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South Dakota State University
Dairy and Food Science
South Dakota
Posted: 07/14/2021
Extension Dairy Field Specialist I

LOCATION: Watertown, SD Regional Extension Center

APPOINTMENT:  This position is accountable to the Head and serves under the programmatic direction of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director.

POSITION PURPOSE: The Extension Dairy Field Specialist I will provide strong regional and statewide leadership in the development and dissemination of research-based programming and resources to support dairy production in South Dakota. The successful candidate will travel extensively to build strong relationships with producer groups, agribusinesses, and governmental agencies to identify ongoing and emerging needs of dairy producers. This is a 12-month, full-time, benefit-eligible, non-faculty exempt position.

SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to and/or coordinate Extension programming that addresses the experiences of underrepresented minorities in organizations, and actively seeks to increase social and intellectual diversity among its faculty and staff. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The successful candidate will work cooperatively with other Extension specialists, university faculty and researchers, and dairy industry and commodity groups to develop and deliver quality dairy educational programming. This position will work with a team of SDSU Extension colleagues throughout South Dakota.


  • Develop, market, deliver, and evaluate educational programming to enhance current dairy production practices.
  • Develop and conduct applied on-farm research/demonstration trials and programs.
  • Develop relationships with stakeholders to continually assess opportunities and identify needs.
  • Actively participate as a member of the I-29 Moo University consortium.
  • Actively participate as a member of the SDSU Extension team and the Dairy and Food Science Department to provide support for dairy production in South Dakota.
  • Create and deliver research-based information through novel outreach platforms such as social media and the extension website.
  • Develop and implement effective presentations, workshops, and training to diverse audiences.
  • Develop and implement effective evaluation tools for measuring and reporting program impact.
  • Develop and interact with agricultural learning communities.
  • Develop grants and/or cost recovery mechanisms to assist with program sustainability.
  • Provide leadership and assistance with other activities as assigned, such as with the South Dakota Dairy Field Representatives Association.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: An understanding of and commitment to SDSU affirmative action goals is expected.

PERCENTAGE TIME ALLOTMENT: As a Field Specialist I, expectations are based on these approximate percentages of responsibilities:

  • (25%) Identifies and monitors variables and issues important to learning community vitality. Ability to use and apply these variables to program prioritization.
  • (10%) Participates in externally funded projects led by Extension State Specialists or Field Specialist colleagues within and/or across capstone areas.
  • (20%) Uses cutting-edge research-based information and data in programming and collaborates on state and regional emerging issues.
  • (15%) Develops relationships with all pertinent stakeholders and/or groups on state-wide emerging issues. Provides specialized subject matter support.
  • (20%) Utilizes and adapts technology in program development and delivery (via
  • (10%) Recruits and utilizes volunteers to enhance educational outreach. Identifies potential industry leaders to help accomplish learning community and industry goals.


  • Must be authorized to work in the United States. Sponsorship is not available for this position.
  • Master’s degree, one degree in Agriculture with emphasis in dairy cattle production or closely related field obtained by first day of employment.
  • Experience with dairy cattle production systems.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to work as a team member.
  • Demonstrated use of technology in managing or delivering educational programs.
  • Demonstrated ability or potential to plan, implement, and evaluate educational materials and direct effective programs.
  • Valid driver's license, or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire, and willingness to travel.


-  Fluency in Spanish.

-  Previous Extension experience.

-  Demonstrated experience of conducting impact programming based on local needs assessment.

-  Demonstrated leadership in developing or leading learning communities.

-  Demonstrated leadership and teamwork with stakeholders.

-  Demonstrated collaboration in developing funding proposals to support new and/or enhanced programming.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by August 23, 2021.

BENEFITS: South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.

UNIVERSITY/COMMUNITY: SDSU is a land grant institution and the state’s largest institution of higher education.

SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation, and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity, and excellence through continuous improvement.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of the university is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, Aberdeen and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota. This position will be located in Watertown, SD. Watertown is located in northeastern South Dakota with a population of approximately 22,000 and boasts a vibrant mix of agricultural and industrial businesses abundant retail opportunities and an excellent educational system.

SDSU was recognized as one of 54 institutions in the United States as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in 2014. The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The Department of Dairy and Food Science includes faculty whose expertise spans the fields of dairy production, dairy manufacturing, and food science. The department has a robust and productive research program. Dissemination of science-based knowledge is a core mission of the department. Our faculty Extension Specialist and Field Specialists provide an effective structure for meeting this mission. In Academic Programs, the department provides nationally competitive training for undergraduate students leading to B.S. degrees in dairy production, dairy manufacturing, and food science. The department also offers a strong graduate training environment leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as a NCAA Division I member, with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

APPLICATION PROCESS: SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, resume, and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to and/or coordinate course offerings that address the experiences of underrepresented minorities in organizations. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process.

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment.

It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14.

For questions on the position, contact Warren Rusche at or (605) 688-5452. South Dakota State University is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students. Women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and minorities are encouraged to apply. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing SDSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status, or any other protected class in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007. Phone: (605) 688-4128.