Agronomy Extension Field Specialist I in Mitchell, SD

South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University (SDSU) is searching for an Agronomy Extension Field Specialist I in one of our regional extension centers located in either Aberdeen, Lemmon, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, or Watertown, SD. This is a 12-month, full-time, benefit-eligible, non-faculty exempt, 100% Extension appointment. The successful candidate will specifically address the cropping needs of Central and Western South Dakota using environmentally sound best management practices. The Extension Field Specialist I supports the SDSU Extension mission, strategic vision, and planning assumptions, complies with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and all University policies, including Affirmative Action, and commits to the inclusion of a variety of audiences.
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.
PURPOSE OF POSITION: To provide strong regional and statewide leadership in delivering research-based programming in the Competitive Crops capstone area. The incumbent will be responsible for the development and dissemination of research-based programming and resources in support of producers growing grain crops across South Dakota. The position will make cropping production system recommendations which will require the incumbent to hold a Certified Crop Advisor certification or obtain certification within two years of employment. As the Agronomy Extension Field Specialist I, you will travel extensively to build strong relationships with producer groups, agribusinesses, and governmental agencies to identify ongoing and emerging needs of crop producers. This position is accountable to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader and is affiliated with the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. Collaboration in research and extension projects with faculty from Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Sciences as well as other research and extension centers across South Dakota is encouraged.

M.S. degree in Agronomy, Weed Science, Plant Science, or other closely related field completed by first day of employment.
Must be authorized to work in the United States. Sponsorship is not available for this position.
Knowledge of Northern Plains cropping systems, supporting industries, and grower groups.
Willingness to collaborate and conduct applied research at Dakota Lakes Research Farm and on-farm sites with individual growers.
Demonstrated ability to conduct outreach needs assessments.
Demonstrated ability to evaluate educational materials.
Demonstrated ability to plan and implement effective outreach events.
Certified Crop Advisor certification or ability to obtain within two years of employment.
Demonstrated ability to work as a team member.
Effective written communication skills.
Effective verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
Understanding of accounting procedures.
Effective organizational and time management skills.
Valid driver’s license or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire, and willingness to travel.


Ph.D. completed by first day of employment in Agronomy, Weed Science, Plant Science, or other closely related field.
Previous Extension experience.
Potential ability to identify and develop funding proposals to support new and/or enhanced programming within and/or across capstone areas as PI or Co-PI.
Experience in publishing extension materials and/or peer reviewed journals.

$60,000-$65,000 depending on experience.
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. SDSU Extension organizes program outreach across four program areas: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Food & Families, Community Vitality and 4-H Youth Development, which are part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, and College of Education and Human Sciences.
SDSU is a land grant institution and the state’s largest institution of higher education, with an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students. This position is available in Aberdeen, Lemmon, Mitchell, Pierre, or Watertown, SD. Aberdeen is located in northeastern South Dakota, with a population of roughly 28,000. It boasts a vibrant mix of agricultural and industrial businesses, abundant retail opportunities, an excellent educational system, and a variety of recreational activities. Lemmon is located in northwestern South Dakota, with a population of roughly 1,150 and nestled near the Grand River National Grassland with ample recreational opportunities. Mitchell is located in eastern South Dakota along Interstate 90 and serves home to over 15,500 people. Mitchell has a variety of post-secondary education opportunities and serves as a retail hub for the region. Pierre is the home of the state capital and located along the Missouri River in the central part of the state. It has a population of 14,000 and is the business hub for the surrounding region with ample recreational opportunities provided by the Missouri River and the Ft. Pierre National Grasslands. Watertown is located in east central South Dakota along Interstate 29. It serves as a business hub for the surrounding region and has a mixture of business, secondary education, and recreational opportunities.
Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science – The Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science includes over 40 faculty whose expertise spans the fields of Agronomy, Entomology, Genetics, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology, Precision Agriculture, Soil Science, and Weed Science. The Department has robust applied and basic research programs that consistently rank at the top of departments at SDSU. Discovery and dissemination of science-based knowledge are core missions of the department. Our faculty Extension Specialists 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 Agronomy, Horticulture, and Precision Agriculture. The Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science department also offers a strong graduate training environment leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Science and Biological Sciences.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: The position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by December 1, 2023.
APPLICATION PROCESS: SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, please visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system guides you through the electronic application form and requires you to attach a cover letter, resume, and reference page, which includes the current mailing and email addresses and phone numbers of at least five professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process.
Any offer of employment is conditioned upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.
South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is university policy 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 Patrick Wagner at Patrick.Wagner@sdstate.eduor 605-394-1722.
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 access mission. SDSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to, and SDSU prohibits discrimination on, the basis of, sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, or any other status that may become protected in the offering of all educational programs and employment. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing 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.
Job Type: Full-time
Pay: $60,000.00 – $65,000.00 per year

401(k) matching
Dental insurance
Employee assistance program
Employee discount
Flexible schedule
Flexible spending account
Health insurance
Health savings account
Life insurance
Paid time off
Parental leave
Retirement plan
Tuition reimbursement
Vision insurance


8 hour shift

Work Location: In person

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