Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences

Montana State University Extension   Great Falls, MT   Full-time     Education
Posted on May 14, 2024
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Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Sciences – Cascade County

Position Details:

Cascade County is located in Central Montana. Great Falls, the county seat, one of the population centers in the state, and a pioneer city in Montana, is located on the Missouri River and is known as the “Electric City” due to its historical significance regarding the hydro-electric generation plants and smelter activity. The terrain of the county is primarily gently rolling plains that are dissected by the Missouri River and its numerous coulees and tributaries. The Little Belt Mountains are found in the southeastern portion of the county. Cascade County’s economic base includes agriculture, the military, education, small manufacturing, food processing, and many service industries. The majority of agricultural income is derived from livestock and crop production. According to 2017 Montana Agricultural Statistics, the county ranks twelfth in crop production, primarily grains, and eleventh in livestock production, primarily beef cattle, in Montana.

General Statement:

The county’s population is approximately 84,900, with approximately 60,000 living in Great Falls. Other communities in Cascade County include Belt, Cascade, Centerville, Fort Shaw, Monarch, Neihart, Simms, Sun River, and Vaughn, many of which have complete K-12 school systems. Great Falls is home to the Great Falls College, University of Providence, Benefis Health System, Malmstrom Air Force Base, and many cultural attractions including the Charles M. Russell Museum/Gallery, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, the Paris Gibson Center, and the First People’s Buffalo Jump. Great Falls is a primary destination point for tourism. Outdoor recreational opportunities include fishing, hunting, boating, golfing, hiking and historical exploration.

We seek individuals who work professionally and effectively with diverse individuals, foster and maintain effective interpersonal relationships, exhibit excellent written and verbal communications skills and have the ability to contribute positively to the academic success of students and the mission of Montana State University.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct community needs assessment and develop, plan, implement, facilitate, and evaluate successful, research-based educational programs in Family and Consumer Sciences, which may include health and wellness, food and nutrition, family and human development, family economics, and housing and environmental health.
  • Provide supervisory leadership for the full-time SNAP Education Instructor.
  • Provide shared leadership with peer agents in the Cascade County office to maintain effective office function and serve as a liaison to the Cascade County Commission.
  • Collaborate with local stakeholders and Extension staff to continually assess needs in Family and Consumer Sciences to inform educational programming priorities in Cascade County and potential collaboration with other counties.
  • Build and maintain collaborative working relationships with peer Extension agents, Extension specialists, county commissioners, and appropriate local individuals, groups, boards, agencies, and organizations to leverage educational programming in Cascade County.

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills:

  1. Bachelor’s degree or relevant work experience in Family and Consumer Sciences, Human Development, Food and Nutrition, or related field.
  2. Demonstrated ability to lead groups; assess needs; and plan, implement, facilitate, teach, and evaluate educational programs for youth and adult audiences.
  3. Demonstrated ability to provide effective leadership for Extension programming for youth, adults, and volunteers.
  4. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with individuals, groups, and community organizations representing a wide variety of youth and adult audiences.

Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills:

  1. Master’s degree.
  2. At least one degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, Human Development, Food and Nutrition, or related field.
  3. Demonstrated ability to facilitate groups and help them find constructive solutions to locally identified issues.
  4. Extension experience or demonstrated understanding of the Extension education model.

The Successful Candidate Will:

The successful candidate will possess excellent human relation skills; a high level of professionalism; the ability to work effectively with other staff members; evidence of good judgment; flexibility and innovation to respond to changing needs of people in Cascade County; and will be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. The successful candidate will also possess a familiarity with multi-cultural and different socioeconomic audiences, an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds, and a commitment to the principles of diversity, and dedication to supporting and enhancing Montana State University’s initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

This position, if filled at the Master’s degree level, will be tenure-track. A successful candidate without a Master’s degree will be required to complete their Master’s degree, in a program area relevant to their Extension position, within six (6) years of their start date. Failure to do so may result in termination.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information:

Must possess currently or be eligible to obtain a valid State of Montana Driver’s license and have an acceptable driving record (less than 12 points), or have other reliable means of transportation. Must have access to a vehicle to use for work (mileage will be reimbursed), and have minimum vehicle liability insurance. Do NOT send a copy of the driver’s license.

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

The Program:

The scholarship of Extension work at MSU is defined as, “The creation of partnerships, programs, and plans through Extension, or other community-based research, that leverage the knowledge and resources of the university and the public/private sector to enhance learning, discovery, and engagement; educate and engage citizens; strengthen communities; address locally identified issues and problems; apply and disseminate knowledge; and contribute to the public good.”


MSU Extension is committed to equitable salaries. Beginning salaries are determined by an analysis of education and previous experience. Minimum base salary with Bachelor’s degree is $45,825. Minimum base salary with Master’s degree is $52,825.