This blog is an employment resource for professionals seeking jobs in the emerging field of agricultural and food law. It emphasizes non-traditional employment opportunities instead of legal practice opportunities.
The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law is pleased to offer this service. These posts are for informational purposes only; we do not make any representations regarding the employment offered.
Current and former Federal employees, disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities may also apply to Merit Promotion announcement 6NO-AMS-MA-2014-0095.
This position is eligible for a virtual duty station. No relocation will be authorized. The exact duty station will be determined at the time of selection.
The NOP Standards Division administers the USDA organic regulations through rulemaking to change existing regulations and add new standards and providing policy clarifications with respect to the interpretation of the USDA organic regulations. The Standards Division develops information, primarily rules, guidance and policy memos to promote consistent application of the USDA organic regulations.
The incumbent serves as an Agricultural Marketing Specialist within the NOP Standards Division. In this role, the incumbent serves as a technical materials expert, providing specialized support on materials related topics, including, but not limited to, fertilizers, pesticides, soil amendments, livestock medications, livestock feed additives, sanitizers, and food additives. The incumbent will use previously developed templates and procedures to support the petition process for the USDA NOP’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), 7 CFR Part 205.600-607, and to answer complex and sometimes controversial materials-related questions of importance to certifying agents, farms and processing operations, consumers, and other organic stakeholders. In addition, the incumbent may develop technical requests for contractors and review those technical reports once received.
Some travel may be required
US Citizenship is required.
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.
Researching, writing and revising original instructions, guidance documents, and policy memos on materials for publication in the NOP Handbook.
Collecting, analyzing and presenting technical information from across NOP Divisions to inform NOP policy decisions.
Recognizing and appropriately elevating materials issues carrying controversy or risk to the NOP management
Writing clearly and logically to explain materials interpretations to a variety of audiences
Contributing written content for briefing materials and oral presentations to explain policy considerations and options to senior USDA officials and external audiences.
Adherence to Equal Employment and Civil Rights policies, goals, and objectives in performing the duties of this position. Assurance that written and oral communications are bias-free and that differences of other employees and clients are respected and valued.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
FOR THE GS-12 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-11 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Evaluating materials and/or agricultural inputs for compliance with the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 and the USDA organic regulations, 7 CFR Part 205
Experience with organic or other agricultural production or food handling/processing
Performing background research and analysis for policy issues related to agricultural production or food handling/processing
Experience drafting instructions and/or policy statements to convey and clarify the requirements to comply with a Federal or State administered program.
Presenting oral and written communication with groups whose members have diverse backgrounds and deep technical expertise.
Experience developing content for written briefing materials, correspondence or issue summaries and oral presentatiosn to explain technical contect to diverse audiences.
(Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.)
As a condition of employment, satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check may be required for this position.
This position is designated a public trust position and is subject to satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of initial background investigation and reinvestigation as a condition of employment.
Position may be eligible for telework.
Locality pay will vary based upon the selectee’s duty location. A final salary determination will be made upon selection.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants’ quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (or competencies):
Knowledge of agricultural marketing and standardization
Knowledge of agricultural marketing and regulatory compliance and enforcement
Ability to review, evaluate, interpret and apply regulations and policies
The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interviews. Your ratings in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject to evaluation and verification based on the documents and references you submit.
Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to verify your ratings. Attempts to falsify information; inflate your qualifications or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may be grounds to adjust your rating or to not select you. Errors, omissions or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may affect your eligibility. If selected providing inaccurate information on federal documents could also be grounds for dismissing you from the position/agency. Please follow all instructions carefully.
Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50 showing the full performance level or career ladder of your current or previous position, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is at: OPM's Career Transition Resources website.
More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin. The following instructions outline our application process.
You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue. NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. All education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at http://www.ed.gov. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current active duty members must submit a certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.
Other required documents may include:
CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.
NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
AGENCY CONTACT INFO:
Human Resources Phone: 612-336-3345 Fax: 612-336-3560 Email: Mary.M.Buresh@aphis.usda.gov
Agency Information: USDA APHIS MRPBS 100 N. 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, Suite 510C Minneapolis, MN, 55403 United States Fax: 612-336-3560
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:
If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. We expect to make a final job offer within 40 days after the closing date of the announcement.