Agronomist in Jackson, MS

US Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Description

  • Develops and provides guidance on the establishment, revision, and correlation of soil and vegetative interpretations of crop land, hay land, mined land, and other related lands.
  • Evaluates the results of land treatment and management, studies problems, and field conditions.
  • Develops needs and plans for field trials on problems related to the agronomy disciple.
  • Develops and updates standards and guides on conservation practice specifications.
  • Provides training to field staff in the areas of conservation planning, agronomic practice benefits, water quality, nutrient and pest management, pasture management, plant science, residue management, tillage, cover crops, conservation buffers, etc.

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 including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

Basic Education Requirement: Degree: 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;
OR
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 in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

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

Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-12 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. This experience must include performing work applying the fundamental principles of plant, soil, and related sciences to managing and improving crops and soils, producing field crops, and studying factors that influence crop growth. Examples of specialized experience include:

  • Determining conservation needs on cropland, pastureland, and related lands;
  • Planning multiple-use and sustained yield agronomic programs for a multi-disciplinary conservation approach;
  • Assisting soil scientists in the correlation of soil-vegetative interpretations;
  • Assisting in the development of agronomic techniques and standards to improve soil structure and fertility;
  • Developing plans for field trials on soil management and crop production; and
  • Providing information or recommendations to farmers or other landowners regarding ways in which to best use land.

Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-12 level.

For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: Professional and Scientific Positions

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.

Education

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
You must submit a copy of your transcripts to include course number, title, completion and grade. 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. 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.

Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.

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

Additional information

  • Locality Pay: Locality tables may be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/.
  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
  • Physical Demands: Work requires long periods of standing, walking over rough terrain, recurring bending, crouching, stooping, reaching, or similar activities. Work may also include frequent lifting of moderately heavy items, such as equipment and samples that weigh less than 50 pounds.
  • Work Environment: The work involves regular and recurring exposure to all types of weather conditions and working around agricultural equipment. The work also involves risks and discomfort due to weather conditions, poisonous insects, plants, and snakes, requiring safety precautions and protective clothing.
  • 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.
  • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: http://www.chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=6465
  • Recruitment and/or relocation incentives may be authorized.
  • 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.

    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:

  • Advisory Services
  • Agricultural Operations
  • Agronomy
  • Attention to Detail
  • Oral Communication
  • Policy and Planning
  • Written Communication

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.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the “Apply” button to the right.

To view the application form, visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11873696

  • 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.

    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.
    • 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
    • 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 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. – 4:00p.m., Monday – Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET 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 the Agency Contact to request this.

    To begin, click “Apply” and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

    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.

    Agency contact information

    Karen Ray

    Phone

    202-720-9761

    Email

    karen.ray2@usda.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.
  • 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
  • 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.