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KSRE Employee Resources

4-H Agent

K-State Research and Extension
4-H Youth Development Extension Agent – Job Description

Extension Agents are community based faculty of Kansas State University who make a difference by connecting community needs with university resources. Agents are administratively responsible to the Area Extension Director (or local Extension Director when appropriate) and the local Extension Board.


  • In cooperation with local Extension Board and other community partners, identify needs and major educational priorities of the community. Develop a pro-active educational plan to address those needs.
  • Collaborate with local community members, partner organizations and Extension faculty to develop and implement educational programs that assure equal access for all citizens.
  • Utilize a variety of educational strategies to implement educational programming. Examples include informal classes, presentations, media, volunteers, demonstrations, experiential learning, distance learning and group facilitation. Some overnight travel and evening and weekend work will be required.
  • Collect evidence of program impact to report results and improve the program.
  • Develop an area of program focus or subject expertise as a member of a Program Focus Team.
  • Secure external funding, as necessary, to support educational programming.

As an educational leader for the comprehensive 4-H Youth Development program, the 4-H Youth Development Agent has the following responsibilities:

1.   Advocate the mission of the 4-H Youth Development program and guide educational processes to ensure that Kansas 4-H is a program of choice for youth, families and community partners.

  • Work with the Department of 4-H Youth Development to set vision, direction and priorities, assuring focused programs and positive outcomes for youth.
  • Work with the 4-H Youth Development Program Development Committee (PDC) to identify needs for establishing program goals and plans to “Grow 4-H”.
  • Establish and guide effective organizational structures/systems.
  • Provide leadership for educational programs that benefit and involve youth.
  • Serve as the authorizing agent for the use of the 4-H name and emblem.
  • Implement policies according to the Kansas 4-H Youth Development Policies, Best Management Practices and Information.

2.  Apply research based educational methods, strategies, techniques and approaches to facilitate learning.

  • Design, utilize and adapt curriculum to meet the needs of youth and adults.
  • Practice experiential learning (a learner-centered teaching approach that invites curiosity and builds life skills).
  • Apply educational methods and strategies that facilitate youth and adult learning in non-formal settings.
  • Build youth programs that provide effective and supportive learning environments in all delivery methods.

3.  Steward the public nature of the 4-H organization to attract and engage diverse audiences, build inclusive programs and grow 4-H.

  • Assess the demographics of the community to ensure accessibility to all youth.
  • Develop strategies for reaching new diverse and historically underserved youth.
  • Partner with community organizations that work with underserved audiences.
  • Ensure that all youth have equal access to 4-H programs without regard to race, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age or sexual orientation.

4.  Build and nuture relationships which strengthen and advance the 4-H Youth Development program.

  • Develop and maintain positive communication with local, state and federal decision makers.
  • Interact with youth development professionals in the community, area and state.
  • Build relationships with partners who can help advance 4-H Youth Development goals.
  • Community impacts and outcomes to stakeholders and KSRE.

5.  Lead and engage volunteers to advance the 4-H Youth Development mission.

  • Assess the volunteer needs for quality 4-H program implementation and develop strategies to assure effective program delivery.
  • Recruit, enroll, screen, orient, register, support and train local volunteers.
  • Guide the evaluation and recognition of volunteers.
  • Provide support and encourage volunteer development for volunteers.
  • Ensure that Volunteer Information Profile (VIP) policies are consistently implemented.

6.  Lead and manage 4-H Program Assistants and other paid staff to advance the 4-H Youth Development mission.

  • Assess the staff needs for quality 4-H program implementation and develop strategies to assure effective program delivery.
  • Hire, orient, mentor and supervise paid 4-H staff.
  • Manage, evaluate and recognize paid staff.
  • Engage, support and encourage professional development for paid staff.
  • Ensure that Human Resource policies are consistently implemented.

7.  Protect the integrity of the 4-H name and emblem and ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability.

  • Provide financial guidance and oversight of the local 4-H program.
  • Guide the budget development and accountability process for the 4-H program.
  • Incorporate best practices into the financial management systems for the protection of paid staff and volunteers and the integrity of the 4-H program.
  • Secure and manage financial resources that support the 4-H program.
  • Ensure that public dollars are invested and used wisely.

8.  Apply expertise so as to develop a speciality in youth development and advance one’s career.

  • Pursue scholarship through developing and sharing materials/methods and the integration and application of knowledge.
  • Be current with research in the field.
  • Promote and provide leadership to the fields of youth development, human sciences and education.
  • Provide leadership service to professional associations and KSRE.
  • Engage in professional development opportunities so as to develop a specialization in Positive Youth Development.


  • Bachelor’s degree in education, youth development, sociology or other related fields, with major course work, professional development and experience appropriate to the needs of the position. Master's degree preferred.
  • Evidence of strong academic and/or professional performance as demonstrated by one or more of the following: college transcripts, acceptance into a graduate program or documented success in increasingly responsible professional positions.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with individuals, groups and through mass media.
  • Access to a personal vehicle and the ability to obtain/maintain a valid Kansas Driver’s License.


  • Experience working with adults and youth from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Commitment to personal professional development.
  • Ability to utilize electronic communication and computer applications to fulfill programing responsibilities.
  • Self-motivation and ability to work with a minimum of supervision, balancing multiple projects.
  • Experience working with individuals, groups and co-workers to accomplish individual and/or group goals, as evidenced by previous leadership roles.
  • Ability to design, promote, implement and evaluate educational programs.
  • Skills in group facilitation.
  • Knowledge of adult and youth teaching/learning processes.
  • Experience in seeking and administering external grant funding.


November 19, 2009