Extension Agents are employed by land-grant universities and serve the citizens of that particular state by serving as an expert or teacher on a topic relating to economics, community development, agriculture, family, animal production, diet and nutrition.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Actively work with team local, regional and state teams to identify issues in the interest area you work in
- Develop and execute educational programs on your interest area for the community
- Provide learning experiences that will empower people to improve their lives around critical issues
- Some positions in the academic setting will require you to conduct research
- Some extension professionals also may teach more formal courses to students enrolled at the land-grant university
- Investigate, develop and refine value-added content to a variety of delivery platform
- Create and utilize assessments to evaluate the impact of the programming
- Answer questions of local/state residents regarding your field of expertise
- Speak at industry events on topics that you may specialize in or even at local civic organization meetings
- Develop volunteer networks in order to sustain programs
- Work with local 4-H clubs by leading or teaching programming
- Maintain a high level of visibility and facilitate communications with a wide range of clientele including traditional and non-traditional learners, elected officials, agricultural and non-agricultural stakeholders, and environmental and special interest groups to promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resource issues.
What education and training is required?
This can vary depending on the level of role as well as your area of expertise. Primarily a bachelors or master’s degree are required in either your subject area or agriculture and extension education. Those doing research and teaching at the university level may have a doctorate.
To pursue a career as an Extension Agent
The following high school courses are recommended depending upon area of interest: agricultural education, family and consumer sciences, public speaking, writing, sciences, personal finance, and business.
Where can I work?
Typical employers: Extension agents are typically employed by state or county agencies.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The future outlook for an extension agent will be good over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations *Depends upon area of expertise
- National Association County Agricultural Agents
- National Association of Extension 4-H Agents
- National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
- Agriculture and Applied Economics Association
- American Association for Agriculture Education
- American Water Resources Association