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 6TM-AMS-MA-2015-0049.
Transportation and Marketing (TM) consists of three business lines - transportation research and services, marketing research and technical assistance, and competitive grants management - that support the orderly marketing of agricultural products and promote wholesale and direct marketing opportunities.
The Marketing Services Division includes the marketing research and technical assistance program. The marketing research and technical assistance unit offers information, analysis, and guidance to direct marketing and local/regional wholesale marketing operations for facility design, operational characteristics, sector trends, and resource materials. Original research and analysis conducted by TM and by cooperators is compiled into documents, webinars, slide decks, briefings, fact sheets, and blogs to reach the clientele. The unit also conducts an annual farmers market manager survey and compiles national directories of farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture operations, food hubs, and on farm markets. The USDA Farmers Market, which serves as a living laboratory for innovations in farmers market management, is operated by this unit. Facility design and cost assessment as well as support for local entities in developing project ideas are part of the current services of the Division.
The employee serves as Director of the Marketing Services Division and in this capacity shares with the Deputy Administrator the overall responsibility for the administration and coordination of all programs of the Division. Carries out a wide variety of difficult assignments associated with the operation of the organization and the formulation of Program policies. In carrying out these assignments, the Director must have an expert knowledge of Department and Administration policies and federal regulations with regard to the Marketing Services Division as well as experience directing research activities and conducting outreach to the range of clients served by TM.
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.
Policy and Program Formulation: The Division Director shares responsibility with the Deputy Administrator for formulation of the policies and programs of the Division and serves as a consultant and advisor to the Administrator, Associate Administrator, and other officials of the Department on matters relating to Division activities.
Program Direction:The Division Director shares responsibility with the Deputy Administrator for the execution of policies, programs and activities as follows: conduct research to improve the economic and physical efficiency of agricultural marketing; develop economic impact analysis on agricultural marketing problems and issues; conduct feasibility studies for development of wholesale, collection, and farmers market facilities; and identify design alternatives and provide technical assistance for construction and/or renovation of producer marketing facilities.In conjunction with the Deputy Administrator, reviews program activities, evaluates findings, determines deficiencies, and makes or recommends necessary changes, and provides general direction to key subordinates to assure that the work of the various organizational units is properly integrated and performed.Develops research direction in support of core activities and mission of the TM Program area based on previous experience, staff recommendations, and stakeholder needs. The Division Director also works across AMS programs and with other USDA agencies on projects related to the marketing of local and regional foods.
Cooperative Research Agreements:The Division Director understands and remains current on the specifics of each agreement as well as cross-cutting activities and environments.
Industry and other Relationships:In consultation with the Deputy Administrator, the Division Director represents the Division in establishing and maintaining relationships with producers, trade organizations, the public, governmental agencies, and various public groups for the purpose of furnishing technical information, obtaining policy and program recommendations, and promoting harmonious and cooperative relations with these groups; evaluates suggestions made by interest groups and individuals to improve program objectives; and makes recommendations to the Deputy Administrator for technical assistance.
Administrative Management: The Division Director exercises the authority delegated from the Deputy Administrator to manage the administrative functions of the Division.In this capacity, maintains liaison with other organizational units of the Agency, the office of the Administrator and Associate Administrator, or other Departmental offices as required to provide for necessary administrative services for the programs.
The Director has overall supervisory responsibility for implementing and administering the Marketing Services Division in accordance with law and policy guidelines. Assigns continuing responsibility for broad phases of the program, outlines projects to be accomplished, and reviews program activities for adherence to the Program, Agency, and Department policy and objectives.Provides guidance and direction on matters affecting policy and activities that cut across functional lines, and controversial or precedent-setting issues.
The incumbent supervises directly the work of staff and clerical support personnel assigned to the Division. Communicates and supports implementation of Program and Agency directives to managers. Reviews work to assure proper use of guidelines and instructions and that necessary deadlines are being met. Prepares performance standards, rates subordinates, and reviews appraisals and performance plans.Identifies developmental and training needs of employees and provides for necessary training.
Directs staff in performing a wide variety of analyses and studies using appropriate statistical methods and management analysis techniques to identify and evaluate sources of data, analyze the data, and prepare conclusions and recommendations. Provides guidance on methods and products for projects based on previous research experience.
The Director shares responsibility with the Deputy Administrator to carry out Civil Rights Programs throughout the organization, provide equal opportunity for all applicants and employees, prohibit discrimination in employment, and promote a full realization of opportunity through continuous affirmative actions within the work environment.
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-15 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-14 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Supervising the work of project leaders and staff who perform research and outreach activities, including developing performance standards, providing developmental opportunities, applying appropriate disciplinary responses, and reviewing work to ensure it meets professional and performance standards.
Directing staff in performing a wide variety of analyses and studies using appropriate statistical methods and management analysis techniques to identify and evaluate sources of data, analyze the data, and prepare conclusions and recommendations.
Conducting outreach that informs and improves business practices, operations, facilities, and markets for agricultural products marketed directly from producer to consumer or marketed through aggregation centers, with emphasis on local and regional food systems.
Representing an Agency or organization and program to private businesses, industry officials, trade organizations, researchers, the general public, administrators, and political and elected officials for the purposes of establishing and maintaining an exchange of information regarding relevant research in agricultural marketing.
Using visualization and strategic planning with a clear understanding of organization mission and core activities to guide project development, establish workplans and timelines, and produce relevant outputs while ensuring adequate managerial and financial controls.
(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.
If you are appointed to a supervisory or managerial position, you may be required to complete a one year supervisory/managerial probationary period.
In accordance with Office of Government Ethics regulations concerning conflict of interest, the incumbent of this position will be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of their effective date of appointment and annually thereafter.
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):
Ability to use computers, computer software programs, the internet, and other published sources
Knowledge of the food marketing sector, especially as it pertains to local and regional agricultural commodities
Ability to conduct research and analysis pertaining to agricultural marketing
Communication skills, oral, written, and interpersonal
Leadership, project management and supervision
Human Capital Management
Other supervisory competencies
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.