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University of Minnesota
Extension Department of Agricultural and Natural Resource Systems (ANR)
To be determined
Posted: 09/08/2023
Extension Educator, Water Resources and Soil Health

Working Title:           Extension Educator, Water Resources and Soil Health

Appointment:            100% Time, Assistant Extension Professor (9623)

Location:                    Options of any Extension Regional Office; To be negotiated at the time of hire

Extension Area:       Department of Agricultural and Natural Resource Systems (ANR)

Salary:                         Estimated starting salary range: $60,000 – $75,000

Apply By:                   October 8, 2023



The University of Minnesota is seeking a dynamic and experienced individual to join our team as a Water Quality and Soil Health Extension Educator who works toward clean, abundant water for all Minnesotans. In this role, the educator will be responsible for promoting sustainable farming practices and improving soil health and water quality in collaboration with farmers, agricultural organizations, government agencies, and others at the University of Minnesota.

As a Water Quality and Soil Health Extension Educator, you will work closely with the Minnesota Office for Soil Health (housed at the UMN Water Resources Center), the state soil health specialist, and other UMN extension educators and specialists to develop and deliver educational programs to promote the adoption of soil health practices across the state. The position will require working with a range of public, private, and non-profit stakeholders who can both inform Extension education programming and amplify the research results in local networks across the state. These stakeholders include:

  • Diverse landowners, farmers, and crop advisors, focusing primarily on commodity crop production;
  • Diverse agricultural and natural resource organizations, including industry and non-profits; and
  • Federal, state and local government agencies, such as soil and water conservation districts, Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Natural Resources Conservation Services, among others.

The Extension Educator will develop, implement, and evaluate online and in-person educational programs to educate farmers, agriculture professionals, and other key audiences, focusing on soil health, cover crops, reduced tillage, water quality, and related topics. These programs may include seminars, workshops, non-credit courses, and materials such as newsletters, fact sheets, extension bulletins and articles, blog posts, and podcasts.

This position is accountable to the Program Leader in Water Resources for program direction, performance evaluation and personnel actions. The educator will participate in annual performance reviews and more frequent team and individual check-in conversations. Long-term success will be evaluated through the Extension promotion process and these criteria.


  • Lead and contribute to high-quality, research-based, Extension education programs to advance our water quality and soil health goals (50%):
    • Identify educational needs and audiences;
    • Design curricula and materials;
    • Plan and implement workshops, field days, and other activities; and
    • Evaluate the impact of this work and how it may need to change in the future.
  • Develop and maintain effective state, regional, national, industry, and university partnerships that further the development and delivery of Extension educational programs (20%).
  • Collaborate on applied research with partners, University faculty–in particular the Extension soil health specialist–and graduate students on applied research (10%).
  • Collaborate with WRC, Extension, and UMN communications staff to design, develop and implement program materials and marketing via websites and social media (10%).
  • Participate in team meetings and serve on committees and boards (10%)
  • Throughout this work, collaborate with new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences to develop programs that are customized to the needs of different cultural communities.

Percentages listed here express the relative workload for these tasks over a given year. They may vary depending on the evolving needs of the position and experience of the individual hired.



Required Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree in a field closely related to soil health and water quality, including but not limited to agronomy, agricultural and biosystems engineering, hydrology, soil science, water resources sciences, or agricultural education.
  • Post-bachelor’s experience in soil health, watershed management, hydrology, soil science, soil drainage, natural resources sciences, agricultural water management, or closely related disciplines.
  • A proven ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships and collaborations with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, including those that may have diverse missions, goals, and backgrounds (e.g., local landowners, agricultural organizations, regional water managers, and industry groups).
  • Evidence of excellent oral and written communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Three (3) or more years of professional work experience in fields of water resources, soil health, hydrology, soil science, or related discipline.
  • Experience designing, delivering and evaluating educational programs in water resources or soil health.
  • Experience designing, conducting, and/or providing an essential role in research projects.
  • Experience working with diverse populations and communities.

Additional Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and own means of transportation with required liability insurance.
  • When not in the assigned office location, employees must be reachable with a mobile number at the employee’s own expense. That number will be published in the Extension staff directory.
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including occasional evening or weekend work. Evening or weekend work will occur on an average of once a month, although the frequency may vary over the course of a year.
  • Must have reliable internet when working outside of assigned office location.
  • Must be able to travel within the designated communities and provide in-person programming.
  • Travel, including overnight travel, across Minnesota will be required an average of 1-2 times per month for 1-2 nights per trip, although the frequency may vary over the course of a year. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.
  • Working ability to perform tasks involving frequent repetitive motions, prolonged sitting, standing, bending, twisting, lifting, and carrying 10 pounds frequently, with occasional exertion of up to thirty pounds of force.
  • This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship.



Extension Educator, Water Resources/Soil Health position will be housed at an Extension Regional Office with the specific location to be negotiated at the time of hire. Even though the position will be located at a specific regional office, this position serves a statewide programming area rather than a single region.



  • Extension Educator positions have annual University academic professional appointments and Extension academic rank.
  • Promotion in Extension academic rank is required and is contingent upon accomplishments as an Extension Educator
  • University of Minnesota appointment and benefits.  Benefits package available https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/About-Working-U/Benefits-Working-U-M
  • Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.
  • The estimated starting salary for this position is $60,000 – $75,000, depending on qualification and experience. Salary will be negotiated at the time of hire.



This position is a part of the Water Resources Team, a group of Extension professionals at the University of Minnesota who want every Minnesotan to have access to clean, abundant water. The team is a part of the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center that aims “To advance the science of clean water for Minnesotans through innovation, workforce development, and knowledge exchange.” As part of the Water Resources Team, this Extension Educator will also work with other program teams to leverage expertise related to cropping systems, livestock management, and natural resources, among others.

 University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. Our mission is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Extension strives to attract and retain high-quality, passionate employees, and weave diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of Extension’s programming and employee engagement. Find further information at https://extension.umn.edu/.



Please apply at: https://extension.umn.edu/home/careers, Job Opening ID: 357575

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

  • Cover letter
  • Resume/Vitae
  • Diversity statement: In 500 words or less, highlight your unique strengths, experiences, perspectives, and values as they relate to equity, diversity and inclusion. Your statement could include the following:
    • Personalized views and experiences
    • Topics through the lens of your own knowledge or experience
    • If you don’t have personal experience on a topic, reflect on why
    • Demonstrated learning and growth

Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required during the interview process.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions, https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/Help-Job-Applications/Using-Job-Application-System.

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


For questions about this position, contact:

Brad Carlson, Extension Educator, Water Resources, bcarlson@umn.edu.

For questions about applying online, contact:

Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources, tiffmcm@umn.edu.



Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.


The University of Minnesota and Extension recognize and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:  http://diversity.umn.edu.