Agricultural Commodity Grader (Fresh Fruit and Vegetable) - Agricultural Marketing Service

Status: Full-time position

Location: San Antonio, TX

Deadline Date: 6/05/13

Date Available:

Job Summary: This position is located in a field office of the Fresh Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service. The incumbent is responsible for grading and inspecting an extensive range of fruits and vegetables at various terminal market sites, such as warehouses, railroad sidings, packing plants, ports of entry, and similar facilities. The inspection is completed using a ruggedized laptop computer and the Fresh Electronic Inspection Reporting/Resource System software. Assignments may also involve details and/or reassignment to a different geographical area as determined by management.

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to facilitate the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and to protect the health and care of animals and plants in the United States. MRP offers an array of occupations and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We operate in domestic and global markets. Be part of an organization that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!

Qualifications: Key Requirement
US Citizen

To qualify, you must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Applicants can qualify by meeting the Education requirements specified below and/or the Specialized Education requirements.

One full year of graduate level education in agriculture, industrial engineering, business, economics, or other related field. OR
Superior Academic Achievement To qualify based on superior academic achievement, you must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND must meet certain GPA requirements.

Master's or equivalent graduate degree or two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in agriculture, industrial engineering, business, economics, or other related field.

Transcripts are required if
You are qualifying for the position based on education.
You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
You are qualifying for this position based on Superior Academic Achievement.

This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.

Specialized Experience at the GS-7 graede level

Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to the next lower level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors. Specialized experience includes that which has been gained in production, processing, quality control, inspection, research, or receiving, when it involved making quality determinations of agricultural commodities using an applicable grading standard (can be other than U.S. standards). Experience may have been gained in chain stores, the military, or manufacturing.

Examples of qualifying experience include, but are not limited to
Performs grading, sampling and/or inspection assignments of a simple and routine nature.
Draws samples of product, performs mechanical tests, attends formal training courses in grading agricultural commodities, and grades samples.
Grades and inspects distinct products for comparison with clear standards and common contract specifications.
Identifies and describes common product defects or diseases to establish their causes.
Identifies and determines the cause of common defects and diseases of these products or product types.

Specialized Experience at the GS-9 graede level

Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to the next lower level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors. At this grade level, incumbent must have hands-on grading experience in the applicable commodity with final responsibility for certifying the condition and grade according to universally accepted standards for the commodity, as well as knowledge and application of official U.S. Grade Standards, regulations, and specifications used in the inspection of applicable commodity.

Examples of qualifying experience include, but are not limited to
Independently grades and/or inspects an extensive range of fruits and vegetables and performs difficult assignments, such as grading and/or inspecting rare or unusual products or product types, regularly making borderline grading decisions on a variety of products or product types, or applying the full range of grading skills and knowledge at an extremely fast pace requiring instant determinations.
Performs the full range of grading and/or inspection tasks involved in directly supplying grading services to producers or members of the trade with respect to the primary agricultural products in the commodity specialization.
Inspects products for compliance with all types of contract specifications to recognize all but the extremely rare product defects or diseases and to establish their causes.
Makes, explains, or defends nearly all grade or inspection determinations, only rarely requiring technical assistance in borderline cases.
Inspects or evaluates more complicated processing equipment and procedures and conditions of storage or transportation such as is typical of most processed products production and advises industry employees on product quality control methods.

Combination of Education and Experience at the GS-7/9 grade levels

Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed graduate education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following: Combining Education and Experience for Administrative and Management Positions.

Special Conditions
As a condition of employment, a background investigation may be required for this position.
The work environment includes exposure to adverse outdoor weather, working in refrigerated areas, and exposure to fumes and odors from coolants.
The work requires periods of considerable walking, standing, and physical exertion, such as lifting heavy packages (often over 50 pounds). climbing into railcars and trucks. Moving, crouching, and crawling in cramped areas.
Selectee will be required to complete a self-certification medical statement.
Selectee will be required to sign a Mobility Agreement at the time of appointment indicating willingness to accept a reassignment to other geographical locations throughout the United States.

Duties: The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.

The duties may include, but are not limited to
Selects representative samples from product lots in accordance with prescribed sampling and plans.
Inspects products to determine quality, condition, and/or compliance with U. S. Grade Standards or stated contract specifications. Such factors include product size, shape, color, and similar quality factors. Product maturity, firmness, breakdown or decay, bruising, and similar condition factors. Quantity, packaging, or similar conditions which are common in contract specifications.
Prepares inspections reports based on examination of product and issues certificates.

How you will be evaluated
Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. Your resume must support that you meet the specialized experience requirements described above and are proficient in the following skills or competencies below. Please note you are not required to provide specific narrative responses to the skills and competencies described in this section.
General commodity inspection and grading skills
Communication skills
Fresh fruit and vegetable grading

Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligible candidates.
The following quality categories will be used
Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Within each quality category, veterans' preference eligibles will receive selection priority over non-veterans.
Your final category placement will be based on your responses to the assessment questionnaire. Please ensure your resume provides enough detail to support your responses.
If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can/will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To Apply: A complete on-line application will require the submission of the following
Responses to the vacancy specific questions (you will be prompted to complete these questions during the online application process)
Supporting Documentation which may be required

Required Documents (only if they are applicable to you)
College Transcripts or List of Coursework - MUST be English (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
Foreign Degree Evaluation (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) and other Veterans' documents (Veterans Preference)
ICTAP/CTAP eligibility documentation (Displaced Employees)

For instructions on using the on-line system go to

Agency Contact Info

Do not email documents
Phone 612.336.3345
Fax 612.336.3560

Agency Information
Agricultural Marketing Service
100 N 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, 510C
Minneapolis, MN
Fax 612.336.3560


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