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Montana State University Extension Forage Specialist — Assistant or Associate Professor of Forage Science in Bozeman, Montana

Position Details

Announcement Number FAC - VA - 20035

For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Jeff Mosley 406-994-5601 or

Classification Title

Working Title Extension Forage Specialist — Assistant or Associate Professor of Forage Science

Brief Position Overview

The incumbent will develop and implement a nationally-recognized educational program in forage crop production and utilization, primarily focused on alfalfa and other hay, but also including haylage, silage, and other forage crops.

Faculty Tenure Track Yes

Faculty Rank Assistant/Associate Professor

Position Number 4B3681

Department Administration - MSU Extension

Division College of Agriculture/MAES

Appointment Type Faculty

Contract Term Fiscal Year


If other, specify From date

If other, specify End date

Union Affiliation Exempt from Collective Bargaining

FTE 1.0

Benefits Eligible Eligible

Salary Salary commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications

Contract Type MUS

If other, please specify

Recruitment Type Open

General Statement

Agriculture is the largest segment of the Montana economy and the dominant land use in the state. Range livestock production and forage crop production are vital components of Montana agriculture. Virtually all of Montana’s livestock producers rely on stockpiled forages to feed their livestock during winter. Most of this forage is comprised of perennial hay crops, either legumes, grass-legume mixtures, introduced grass species, or native grasses. Annual hay production in Montana is valued at $687 million and occurs on 2.6 million acres, with 57% of this hayland non-irrigated. About 70% of the hay crop is alfalfa, and Montana ranks third among US states in alfalfa production. Sainfoin is another important perennial crop, while annual forage crops include hay barley, barley, winter wheat, triticale, sorghum-sudangrass, millet, Austrian winter peas, and corn, among others.

Montana State University has a long and distinguished history of working across academic disciplines and working directly with ranchers and farmers in Montana and the greater Rocky Mountain West and Northern Great Plains regions. Ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable forage crop production and utilization is an important focus of the MSU Animal and Range Sciences Department. This position will complement and expand existing MSU efforts to help sustain Montana’s ranches, farms, and rural communities.

We seek individuals who work professionally and effectively with diverse individuals, possess effective interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills and have the ability to contribute positively to the academic success of the students and the mission of Montana State University.

Duties and Responsibilities

The position is 50% extension teaching, 13% academic teaching, 27% scholarship (i.e., research/creative scholarly activity), and 10% service. The incumbent will develop and implement a nationally-recognized educational program in forage crop production and utilization, primarily focused on alfalfa and other hay, but also including haylage, silage, and other forage crops. The incumbent’s program will complement and expand existing Extension teaching, academic teaching, and research efforts at MSU. The incumbent will provide educational leadership to individuals and organizations related to forage crop production and utilization, including county/reservation Extension faculty; ranchers, farmers and other landowners; state and federal resource management agency personnel; university students; and youth. On-campus teaching responsibilities will include one undergraduate course in forage crop production and utilization. As a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences at Montana State University, the incumbent will be expected to publish in refereed journals and traditional Extension outlets, secure extramural funding, mentor graduate students, contribute to teaching and learning efforts (on- and off-campus), and provide appropriate departmental, college, university, and professional service. The incumbent will work collaboratively with faculty within the Animal and Range Sciences Department as well as researchers and Extension faculty across Montana and the region. Extensive travel throughout the state and occasional travel outside of Montana will be required. As an Extension Specialist, the incumbent will comply with all Extension, departmental, college, University, state, and federal reporting requirements and assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies.

We hope to attract applicants who can teach in a diverse University community and have demonstrated ability in helping students from diverse backgrounds succeed.

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • An earned Ph.D. degree in Agronomy, Plant Science, Soil Science, Range Science, Animal Science or related discipline at the time of hire.

  • Knowledge of forage crop production and utilization.

  • Accomplishments in on- or off-campus teaching and evidence of research experience.

  • Demonstrated ability to interact and collaborate with ranchers and farmers.

Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Demonstrated knowledge of western U.S. forage crop production systems.

  • Demonstrated ability to conduct research to enhance forage crop production or utilization.

  • Demonstrated ability to secure extramural funding.

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively write and communicate research to non-scientific audiences.

  • Demonstrated ability to plan, implement, and evaluate off-campus educational programs.

  • Demonstrated ability to publish in refereed scientific journals.

  • Demonstrated ability to plan and deliver academic coursework in forage crop production and utilization.

The Successful Candidate Will

Have excellent verbal and written communication skills, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to successfully contribute to teaching (on-and off-campus), scholarship, and service. Ability to interact collegially and collaboratively in a team environment, within and across scientific disciplines and with external stakeholders. MSU Extension, the College of Agriculture, and the Department of Animal and Range Sciences value individuals who excel, adapt easily, and exhibit passion for helping others.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

Must be able to work outdoors in inclement weather conditions.

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 Department

Presently, there are 15 animal science faculty and 8 range science faculty in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. This position will be a key contributor to the Department’s Natural Resources and Rangeland Ecology (NREE) program and to the Department’s Animal Science program. The NREE undergraduate degree is accredited by the Society for Range Management and includes two options, Rangeland Ecology and Management, and Wildlife Habitat Ecology and Management. The NREE degree emphasizes understanding the interactions among animals, vegetation, soils, and water and their influences on the ecology and management of livestock and wildlife. Range Science faculty focus teaching and research programs on rangeland and riparian ecology, livestock grazing management, invasive plants, forages, wildlife habitat ecology and management, and livestock grazing interactions with fish and wildlife. The Department’s undergraduate degree program in Animal Science has four options including Science, Livestock Management and Industry, Sustainable Livestock Production, and Equine Science. Animal Science faculty focus teaching and research programs on livestock nutrition (including ruminal/gastrointestinal microbiology), reproductive physiology, genetics, meat science, and livestock production systems. Extension specialists in the Department focus their off-campus educational efforts on beef cattle, sheep, equine, forages, and rangeland management. With approximately 350 undergraduate and 35 graduate students, the Animal and Range Sciences Department is the largest and fastest growing department in the College of Agriculture.

The Animal and Range Sciences Department is located in the Animal Bioscience Building which contains state-of-the-art teaching and laboratory facilities. Greenhouse research space is available on campus at the Plant Growth Center. Land and livestock for research are available at our Department’s 474-acre Bozeman Agricultural Research and Teaching Farm located adjacent to campus, our 640-acre Fort Ellis Research Farm located 5 miles from campus, and our 13,750-acre Red Bluff Research Ranch located 35 miles from campus. Collaborative research opportunities also exist at seven off-campus MSU research centers located across the state and the 55,000-acre USDA-ARS Fort Keogh Livestock & Range Research Laboratory at Miles City, MT. More information about the Department can be found at To find out more about Montana State University, MSU Extension, and the College of Agriculture, please access,, and

The College

Founded in 1893 as a Land Grant University, Montana State University (MSU) is composed of eight academic colleges and a graduate school and boasts a friendly, supportive faculty and campus environment. Currently, the University hosts an enrollment of nearly 17,000 students, including approximately 2,000 graduate students. MSU is classified as one of 130 U.S. Research Universities (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation.

MSU is located in Bozeman, Montana, an extended community of about 70,000 nestled in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Montana. In addition to providing access to an extraordinary ecosystem for teaching and research programs, Bozeman is renowned for year-round recreational and cultural opportunities to include access to world class ski areas, multiple blue ribbon trout streams and the Gallatin National Forest. The local airport is served by seven national airlines that provide non-stop service to 17 cities throughout the nation.

Named an All American City, Bozeman boasts high-quality medical facilities, a very low crime rate, many fine restaurants, acclaimed public and private schools, a symphony orchestra and choir, an annual opera, and nationally known events such as the Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts held in early August of each year. Powder Magazine identified Bozeman, with “three distinctly different” major ski resorts within an hour’s drive, as the number one place to live and ski in its November 2010 Magazine. ranked Bozeman #2 on the list of American Dreamtowns – small towns that offer the best quality of life without metropolitan hassles. The K-12 educational system, growing reputation of Montana State University, and pristine natural environment of the area combine to make Bozeman one of America’s most desirable university towns. Bozeman is located in the beautiful Gallatin Valley, 90 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.

Number of Vacancies 1

Desired Start Date Negotiable upon successful completion of search. Preferred starting date on or before June 1, 2021.

Position End Date (if temporary)

Open Date

Close Date

Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on October 15, 2020; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

To apply, submit all of the following: (1) a letter of application listing and addressing all of the above required and preferred qualifications (applications that do not list and address each required and preferred qualification will not be considered for further review), and (2) a current curriculum vita, and (3) a copy of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts (official transcripts will be required upon hire), and (4) the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of four (4) current professional references.

An application packet including all of the above items as listed is highly encouraged. Missing materials or information may result in your application not being considered for the position.

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Montana State University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination. As such, the University does not discriminate in the admission, access to or conduct of its educational programs and activities nor in its employment policies and practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, gender, age, political beliefs, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation or preference. In support of the University’s mission to be inclusive and diverse, applications from qualified minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

Montana State University makes accommodation for any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the hiring process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job. To request an accommodation, contact the Human Resources Office, PO Box 172520, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 59717-2520; 406-994-3651; .

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.

MSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures can be located on the MSU Website: .