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Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist - Animal Science 

North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND
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Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist - Animal Science

Position Description & Details:
North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development program is seeking an individual to provide statewide leadership for the North Dakota 4-H animal science program and related educational events. This individual will blend their abilities in leadership, attention to detail, organizational and logistical skills with their experience and passion for working with youth in animal and equine science across that state.

The position is part of a team committed to working in coordination with other Animal Sciences Department faculty and staff to lead, organize, implement, manage, market and evaluate youth (4-H) animal science programs, competitions, events and curriculum. This position also oversees the superintendents that help drive the 4-H livestock and horse shows at the North Dakota State Fair to success. These duties include working with other faculty, Extension specialists, Extension agents, youth, adult volunteers and animal industry stakeholders.

This is a full-time, 12-month non-tenure track position with NDSU Extension; some evening and weekend work is required with no acquired overtime. This position is jointly responsible to the Center for 4-H Youth Development and the Department of Animal Sciences. This individual reports to the Center for 4-H Youth Development Associate Director with input from the Department of Animal Sciences Head. The office will be located within the Department of Animal Sciences, Hultz Hall, on NDSU campus. The position will be mutually supported by office staff from both departments.

Responsibility for the Work of Others:
Responsible for ensuring that volunteers carrying out the duties/functions with any 4-H statewide program are following all NDSU Extension, ND 4-H Youth Development, and national 4-H procedures, record-keeping and expected behaviors.

Salary: $62,200 to $78,000

Responsibilities include:
This position includes, but it is not limited to, the following responsibilities:
  • Serve in a lead role to plan, develop, implement and evaluate youth (4-H) animal science programs related to equine and livestock. This includes the educational resources offered, competitions and events conducted at the state level.
  • Collaborate with Extension personnel and others to develop, implement, deliver and evaluate new and innovative 4-H Youth Development Extension programming and learning experiences in the area of animal sciences at the county and area levels.
  • Develop, design, deliver and evaluate volunteer and staff training needed to blend animal science subject matter content with best practices in positive youth development. The candidate will be expected to work closely with animal sciences and 4-H youth development faculty and staff as appropriate for the subject matter.
  • Facilitate and manage livestock and equine related clinics and camping experiences across the state.
  • Coordination and involvement in a select number of regional and national events.
  • Gather input in an organized manner from youth, adult volunteers, staff and other stakeholders who will serve in an advisory capacity to the programming efforts.
  • Build relationships and invest in opportunities for external support through grants, contracts and special projects to determine appropriateness for the North Dakota 4-H program. Write, manage and fulfill requirements for those grant funds that are secured. Work collaboratively with other states and organizations.
  • Develop and maintain relationships to support programming and communicate 4-H philosophy, mission and values through development and implementation of programmatic policies and procedures for the 4-H animal sciences program with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Use the Program Evaluation And Reporting System (PEARS) to write state action plans, impact statements, quarterly reports, impact outcomes, and other reporting and evaluation tools.
  • Participation in North Dakota 4-H and Department of Animal Sciences program activities when appropriate and as assigned.

Behavioral expectations include:
  • Represent NDSU Extension in a manner that reflects well on yourself, other Extension employees and Extension as a whole.
  • Abide by all rules and regulations as outlined in the NDSU Policy Manual, North Dakota 4-H Policies, the Adult Behavioral Expectations and the Youth Protection Policy.
  • Work ethically, with integrity and respect confidentiality.
  • Contribute to an environment of cooperative, supportive and positive working relationships with co-workers and clientele.
  • Resolve differences constructively. Use tact and courtesy at all times.
  • Use effective time management.
  • Exhibit positive attitude, image, personal motivation and professionalism.
  • Assure compliance with equal opportunity policies.

  • Participate in professional development experiences offered by the NDSU Extension and other entities as appropriate.
  • Be self-directed with minimal supervision and work flexible and extended hours.
  • Travel statewide is required. Overnight trips will be required on occasion for meetings, activities, and professional development.
  • Be an active learner to keep relevant with new teaching strategies, advances in the professional development field, technology, news and with related research.
  • Perform other duties assigned in support of Extension programming.
  • Ability to lift and carry 10 to 40 pounds occasionally.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Earned Master's degree at the time of employment in animal science, equine science, youth development or a closely related field.
  • Experience with one or more areas of equine science, animal science and/or youth programming.
  • Experience in teaching and positively interacting with and managing youth and adults.
  • Experience in collaborating as part of a team for a diverse audience of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including oral, written and listening skills.
  • Experience effectively using technology to accomplish educational programs related to equine and/or animal science.
  • Experience working with minimal supervision, including prioritizing workloads to meet deadlines.
  • Familiarity with various ethnic and socioeconomic audiences, an interest and ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds, and a commitment to the principles of diversity.
  • Experience using social media outlets in all formats.
  • Possess a valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Ph.D. or five or more years of professional experience in designing, conducting and evaluating education programs for youth and volunteers related to the youth development and/or animal and/or equine science areas.
  • Experience using organizational and logistical skills, with attention to detail, to lead, organize, implement, manage, market and evaluate youth-focused educational programs related to equine and/or animal science.
  • Experience working with land-grant university Extension programs.
  • Record of successful partnerships at community, state and/or national levels.
  • Prior experience with the equine and livestock industries, and youth livestock and equine events, shows and competitions.
  • Demonstrated ability to write, manage and fulfill grant, contract and special project requirements.

Applicant Materials Required:
  • Cover letter including how you meet any or all minimum and preferred qualifications
  • Resume
  • Teaching philosophy
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Include 3 professional references in reference section of application

Screening will begin 9/27/22


NDSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes single or family health insurance coverage with premiums paid for by the university - with an effective date for new employees the first of the month following date of hire. Other benefits include, wellness benefits, basic life insurance, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual leave, EAP, sick leave and holiday pay. Optional benefits include supplemental life, dental, vision, long-term care insurance, flexible spending account, and supplemental retirement plans.

About Us:

North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student focused, land-grant, research university. Our main campus is located in Fargo, ND with Extension Service and Research Experiment Station locations across the state.

NDSU is the best college in ND, according to Money Magazine (September 2018). NDSU was named a 2019 Best Value College by Forbes. Fargo made's top 10 list of cities to find a job and ranked at #11 for best places to live overall.

No Smoking Notice :

As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

EO/AA Statement:

North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable.

Veteran's Preference Notice:

This position is subject to North Dakota Veteran's Preference requirements.

Reasonable Accommodation Information

North Dakota State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact Human Resources at 701-231-8961 or .

Land Acknowledgement

We collectively acknowledge that NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands. We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region. (see ).


NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities.

North Dakota State University is an employer of choice with a commitment to offer a well-rounded benefits package for employees and their families.

NDSU is listed at 95 among 404 public universities based on the university’s research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. In addition, NDSU is listed in the National Science Foundation’s top 100 in several areas, including: agricultural sciences; business management and business; communications; materials science; natural resources and conservation science; social sciences; sociology, demography, and population studies; and visual and performing arts.

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