agricultural professionals, horticulture professionals, Extension Master Gardener’s and stakeholders to build rapport and working relationships to benefit educational efforts.
  • Provide volunteer coordination, leadership and management of the Extension Master Gardener Programs in Wright County. This work can include coordinating educational training for Master Gardeners and the public; recruitment activities; coordinating of Master Gardener speaking and volunteering requests; organizing events; and assisting with efforts to support the state Master Gardener Program including communication items such as providing updates and reporting.
  • Foster and contribute to a positive work climate by developing and maintaining effective county, regional, university and state partnerships that further the development and delivery of Extension educational programs.
  • Engage with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Wright County departments, noxious weed inspector, and agricultural and horticulture professional organizations to provide educational programs relevant to the county.
  • Provide technical assistance, engage in information sharing, and respond to local needs in the areas of agriculture and horticulture.
  • Ensure that Extension programs, facilities, committees, and employment opportunities are accessible to new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences.
  • Grow as a professional through publication, attendance at conferences, self-directed study and other means.
  • Document your professional performance using the annual performance review, professional plan of work and promotion for educators without rank.


Education: Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is preferred. At least one degree in an agriculture or horticulture related discipline is required, i.e., agronomy, soils, livestock production, agricultural economics, horticulture, natural resources and/or agricultural education.

Required Skills/Abilities:

  • Demonstrated ability to create new educational programs based upon past successes or failures.
  • Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to develop and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues, partners and various stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Skilled in Microsoft office programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Preferred Skills/Abilities:

● Current knowledge in crop, horticulture and livestock systems.

● Experience developing and conducting educational programs.

● Commitment to ongoing professional development.

● Experience using technology for communication, information-finding, teaching and report writing.

● Ability to articulate public value of educational programming in agriculture and horticulture.

● Previous experience as an Extension professional or other educationally-related position (within agriculture production systems) is preferred.


  1. The Extension Educator position (9625ST) has an annual University Professional & Academic appointment. Renewal is dependent on local funding, program needs, performance, and results.
  2. University of Minnesota benefits package includes medical, dental, life and retirement plans listed at:
  3. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy. (Must use personal cell phone, provide own means for traveling throughout the state, and legally required vehicle insurance.
  4. Salary commensurate with education and experience.


The University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota, a land grant institution with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The mission of the University of Minnesota Extension is “Making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota.”


Job Opening ID: 329243

Please apply online at:

Applications must be submitted online to be considered for this position. Please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application. Please include the following attachments with your online application:

● Vitae or resume

● Cover letter

Three professional letters of reference and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) may be required during the interview process.

After submitting your application, additional documents may be attached by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents there. 

To request an accommodation during the application process, please email or call 612-624-UOHR (8647).

For questions about this position, please contact:

Nathan Winter, Program Leader, Extension Center for Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources,

For questions about this position, please contact:

Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources,


Initial application deadline is April 8, 2019. Position is open until filled.

Any offer of employment is contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

The University of Minnesota Extension is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status or sexual orientation.