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Human Capital Services

Extension Specialist 4-H Youth Development

Apply now Department: 3670035070 4-H Youth Development
Job no: 508664
Work type: Staff Full Time (Unclassified - Regular)
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Categories: Education / Instructional, 4-H Youth Development, Child Development, Extension Agent / Educator, Community Development / Community Vitality
Pay Grade: 001

About This Role:

The Department of 4-H Youth Development seeks a dynamic and innovative professional to provide leadership and programmatic direction for Agricultural Science project areas for: 

  1. Local professionals and volunteers from across Kansas Counties engaging in community based youth development work
  2. Statewide Animal and Plant Science youth programs
  3. Career and college readiness of youth


This position will serve as a key member of a team of 4-H Youth Development Specialists who collaboratively work within four strategic content areas of STEM & Agriculture; Communications & the Arts; Health Living; and Community Vitality (Leadership & Civic Engagement) to develop and deliver high quality education programs and workforce readiness initiatives.


This position will work with four primary adult audiences in creating and organizing content within a sequential and progressive pathway of project learning, experiences, and showcase events (including competitions) for youth.

  1. State and Regional Specialists within the Department of 4-H Youth Development and K-State Faculty and Staff
  2. Local Extension Unit Professionals in all 105 Kansas counties
  3. Local Volunteers within project content areas
  4. External Partners (such as Kansas 4-H Foundation, Kansas State Fair, Commodity Groups, etc)

This position has responsibilities to the 4-H Youth Development Department and is locate on the Kansas State University Campus in Manhattan, KS.

The Specialist will have responsibility for guiding program evaluation from local extension units related to their program area and for communicating the impact of 4-H Youth Development programming to local Kansas communities. 


Specialists will be expected to contribute to the broader mission of Research and Extension and integrate responsibilities, where appropriate, to address the grand challenges, including water, global food systems, health, vital communities and leadership for tomorrow. 


The Extension Specialist will carry out the mission of the 4-H Youth Development Program and KSRE under the direction of the State 4-H Program Leader. 


Kansas 4-H Statewide Leadership, Support and Development for Animal and Plant Sciences Project Areas (currently involving over 8,000 Kansas youth annually) – 

  1. Be a primary resource for training and program development of local 4-H Youth Development Programs. Work with county based professionals and volunteers ((via local extension units) to develop a project pathway of developmentally progressive activities and experiences at the local unit and region that connects to state, national, and international learning opportunities.


  1. Development of Animal and Plant Science volunteers and professional staff action teams to aid in program development. 


  1. Lead efforts to expand reach and program effectiveness in underserved populations
  1. Work with Local Unit Regional Director on matters of local 4-H program governance and program quality when necessary.
  1. Assist in the mobilization and promotion of club-based, afterschool, school-based Extension programs for youth with Agriculture topics 
  1. Integrate Positive Youth Development and citizen science into next steps with existing Extension youth-focused animal and plant science programs 
  2. Expand program funding capacities through national, state, and regional grants (i.e. National 4-H AgriScience (https://4-h.org/parents/stem-agriculture/ )
  3. Oversee project pathway responsibilities including updating and refining curriculum tools, volunteer trainings, and stewardship of showcase opportunities for youth including: county fair guidelines, judges trainings and rubrics, Kansas State Fair rules/guidelines for assigned project areas, Statewide 4-H Animal Science and Plant Science contest areas. 
  4. Strengthen interest in career pathways through partnerships with the K-State’s College of Agriculture. 
  5. Integrate 4-H Positive Youth Development next steps for learning into existing Extension/University youth-focused animal and plant science programs 
  6. This position will serve as a key member of a team of 4-H Youth Development Specialists who collaboratively work within four strategic content areas of STEM & Agriculture; Communications & the Arts; Health Living; and Community Vitality (Leadership & Civic Engagement) to develop and deliver high quality education programs and workforce readiness initiatives. 


Who we are:

As the premier youth development program for Kansas State University’s Research and Extension system, Kansas 4-H empowers over 80,000 youth in 2019 to achieve their potential everyday through community engagement and project based learning through over 700 out of school clubs and hundreds of in-school partnerships statewide in partnership with over 4000 community based 4-H volunteers. To learn more, please visit https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/ and https://www.kansas4-h.org/

What You'll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in Youth Development, Agricultural Education, Education Innovation and Leadership, Animal Science, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Non-profit and Leadership Studies, Biochemistry, Feed Science and Management, Agriculture and Society, Agronomy, or a closely related discipline.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively (oral, written, and understanding skills).
  • Demonstrated leadership in understanding and working with diverse populations, and/or strong evidence of cultural sensitivity.  
  • Demonstrated competence in building relationships and working effectively with individuals, groups, colleagues and the ability to develop and lead partnerships and collaborations.  
  • Demonstrated leadership and skills in clarifying performance expectations in working with boards and coaching employees via remote supervision. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to speak and communicate bilingually (Spanish preferred) and evidence of cultural sensitivity  
  • Subject matter competent – exercise mastery of discipline, understands research base, technically proficient and current.
  • Solid experience or coursework in developing and delivering education programs in a non-formal setting.
  • Experience with youth workforce readiness initiatives particularly related to Agricultural Education and Agriculture/STEM-related careers.  
  • Demonstrated record of competitive grant writing, fund development and marketing.
  • Experience in working with and supervising volunteers.
  • Teaching experience in community settings.
  • Demonstrated use of computer and technology in managing and/or delivering educational programs.  

Other Requirements:

  • Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment

Salary, Benefits, and Professional Development:

Salary commensurate with professional experience and available funding as negotiated by the regional extension director

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documents:

  • Cover Letter (detailing your fit to the position)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Contact Information and Email addresses for three (3) professional references
  • Copies of transcripts for all university degrees.
  • Statement of your youth development philosophy and interest in Agricultural Science workforce readiness initiatives and career preparation.

Screening of Applications:

Begins immediately and continues until filled. For best consideration, please apply by February 14, 2020. 

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and actively seeks diversity among its employees.


Background Screening Statement:


In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

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