Job Post

MSU Extension seeks Beef Feedlot Systems Educator

February 14, 2020

Position Title 
Beef Feedlot Systems Educator



Job Summary 
Michigan State University Extension supports the beef industry
in Michigan and is searching for a person to serve as an Extension Educator.  

Working/Functional Title

Beef Feedlot Systems Educator

Position Summary

Michigan State University Extension supports the beef industry in Michigan and is searching for a person to serve as an Extension Educator. This educator will have an office in Sanilac County, located in the Thumb of Michigan, which is a diverse livestock and crop production region where the heart of the Michigan feedlot industry resides.  This region is home to nearly one-quarter of all cattle in the state. The dairy industry is the largest direct contributor to Michigan’s beef supply, with an estimated 80% of Michigan’s cattle on feed being Holstein or Holstein beef crosses. 


As part of Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) and the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute (AABI), this position will provide local as well as statewide leadership and educational programming expertise to beef cattle producers, with a focus on the feedlot industry.  This position will have statewide responsibilities and will collaborate across work teams, Institutes, and commodity groups, working with faculty, specialists and educators for overall advancement of Michigan agricultural industries.


In this position you will design, implement, and evaluate research-based educational programming, address clientele group needs, and disseminate research-based information through various methods, such as media, personal education, and written articles. Serving as an informational resource for Extension personnel and clientele, you will provide producers and agri-business professionals with the knowledge to viably produce cattle and beef products and contribute to the short and long-term viability of farms, and the economic well-being of Michigan citizens. You will have the ability to network statewide with the existing core of four beef educators to provide education and service to the Michigan beef industry.


Michigan State University Extension encourages self-motivated people trained in this area who are eager to work with beef cattle producers to help them improve the profitability, viability, and sustainability of Michigan agriculture to apply for this position.


Characteristic Duties/Responsibilities

  • Develop, conduct and evaluate innovative educational programs in beef feedlot systems that meet current and statewide needs.
  • Communicate and interact with commodity groups to evaluate the needs of the clientele.
  • Serve as an information resource to clientele, partners and Extension staff.
  • Collaborate with MSU Extension staff and specialists to conduct and evaluate programming efforts.
  • In concert with the MSUE work team(s), work with federal, state and county agencies to complete needs assessment of stakeholders and develop effective programming.
  • Create and promote positive public relations for MSU Extension and the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute.
  • Author, produce and submit regular research-based educational materials.
  • Develop and utilize appropriate media methods to communicate current and timely information, research results, and relevant industry updates, as well as a schedule of future opportunities.
  • Actively participate in professional development opportunities.
  • Gather and report programming outputs and impacts, to demonstrate program effectiveness and to guide future program priorities for MSUE, the AABI Institute and work teams.
  • Work to ensure that stakeholder needs assessments, program development, and recruitment efforts include the engagement of Michigan’s diverse residents across race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences.
  • Understand and implement Civil Rights, diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and procedures.
  • Other duties or projects as assigned by the Institute Director.

Required Degree

Masters -Animal Science

Minimum Requirements

  • Master's degree from an accredited institution in a field of study related to animal science or related fields, with a focus on aspects of beef feedlot systems, must be earned by date of hire.
  • Demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Ability to create and carryout a project plan from research of initial concept to project completion including follow-up.
  • Experience with marketing/promotion of educational programs.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience and proven ability working productively with a team.
  • Self-motivated with demonstrated ability to work independently in an office environment without daily supervision and/or coaching.
  • Proficiency in use of technology (e.g. web research, Zoom, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook for mail/calendaring, web conferencing, distance technology, etc.) for day-to-day work and educational program delivery, record keeping, reporting, team-based communications and overall management.
  • Demonstrated success in program development and delivery to diverse audiences/communities, including but not limited to race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences.
  • Proven ability in establishing and working with a diverse network of constituents and community members across race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences to assist with program development and outreach.
  • Understanding of and ability to implement Civil Rights principles and compliance standards.
  • Ability to lift and carry educational materials, equipment, etc. up to 25 lbs.
  • Ability to travel in local and surrounding communities and occasional long-distance travel are required as a regular part of this position.
  • Transportation is the responsibility of the employee.
  • Other skills and/or physical abilities required to perform duties of the position.

Desired Qualifications

  • Understanding of and/or experience working with the beef feedlot industry.
  • Experience in designing, establishing and analyzing animal research projects.
  • 3-years’ experience in Extension program delivery or demonstrated ability and skill in educational program planning, implementation and evaluation (relevant experience acquired within the last 5-years preferred).
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct several projects simultaneously.
  • Experience in successful contract and grant writing, including securing and managing grant funds and resources.

Required Application Materials

Current resume/CV

Cover letter

Four (4) professional references, including at least two (2) current or prior supervisors

Special Instructions

This position is a full-time, fixed term end-dated appointment, renewable annually based upon successful performance and continued funding.


MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

 MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Michigan State University Extension employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodations. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.


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