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Extension Field Specialist I – Dairy Forage

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension is hiring an Extension Field Specialist I to provide strong regional and statewide leadership in delivering research-based programming to support the dairy industry in South Dakota. We are looking for a skilled individual who can build collaborative relationships with producer groups, agribusiness, and governmental agencies to identify ongoing and emerging needs of dairy producers. This position can be located at one of our Extension Regional Center Sites in Aberdeen, Sioux Falls or Watertown. This position is a 12-month, full-time, benefits-eligible position.

SDSU Extension is one mode of outreach utilized by South Dakota State University. It brings educational programs and research-based information to the citizens of South Dakota. It also works with academic departments and the Agricultural Experiment Station to provide unbiased, science-based knowledge focused on issues and needs. Extension has five capstone program areas: Competitive Crops Systems; Competitive Livestock Systems; Youth and Community Leadership; Food and Families; and Urban/Rural Initiatives which are part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences.

This position will work in collaboration with the Department of Dairy and Food Science which 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.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant mission of access.

Must be authorized to work in the U.S.  Sponsorship is not available for this position.


The position requires strong knowledge and ability to conduct impactful programming based on needs assessments; commitment to development of emerging technology materials for program development and delivery; commitment to developing or leading learning communities; ability to collaborate on emerging issues; and developing relationships with pertinent stakeholders. The Extension Field Specialist also has a responsibility to secure programmatic funding, conduct evaluation, and successfully engage with the public by bridging research to practice. This position is accountable to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader and affiliated with the Dairy and Food Science Department and will work collaboratively with other Competitive Livestock Field Specialists, State Specialists, and other faculty members in their respective department.


$60,000-65,000 depending on experience.


South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with over $60 million annual research expenditures, more than 200 academic programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students. We offer a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusions and access.  The university is part of a dynamic community for families, students, young professionals, and retirees, which offers an abundance of attractions and activities.  South Dakota State University offers a wide range of excellent 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.


  • Master’s degree obtained by first day of employment with at least one degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in forage management, dairy cattle production, or closely related field.
  • Experience with forage production.
  • Experience with dairy cattle production systems.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and 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.


  • Ph.D. with an emphasis in dairy forage production systems.
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • Previous Extension experience.
  • Demonstrated experience of conducting impact programming based on local needs assessment.
  • Previous leadership in developing or leading learning communities.
  • Experience in leadership and teamwork with stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated collaboration in developing funding proposals to support new and/or enhanced programming.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by 04/30/2024.


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This website is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of use at

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