County Extension Agent Career

Job Description: Set up or maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens or record data to assist scientists in biology or related life science experiments.

*A job as a County Extension Agent falls under the broader career category of Agricultural Technicians. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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County Extension Agent Career

What County Extension Agents do:

  • Record data pertaining to experimentation, research, or animal care.
  • Prepare data summaries, reports, or analyses that include results, charts, or graphs to document research findings and results.
  • Prepare laboratory samples for analysis, following proper protocols to ensure that they will be stored, prepared, and disposed of efficiently and effectively.
  • Set up laboratory or field equipment as required for site testing.
  • Collect animal or crop samples.
  • Measure or weigh ingredients used in laboratory testing.
  • Supervise or train agricultural technicians or farm laborers.
  • Supervise pest or weed control operations, including locating and identifying pests or weeds, selecting chemicals and application methods, or scheduling application.
  • Examine animals or crop specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems.
  • Respond to general inquiries or requests from the public.
  • Maintain or repair agricultural facilities, equipment, or tools to ensure operational readiness, safety, and cleanliness.
  • Perform crop production duties, such as tilling, hoeing, pruning, weeding, or harvesting crops.
  • Perform laboratory or field testing, using spectrometers, nitrogen determination apparatus, air samplers, centrifuges, or potential hydrogen (pH) meters to perform tests.
  • Operate farm machinery, including tractors, plows, mowers, combines, balers, sprayers, earthmoving equipment, or trucks.
  • Perform general nursery duties, such as propagating standard varieties of plant materials, collecting and germinating seeds, maintaining cuttings of plants, or controlling environmental conditions.
  • Prepare or present agricultural demonstrations.
  • Determine the germination rates of seeds planted in specified areas.
  • Conduct insect or plant disease surveys.
  • Conduct studies of nitrogen or alternative fertilizer application methods, quantities, or timing to ensure satisfaction of crop needs and minimization of leaching, runoff, or denitrification.
  • Record environmental data from field samples of soil, air, water, or pests to monitor the effectiveness of integrated pest management (IPM) practices.
  • Perform tests on seeds to evaluate seed viability.
  • Prepare culture media, following standard procedures.
  • Prepare land for cultivated crops, orchards, or vineyards by plowing, discing, leveling, or contouring.
  • Transplant trees, vegetables, or horticultural plants.
  • Devise cultural methods or environmental controls for plants for which guidelines are sketchy or nonexistent.
  • Assess comparative soil erosion from various planting or tillage systems, such as conservation tillage with mulch or ridge till systems, no-till systems, or conventional tillage systems with or without moldboard plows.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Holland Code Chart for a County Extension Agent

 

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