• Full Time
  • Brookings
  • January 29, 2021

Website South Dakota State University

SDSU Extension is offering an exciting career opportunity as the Program Director- Agriculture and Natural Resources.  We are looking for a creative and innovative professional who is skilled in providing leadership for the creation and implementation of a collective vision pertaining to the educational outreach we do with individuals, farmers, ranchers, agriculture industry professionals, commodity groups, and state agency collaborators in the areas of agronomy, livestock, agricultural economics, natural resource management, ag engineering, water management and climate adaptation.  This is a 12 month, full-time, benefit-eligible position. This position is supervised by the Director of SDSU Extension. 

SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to the experiences of underrepresented minorities in organizations.  Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


The Program Director-Agriculture and Natural Resources will strive to support all areas of statewide program operations including those related to research-based program development, implementation and evaluation; creating and supporting a scholarly environment; human resource development and administration; and external relationship-building and partnership development. This includes:

·         Cooperatively develop an organizational framework to ensure programs are effectively planned, implemented, and evaluated.

·         Provide leadership for identifying major program directions that meet critical educational needs; encourage and promote cross-disciplinary and cross-program area efforts; and work to ensure cultural relevance and access to outreach programming for citizens and communities in the areas of agronomy, livestock, agricultural economics and natural resource management.    

·         Provide leadership for systems that ensure program evaluation and identification of program outcomes; implement use of effective strategies to share program outcomes with public and private sector stakeholders and ensure accountability.

·         Provide leadership and management to agriculture and natural resource management programs carried out by faculty, staff, and volunteers through a broad array of programs, including crop production, livestock production, precision agriculture, water resource management, natural resource management, climate adaptation, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, marketing and risk management and other related programs while also addressing outreach programs to underserved audiences.  

·         Mentor, coach, and support state and field specialists in their engagement with state and local programs.

·         Serve as liaison between SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource programs and the academic departments in which Agriculture and Natural Resource Management state and field specialists reside as related to program, scholarship and personnel matters.

·         Provide leadership and accountability to ensure that programs reach a diverse audience and ensure equitable access to programs and facilities.

·         Provide leadership in addressing issues related to agricultural policies in cooperation with SDSU Extension and the SDSU system.

·         Develop and maintain effective relationships with state and federal legislators and staff; tribal government officials; non-governmental organizations; federal and state agencies; and private and public sector partners.

·         Contribute to program area efforts to write grants, generate revenue, and establish partnerships that leverage public and private funds.

·         Ensure funds are managed to promote the greatest program impact and appropriate accountability according to University procedures.


·         A Master’s degree from an accredited university or college; academic preparation and demonstrated scholarly mastery in a discipline relevant to agriculture, natural resources, behavioral sciences, or related field with at least one degree in a agriculture discipline completed by the first day of employment.

·         Minimum of five years disciplinary experience.

·         Demonstrated understanding of the educational process, i.e., developing, managing, and evaluating educational programs with a demonstrated ability to promote creativity and vision in program development.

·         Successful experience in the administration and leadership of educational programs, including strategic planning and experience leading, managing and supervising people.

·         Demonstrated fiscal management and success in securing funding to support new and existing programs.

·         Experience developing and maintaining effective partnerships and serving as a skilled liaison between and among groups with the ability to engage in successful negotiation, collaboration, conflict resolution, and relationship building.

·         Demonstrated experience in leading programs that effectively involve people from different cultural and/or racial, ethnic backgrounds.

·         Demonstrated effectiveness in oral and written communications.

·         Valid driver’s license, or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire, and willingness to travel.


·         An earned Ph.D. in Plant Science, Animal Science, Agricultural Economics, Natural Resource Management, or related field.

·         Extension experience.

·         Successful experience in designing, implementing, teaching and evaluating community-based outreach education programs. 

·         Demonstrated successful experience working with teams.

·         Computer and other technology skills that support effective administrative and programmatic leadership.


Commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave.  Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


Ranked as the No. 2 best place to work in South Dakota by Forbes, South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students.

SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity, and excellence through continuous improvement.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of the university is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

SDSU was recognized as one of 54 institutions in the United States as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in 2014. The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. Livability.com rates Brookings as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees. It considers Brookings among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by January 29, 2021.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site.  To apply, visit:  https://yourfuture.sdbor.edu, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.”  This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, resume, and a reference page with the contact information for three 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 contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, a criminal background check.  

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment.  

It is the policy of the University 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 Heidi Carroll at 605-688-6623 or heidi.carroll@sdstate.edu. 

South Dakota State University is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its faculty, staff and students.  Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing HR@sdstate.edu. SDSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected class in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities.  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.

To apply for this job please visit yourfuture.sdbor.edu.