Job listing

Area Extension Specialist, Agriculture Production Systems

Website Colorado State University Extension


The Office of Engagement and Extension (OEE), in cooperation with the Colorado State University (CSU) colleges and other units, has general charge over the University’s educational programs and services across the areas of engaged scholarship, extension, and extended campuses, which complement and reinforce the research, teaching, and service missions of CSU.  OEE is collaborative space for faculty, staff, and students pursuing and promoting community-based research, service-learning, industry partnerships, and other forms of the scholarship of engagement.  In partnership with the CSU colleges and other divisions, OEE faculty and staff work throughout the state of Colorado to engage individuals and communities in the design, implementation, and application of scholarship and educational opportunities.  The OEE Vice President is the principal administrative, academic, and fiscal officer for the division, reports to the CSU President, and works closely with the Provost/Executive Vice President. OEE includes over 400 employees and operates with a total budget across the enterprises of approximately $85 million. OEE is one of the most institutionally comprehensive commitments to engagement and outreach among all land-grant and other universities. Propelled by OEE’s leadership, nationally CSU is a Carnegie Engaged University (2008, 2014), is a member of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, is an APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity University (2016) and is highly ranked for its online degree programs. CSU was established in 1870 and remains inspired by its land-grant heritage and world-class faculty, staff, and students. CSU enrolls approximately 33,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and is the largest employer in northern Colorado with more than 7,400 faculty and staff. Colorado State University is located 60 miles north of Denver in the beautiful city of Fort Collins

CSU Extension, organized under OEE, is the academic unit designated to promote the land-grant mission of increasing access to education through the application of university knowledge “in the several pursuits and professions in life” for the people and communities of Colorado, across the United States, and around the world.  In partnership with CSU’s colleges and external partners, CSU Extension amplifies the research, teaching, service, engagement, and extension missions of CSU.  CSU Extension faculty aim to educate, create, and connect with learners through inclusive, transdisciplinary, and activated engaged scholarship, and innovative, accessible, and connected lifelong education.  To learn more about CSU Extension, visit

The San Luis Valley Area (SLV) is composed of six counties in south central Colorado (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache), with the SLV Extension office located in Monte Vista, Colorado.  The full-time office team will include an Area Director/Agriculture Agent, a Family & Consumer Science Agent, two 4-H Agents, and an Administrative Assistant.  The six counties have a combined population of about 47,185 people, with Alamosa and Rio Grande counties having the greater populations of approximately 16,233 and 11,216 respectively. Combined, the six counties encompass 8,204 square miles. The SLV is located between two scenic mountain ranges (Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and the San Juan Mountains to the west).  The area is a high mountain valley, with the valley floor at 7,000 ft. elevation.  San Luis Valley is rich with outdoor opportunities that include hiking, mountain bicycling, mountain sports, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, off road trails, snowmobiling, hot springs, historic mining district with trails, vintage steam excursion train, and the Sandhill Crane Festival. The region is abundant with campgrounds including federal, state, and local sites. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, two wildlife refuges, and multiple wetlands all reside in the SLV. Adams State University and Trinidad Junior College both have campuses in the valley.

Agriculture is the Valley’s primary economic base, consisting of both farming and ranching.  The wide variety of SLV ag products include potatoes, barley, wheat, alfalfa and grass hay, carrots, spinach, lettuce, quinoa, canola, cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, bees, fish, and an alligator farm.   In addition to an Extension Office, Colorado State University also has an Agricultural Research Center in the Valley.  Other employers in the Valley include entities working in government, education, energy, transportation, and local medical facilities. For more information about San Luis Valley, go to San Luis Valley Extension – Providing trusted, practical education to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. To learn more about Colorado State University Extension, go to

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our staff and providing culturally responsive programs and services. Therefore, we encourage responses from people of all backgrounds and abilities. We invite you to review Colorado State University’s Principles of Community that guide our mission and vision of access, teaching, service, and engagement. Colorado State University encourages professional development and provides an Employee Study Privilege with up to nine credit hours of tuition assistance annually.


OEE invites applications and nominations for an Extension Area Specialist, Agriculture Production Systems.  This is a full-time, twelve (12) month, non-tenure track Extension faculty position.  Faculty rank is dependent upon the candidate’s academic credentials and professional experience and is subject to review by the Extension Promotion Committee. The faculty appointment, evaluation, and promotion standards are centered around the three core duties of extension faculty – educate, create, and connect. Candidates are sought with interests that complement and expand upon current initiatives and education activities in OEE and CSU Extension.

This position has been created specifically to serve the needs of a farming and ranching community which is striving to maintain economically viable agriculture production while drastically reducing consumptive irrigation water use. The successful candidate will provide leadership, in the development, implementation, and evaluation of educational and research programs for a broad range of agriculture production systems and natural resources in the SLV, with a primary focus on maintaining economic viability with decreased consumptive water use.  Additionally, it will be important that this position can communicate not only how these factors impact agricultural operations but also the communities.  This will include, but is not limited to, work with elected officials, water conservation districts, agricultural businesses, government agencies, non-profit groups, and farms & ranches producing vegetable crops, conventional irrigated and dryland crops, specialty crops, hay crops, fiber crops, and/or livestock. Programs and research must include attention to issues around water utilization, forage and crop production systems with diminishing water usage/availability, and local economics with an overall objective of agricultural profitability and sustainability. On-farm/ranch consultations/research/trials/demonstrations and a willingness to partner with the CSU San Luis Valley Research Center (SLVRC). Teamwork with Extension agents, Extension specialists, Colorado Water Center, university faculty and researchers, Extension administrators, County employees, farmers, ranchers, government agencies, agricultural suppliers, and other partners, is expected. This position directly reports to the San Luis Valley Area Director.

The primary office location for this position is at the San Luis Valley Research Center in Center, Colorado. The San Luis Valley main CSU Extension office is in Monte Vista, Colorado.  While this position is eligible for a hybrid work arrangement, the individual in this position is expected to maintain a balance establishing a presence in the primary office, to effectively carry out the duties of the position.  The work schedule will vary, and occasional nights and weekend work will be necessary.


Background check
Motor Vehicle check
Travel (Day Travel- (within the six county San Luis Valley area)


Official transcripts may be requested at time of semi-finalist or finalist interview.


  • Completed bachelor’s degree. Conferred degree must be in crop production, livestock systems, forage production, irrigation management, agricultural water management, or a closely related field. (Please note, a successful candidate without a completed master’s degree will be required to complete a master’s degree within five years from the start of employment to advance through the faculty ranks. Failure to do so will result in termination unless a compelling reason is accepted by the Vice President of Engagement and Extension).
  • 3 years professional experience relevant to the Essential Job Duties (below) of this position.
  • Course work and/or professional experience must provide a broad and significant understanding of production agriculture (beef cattle, range and pasture management, other livestock, agricultural marketing, farmers markets, community supported agriculture, etc.), natural resources, soils, irrigation, insects, and diseases, and/or community development. associated with position.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.

If the selected candidate has a bachelor’s degree, the candidate will begin at Instructor rank. Faculty rank will be determined by candidate’s academic credentials and professional experience (Faculty Rank Supplemental PDF (1).pdf).


  • Experience in promoting, marketing, or creating public awareness of programs/services among key community decision-makers.
  • Appreciation and understanding of rural communities and an interest in working with people in a rural environment to address critical issues.
  • Demonstrated experience in contracting, grantsmanship, or cost recovery efforts.
  • Familiar with the agriculture and ecosystem needs of San Luis Valley residents.
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish.


Educate – 30%
Specific examples of the educate portion of this position include:

  • Develop and conduct educational programming in response to local needs.
  • Work collaboratively with local government and organizational partners to develop, implement, evaluate and report impacts of non-credit educational programming for adult and youth audiences.
  • Consult with clientele via phone, email, Ask an Expert, site visits, educational booths, etc. to provide evidence-based answers to questions and advise on yard and garden topics.
  • Strive to offer programs that are accessible to historically underrepresented individuals and groups.

Create – 30%
Specific examples of the create portion of this position include:

  • Develop and provide programming for diverse audiences and assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies, including reaching out to underserved and underrepresented audiences.
  • Engage and collaborate with community-based organizations and diverse constituents (representative of the county’s racial, ethnic and gender demographics) to understand community needs and develop support for existing and new program efforts.
  • Employ effective technology in managing and/or delivering educational programs.
  • Identify resources (grants, contracts, in-kind contributions, cost recovery fees, etc.) to enhance programs, support programming efforts and practice cost recovery
  • Manage program funds in compliance with CSU and county fiscal policies and reporting requirements.

Connect – 40%

Specific examples of the connect portion of this position include:

  • Communicate and coordinate resources, research, and programming with faculty/staff at CSU, county, and other organizations.
  • Develop and support strong equitable working relationships with Extension staff, CSU faculty, local/county agencies, community leaders and private industry organizations to address priority needs.
  • Develop relationships and work with advisory groups and local leaders; cooperate with Extension Specialists in other counties to assess informal education needs in the area, develop/revise plans of work, implement educational strategies, and measure and report programmatic impacts.
  • Maintain a strong working relationship with the Board of County Commissioners, including responding to requests for consultation, research, and other assistance.
  • Provide conflict resolution, mediation and/or facilitate public dialogues.
  • Engage with public officials in policy decision influence.
  • Travel to and participate in meetings, professional development, events, and periodic activities requiring travel and/or overnight stays.

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