Agronomist in Miles City, MT

US Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Description

Duties

  • Provides technical guidance and assistance for the agronomic phases of all NRCS programs in area/field offices.
  • Explains and demonstrates new and enhanced natural resources management practices to farmers and ranchers to secure the greatest possible understanding, acceptance, and application on the land.
  • Conducts on-the-job and formal training in agronomy for field office personnel and producers.
  • Promotes conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotations and nutrient and pest management through tours, conferences, and direct assistance to field office personnel and producers.
  • Works to develop and Implement ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of the products or services provided to internal and external customers.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check. If selected you will be sent instructions on obtaining fingerprints. Please note we are not able to reimburse any fees incurred for fingerprints.
  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator’s license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.

Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS:
Degree: Must have a Bachelor’s or higher degree in agronomy; or related discipline of science that included at least 30 semester hours of course work in the basic plant sciences, including at least 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, such as those dealing with plant breeding, crop production, and soil and crop management. (You must submit transcripts.)

OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Must have a combination of education and experience: at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, including a minimum of 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field. In addition to courses in the major and related fields, a typical college degree would have included courses that involved analysis, writing, critical thinking, research, etc. These courses would have provided an applicant with skills and abilities sufficient to perform progressively more responsible work in the occupation. Therefore, creditable experience should have demonstrated similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to perform the work of the occupation. (You must submit transcripts.)

In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered:

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: To be considered minimally qualified for this position, you must demonstrate that you have the required specialized experience and/or education for the respective grade level(s) in which you are applying:

GS-09

Specialized Experience: One or more full-time years (12-months) of specialized work experience, equivalent to at least the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service, performing the following duties:

  • Assist land users in the implementation of soil health, water quality, and other agronomic and/or conservation projects;
  • Assist in preparing quantitative reports and assist in conducting data analyses;
  • Discuss and explain natural resources, water quality projects, conservation measures, plans, and objectives to land users and conservation leaders and representatives; and
  • Prepare correspondence, progress reports, training materials, and informational materials for agronomic or conservation projects.

(Your resume must CLEARLY demonstrate this experience)

OR

Education: Two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or master’s or equivalent graduate degree in a field such as agronomy plant physiology, soils, or plant genetics, or other directly related field of study that provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. (You must submit transcripts.)

OR

Combination: Combination of the education and experience as described above that totals 100% when combined. When combining education with experience, first determine total qualifying education as a percentage of the education required for the grade level; then determine experience as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level; finally add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100% to qualify an applicant for that grade level. Only graduate education beyond the first year (18 semester hours) may be used when combining education and experience for this option. (Must submit transcripts.)

GS-11

Specialized Experience: One or more full-time years (12-months) of specialized work experience, equivalent to at least the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service, performing the following duties:

  • Utilize agronomic models and equations to quantify resource conditions and assess physical or economic impacts of conservation treatments;
  • Recommend agronomic treatment techniques for standard water quality plans and recurring agronomic resource projects;
  • Utilize conservation planning software (i.e., Toolkit, ArcGIS) to develop natural resources conservation plans;
  • Interpret land use and potential land deficiencies to advise landowners or operators of erosion control, drainage techniques, or other conservation measures; and
  • Present oral or written proposals and recommendations to staff, landowners, or other conservations specialists.

(Your resume must CLEARLY demonstrate this experience)

OR

Education: Three full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a field such as agronomy, plant physiology, soils, or plant genetics, or other directly related field of study that provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. (You must submit transcripts.)

OR

Combination: Combinationof the education and experience as described above that totals 100% when combined. When combining education with experience, first determine total qualifying education as a percentage of the education required for the grade level; then determine experience as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level; finally add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100% to qualify an applicant for that grade level. Only graduate education beyond two years (36 semester hours) may be used when combining education and experience for this option. (Must submit transcripts.)

I N DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

The OPM Qualification Standards for this position can be found at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=List-by-Occupational-Series

Education

You must submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement. You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications.

Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html

Additional information

If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

This position may be eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.

PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following:

  • If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted.
  • If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline.
  • Recruitment and/or relocation incentives may be authorized; Management may authorize superior qualifications & enhanced annual leave for applicants who are deemed to be highly qualified.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the Highly Qualified or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Additional information about ICTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/rif/employee_guides/career_transition.asp#ictap
The Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in the USDA with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your Department of Justice component has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your CTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the Highly Qualified or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/rif/employee_guides/career_transition.asp#ctap

  • Benefits

    A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures and USDA policy 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 (KSA) or competencies:
Conservation Planning, Planning and Evaluating, and Teaches Others

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

  • Benefits

    A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • Required Documents

    As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have – whether you’re a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you’re eligible under their policies.

    The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

    • Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
    • A complete Assessment Questionnaire
    • Other supporting documents:
      • Veterans Preference Documentation, if applicable
      • College transcript(s) if qualifying based on education or to meet basic requirements, if applicable
      • Any other supporting documentation required for verification as described in the announcement
    • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
    • If claiming veteran’s preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
    • If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
    • Active Duty Service Members– You must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. Although veteran preference points are not assigned under category rating procedures, veteran preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-veterans within each category for which they are qualified. In addition, qualified veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 10% or more are placed at the top of the highest quality category (i.e. Best Qualified).
    • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • How to Apply
    Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. 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 03/17/2023

    • To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire, which can be previewed here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11832426
    • Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.
    • It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
    • To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
    • To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

    NOTE: Failure to submit a resume and (if required) supporting documentation may result in elimination for further consideration.

    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. You must verify that uploaded documents 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. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g. SF-50s or veteran docs) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.

    If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, please contact Natural Resources Conservation Service. You must submit a complete application by the close of the announcement.

    Agency contact information

    Midwest Services Branch

    Phone

    8164265706

    Email

    Kansascity@opm.gov

    Address
    Natural Resources Conservation Service
    1400 Independence Ave SW
    Washington, DC 20250
    US

    Next steps

    Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

    Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.

  • Fair and Transparent

    The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
    • Reasonable accommodation policy
    • Financial suitability
    • Selective Service
    • New employee probationary period
    • Signature and false statements
    • Privacy Act
    • Social security number request

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
  • A complete Assessment Questionnaire
  • Other supporting documents:
    • Veterans Preference Documentation, if applicable
    • College transcript(s) if qualifying based on education or to meet basic requirements, if applicable
    • Any other supporting documentation required for verification as described in the announcement
  • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • If claiming veteran’s preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
  • Active Duty Service Members– You must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. Although veteran preference points are not assigned under category rating procedures, veteran preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-veterans within each category for which they are qualified. In addition, qualified veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 10% or more are placed at the top of the highest quality category (i.e. Best Qualified).
  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Help

This job is open to

    • Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)

      Federal employees who meet the definition of a “surplus” or “displaced” employee.

  • The public

    U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

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