Position Description and Position Vacancy Announcement
Application Due Date: April 22, 2014

COOPERATIVE EXTENSION VISION: To be a thriving, well-known and sought-out educational resource that reflects the rich diversity of the state.

COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PURPOSE: We teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities.

WORKING TITLE: Outreach Specialist (100%)

OFFICIAL TITLE: University Relations Specialist title series (title prefix to be determined)

OFFICE LOCATION: UW – Discovery Farms, 40195 Winsand Drive, Pigeon Falls, WI 54760

This position is a fixed-term academic staff appointment in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s division of Cooperative Extension. Reappointment to this position after the initial term is dependent upon availability of funding and performance. The appointment is anticipated to begin in mid-May 2014 and end on June 30, 2015.

The UW – Discovery Farms Program develops on-farm and related research to determine the economic and environmental effects of agricultural practices on a diverse group of Wisconsin farms. As an academic staff member of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension, employed with the UW – Discovery Farms Program, the Outreach Specialist will utilize his or her knowledge of related agricultural fields to work directly with the UW – Discovery Farms Co-Directors and other program staff members delivering educational information and materials to agricultural producers, industry personnel, agency personnel, and the general public. In collaboration with a team of Outreach Specialists, this position is responsible for implementing the Discovery Farms communications plan which includes coordinating writing activities and assignments for Discovery Farms staff, as well as organizing and delivering educational materials through a wide range of media. This position works primarily with two University of Wisconsin-Extension program areas: Community, Natural Resource, and Economic Development (CNRED), and Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension (ANRE). To learn more about Discovery Farms please visit:

– Execute tasks from communications plan and report progress monthly
– Write content for website, newsletters, and other print content venues
– Create concise, accurate and informative articles, reports and presentations that engage recipients and deliver key messages from Discovery Farms data
– Organize Discovery Farms-led field days, speaking engagements and conferences
– Identify media contacts and evaluate current media outlets and relationships
– Assist in coordination and dissemination of data collected through nutrient use efficiency project sites
– Work with the Discovery Farms management team on the development and delivery of information from watershed projects, core farms, and special projects
– Develop cooperative relationships and coordinate work with Discovery Farms partners including University personnel, state and federal agency personnel, and others
– Build, strengthen and sustain trust-based relationships to promote cooperative and respectful work environments
– Develop and maintain relationships with programmatic and funding partners in ways that effectively communicate Extension’s value
– Regularly consult with and report to Extension partners at the county and state levels to ensure accountability
– Develop and follow a professional development plan to ensure proficiency in priority content and relevant competencies
– Be responsive to evolving position, program, office and organizational needs; perform additional duties as requested
– Contribute leadership, as needed, to ensure effective Extension office operations
– Reach a diverse audience and ensure access to programs, facilities and educational services in a manner that is inclusive and does not discriminate

– Assist in creation of press releases and advertising, prior to and via reporting afterward, on events held by Discovery Farms; or participated in by staff members
– Cooperate with Discovery Farms staff to create curriculum for various audiences from Discovery Farms reports and information
– Direct social media efforts including evaluating current efforts and suggesting additional venues
– Work with staff to identify subject matter for publication; prioritize publication order; and establish timelines for publications
– Utilize already developed materials for media and popular press outlets as prioritized by program staff

– Make individual arrangements for transportation adequate to meet position responsibilities and essential job functions

The Outreach Specialist aligns the work of this position with Cooperative Extension’s purpose, vision and values in ways that contribute to supportive workplaces. Cooperative Extension’s values of community, discovery, inclusiveness, relationships, and respect guide the Outreach Specialist in achieving the position’s primary outcomes. Standards of excellence are expected to be met throughout the Outreach Specialist Extension career.

The Outreach Specialist actively participates in the shared governance and policy development of the institution, personally or through representatives, to ensure representation in matters affecting academic staff.

The Outreach Specialist meets the position’s reporting accountabilities and performance expectations in collaboration with the Co-Directors of UW – Discovery Farms (hiring authority).

– Bachelor’s degree in a field that relates to the position including agronomy, soils, agriculture education or animal science
– Effective communication and presentation skills using a variety of methods and technologies
– Demonstrated computer literacy adequate to develop presentation graphics, visuals and supporting materials
– Previous experience with data analysis using Microsoft Excel
– Knowledge and skills to effectively interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, including those associated with race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of human diversity

– Master’s degree in a related field
– Ability to plan collaboratively and execute independently
– Rural experience with an understanding of farm practices and related industries
– Experience with web content development
– Experience in creating information for farmers
– Demonstrated skills in interpreting, utilizing and applying evidence-based information and research findings
– Successful volunteer or paid experience working with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences
– Demonstrated skills in building and maintaining professional work environments
– Strong interpersonal relationship and problem-solving skills in a team setting
– Knowledge of adult learning principles
– Knowledge of Cooperative Extension’s legacy as part of the U.S. system of land-grant institutions, dedicated to service in the public good

Individuals who demonstrate increasing capacity in the following organizational competencies, as indicated by the examples listed below, are likely to experience higher levels of success within their Cooperative Extension positions:

Inspires respect and trust; Practices strategic, shared and ethical decision making; Clarifies expectations and accepts feedback; Shows personal responsibility and follow through on commitments; Adapts well to change or unexpected events in the work environment; Finds solutions; Is willing and motivated to learn.

Works in ways that support mutually beneficial partnerships, including being tactfully and diplomatically responsive to others and maintaining confidentiality; Understands group and team dynamics; Gives appropriate recognition to others; Chooses appropriate Extension roles in conflict situations; Manages interactions successfully through an awareness of one’s emotions and those of others.

Recognizes, understands and appreciates the culturally different ways in which others express themselves; Treats others with dignity, respect and consideration; Demonstrates active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity through programming and outreach efforts.

Listens and seeks clarification; Adapts and varies communication to fit cultural contexts and circumstances; Demonstrates effective communication technology skills and presentation skills; Writes clearly and informatively; Possesses skills to strengthen others’ understanding of Extension’s value.

This position description is not intended to be comprehensive in nature given the changes in primary duties/essential job functions and position expectations that can occur over time in response to emerging and assessed community, program and organizational needs. Changes to this position description are subject to the approval of the Cooperative Extension Human Resource Development Office and those to whom the position is accountable.

State of Wisconsin benefits (, including retirement, vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and other insurances. Starting salary range commensurate with qualifications: $45,000 – $55,000.

As an affirmative action employer, UW-Extension provides equal opportunity in programs and employment; and is strongly committed to maintaining a climate supportive of respect for differences and equality of opportunity. UW-Extension does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, disability, sex/gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, religion, marital status, identity as a veteran, disabled veteran, Vietnam veteran or any other military service, arrest record or non-program related conviction record. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Materials will be made available in alternative format upon request. Please call 711 if you are hearing or speech impaired and need assistance. Direct inquiries concerning equal opportunity to: UW-Extension Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Room 501; 432 N. Lake Street; Madison, WI 53706.


1) APPLICATION DUE DATE: To receive full consideration, application materials must be received April 22, 2014 and include all of the following (WHEN UPLOADING DOCUMENTS, PDF FORMAT IS PREFERRED):
a. COVER LETTER (up to two pages) that summarizes how you meet the minimum qualifications of this position. Please prepare a paragraph for each of the minimum qualifications and include formal education, training, professional work history, volunteer work, research, and any related life experiences in your response. Please note that your response will be evaluated for content and written communication skills.

b. PROFESSIONAL RESUME, including related education, professional work history and volunteer experience.

c. SAMPLE OF YOUR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION SKILLS in the form of a brochure, news or magazine article, final report or a similar document.

d. CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THREE (3) PROFESSIONAL WORK REFERENCES, including at least one person who has been your immediate supervisor. For each reference, please indicate the nature of your professional relationship and include the title, e-mail address and telephone number.

e. FINAL COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS for each of your degrees. Unofficial copies of final college transcripts are acceptable when applying for this position. Official final college transcripts are required upon hire.

Please upload only the materials requested above. Any documents, other than those requested, will be deleted from your application. Application materials that do not comply with these instructions are incomplete and will not be considered. Applications received after the application due date will be accepted through the conclusion of the initial application screening process.

2) Optional Confidentiality Form: Under Wisconsin Statutes, if asked, UW-Extension is required to provide a list of all nominees and applicants who have not requested in writing that their identities remain confidential. The identities of all finalists must be released upon request. Please upload this document along with your other materials. The form can be accessed by copying and pasting the following URL into your browser:

3) A criminal records review will be conducted prior to employment. Completed consent forms will be requested at the time of final interviews. In compliance with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, convictions and pending charges will be considered only as they relate to this position.

4) How to apply. Please submit application materials to Cooperative Extension Human Resource Development Office online using the URLs below. Once you are in the Candidate Gateway, please make sure to click on the Advanced Search link and enter 9668 into the Job Opening ID field.
a. Before you get started with the online application process, we recommend you preview the frequently asked questions (FAQs). To do so, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser. External applicants can also view the FAQs after accessing the online system by clicking on the “Help” link in the upper right corner.
b. If you are applying as an applicant who is NOT currently employed by the University of Wisconsin System, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser:
c. If you are applying as a current employee of the University of Wisconsin System, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser:
Company Information
Name :
University of Wisconsin – Extension
Description :
University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension
Type :
Staffing Firm
Address :
432 N Lake Street
Room 249
Madison, WI 53706
Application Information
Online :
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Job Posting Expires On :