This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Agricultural Advisor-DST/ADT/PRT

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Foreign Agricultural Service

Job Announcement Number:OFSO-PRT-12-001

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$53,350.00 to $147,265.00 / Per Year


Sunday, January 01, 2012 to Friday, October 12, 2012




Full Time - Excepted Service Term NTE 13 months


50 vacancies - Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map


US Citizens and Status Candidates



In Afghanistan the U.S. Government is working to foster security, stability, reconstruction and development across an environment that encompasses conflicted, post-conflict, and reconstruction & development environments.  This involves the deployment of agricultural experts at various levels of command across the country to live and work with interagency counterparts in order to add managerial and agricultural expertise towards the implementation of United States Government (USG) policy in Afghanistan.  This often includes engaging Afghan counterparts in government and communities in order to build capacity and mentor.  USDA is requesting qualified applicants for assignments to District Stability Teams (DSTs), Agricultural Development Teams (ADTs) and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in priority districts and provinces across Afghanistan.  These areas have been identified as critical to counterinsurgency operations.  The incumbent would be co-located with military units, work at the district and/or provincial level with local officials from the Afghan government and community leaders helping to build capacity and prioritize strategic aims within the provincial development framework.  Primary to this task is to lead the alignment of agricultural priorities and aims with governance and stability/development as part of a coherent district and provincial strategy based on Afghan government and USG policy aims.  Living conditions for this assignment are austere and include the possibility of living on a small, remote outpost.


  • Position requires a world-wide medical clearance issued by the State Dept.
  • Position requires incumbent to obtain/maintain a Secret security clearance.
  • Willing to live/work in remote locations (volatile/unpredictable).
  • You must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for this position.
  • Resume and KSA statement submission to
  • This is a time-limited Foreign Service Appointment.


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Agricultural Advisors may serve on DSTs (FP-03/04/05), ADTs (FP-03/04/05), or  PRTs (FP-02/03/04).

Dependent on the type of deployment, the responsibilities of an agricultural advisor may include, but are not limited to:

·         Assess the state of agriculture in the district and/or province and advise leadership who have potentially limited knowledge of basic agricultural concepts on both general and specific agricultural programs and projects of broad scope and intent;

·         Field questions, advise, support, and mentor inter agency partners on a wide of array of agricultural topics;

·         Coordinate with civilian and military counterparts to ensure that interventions are synchronized;

·         Implement agricultural strategies consistent with policy guidance and linked to the U. S. Agricultural Assistance Strategy with inter agency partners and local officials based on the current state of agriculture in your particular area;

·         Liaise with other ADTs, DSTs, PRTs and Civil Affairs (CA) active in your area in order to coordinate programs, projects, and information;

·         Engage officials of the Afghan Government, as well as representatives of humanitarian aid and international organizations working on projects of agricultural scope in your district; 

·         Build capacity of Afghan officials in order to develop and implement agricultural extension and development activities that include coordination, communication, and engagement of local communities and their leaders;    

·         Attendance at community and government meetings on a regular/weekly basis;

·         Serve as an active member of a command team with inter agency partners approving projects and programs from various funding sources and scope beyond agriculture, scheduling mission and meetings with local officials, attending special events, hosting key leaders and VIPs, and acting as a liaison with various military units operating in your particular area; and

·         Provide input on relevant agricultural topics as part of a robust schedule of daily and weekly briefing materials, PowerPoint presentations, and conference calls.


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You must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for this position, able to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance.

You must pass a pre-employment medical examination.  Prior to appointment, the person selected for this position must be determined physically fit by an authorized government physician to perform strenuous and physically demanding duties; and also pass a medical examination (which includes vision, hearing, cardiovascular, and mobility of extremities) given by an authorized government physician.

To be considered for this position, you must address each KSA individually and submit, along with your resume, to

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA's)

1.    Expertise in one or more of the following areas:  agricultural extension, livestock health and animal production  (e.g. sheep, goats, cattle, or poultry), dry land agriculture (especially improvement of wheat yields and crop diversification), production and processing of horticultural crops (especially dried fruit and nuts, fresh melons, pomegranate, and grapes), irrigation and farm water use efficiency and storage, tree production, reforestation, re-vegetation, agribusiness and marketing, engineering for a variety of agricultural needs, and natural resource management.


2.    Experience working in post-conflict or developing countries with a multi-cultural settings, e.g. living and working under difficult conditions in a developing country.


3.    Ability to work individually, as a key leader of a team, and on specific activities within a team context to include training and capacity development (build their technical capacity).


4.     Knowledge of military planning, operational structures and reporting practices is preferred. 


5.    Ability to prioritize and define agricultural priorities, weigh various approaches to achieve objectives, and motivate changes in approach or funding as warranted.  Ability to develop, plan, and manage programs in concert with other USG and Afghan counterparts.


6.    Ability to research, analyze, write, and speak effectively in order to seek, advocate and gain acceptance of agricultural technical ideas.


7.    The ability to deal with high stress environments, close quarters, varying personality traits, and pressure to perform at a high level for sustained periods.


For the FP-05(DST/ADT), PhD, or equivalent or equivalent doctorate degree; or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; or L.L.M., if related.


Physical Fitness Statement

You are being deployed to a challenging physical environment.  You may encounter extremely dusty conditions, significant air pollution, high elevations, lack of potable water, food and waterbourne diseases, and communicable diseases.  You will need to walk distances of a half-mile or more, run and step up to 2 feet while wearing a helmet and body armor that together weigh a minimum of 30 pounds.  Medical care will be limited.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK:  Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation. Prior to employment, you may be required to complete an OF-306, Declaration of Federal employment and other paperwork. The information collected on this form is used to determine suitability for Federal employment. You will also be required to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application/resume. You must answer all questions truthfully and completely. A false statement on any part of the declaration or other forms may be grounds for not hiring you or for firing you after you begin work.



You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required; and on the extent to which your application shows that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with this position as defined below.  When describing your knowledges, skills, and abilities, please be sure to give examples and explain how often you used these skills, the complexity of the knowledge you possess, the level of the people you interact with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc. 

To be considered for this position, you must submit your resume and KSA statements via email to  Applications will not be accepted through the online process.


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You may participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, with costs shared with your employer. More info:

Life insurance coverage is provided. More info:

Long-Term Care Insurance is offered and carries into your retirement. More info:

New employees are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). If you are transferring from another agency and covered by CSRS, you may continue in this program. More info:

You will earn annual vacation leave. More info:

You will earn sick leave. More info:

You will be paid for holidays (per the U.S. Embassy holiday leave schedule) that fall within your regularly scheduled tour of duty.


You can use Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts for expenses that are tax-deductible, but not reimbursed by any other source, including out-of-pocket expenses and non-covered benefits under their FEHB plans. More Info:


R&R Travel:  Appointments assigned to Afghanistan will be eligible for two R&R trips during a one-year tour.  Travel for R&R will be approved in accordance with 14 FAM 567.2-4b (7) (d), which provides for economy class travel.  However, employees are not precluded from upgrading tickets to business class at their own expense. 


Regional Rest Breaks (RRBs):  In addition to the R&R's, three Regional Rest Breaks during a one-year tour, with five days of administrative leave per Regional Rest Break.  These rest breaks should be judiciously scheduled during the tour to provide the benefits as designed.  These should not be used within 30 days of the end of the tour.  Each regional rest break includes an airline ticket to Dubai (or the equivalent to any other location).  Employees are responsible for hotel, meal, and all other expenses.  Employees must have served 30 days in Afghanistan to be eligible.


Premium Pay: Employees on temporary duty are eligible for Title 5 premium pay, in accordance with the Chief of Mission policy.   Bi-weekly pay cap is waived.




Employees will be eligible for post differentials and allowances in accordance with Department of State regulations.  Employees earn the foreign post differential, which is currently 35 percent of salary, after serving 42 continuous days at post.  After 42 days, the post differential will be payable back to the first day. Employees will also be eligible to receive danger pay, calculated as a percentage of basic pay for regular duty hours only (currently 35% for Afghanistan).  Danger pay begins to accrue after four hours of service in-country, and is provided for every hour of regular duty worked at post.  Danger pay is terminated when a person leaves country.  Danger pay and post differential earned in excess of the aggregate cap will roll over to the next pay year.


This position is being filled by an alternative hiring process and is not in the competitive service.



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Submit your resume and KSA Statements to, with the subject line:  OFSO-PRT-12-001.


(1) Resume and (2) KSA Statements addressed individually submitted to, with the subject line: OFSO-PRT-12-001.  Applications will not be accepted online.


Phone: (202)401-0176
TDD: (202)205-9057
Agency Information:
HQ Farm Service Agency
1400 Independence AV SW
Washington, DC


What to Expect Next:

Selected applicants will be required to pass a fingerprint check and obtain and maintain a security clearance.

Selected applicants will be required to obtain and maintain a class "1" medical clearance from State Department.

Selected applicants will be required to complete country specific orientation and training.

The process for hiring Agricultural Advisors may take up to 6 months to complete.

EEO Policy Statement

Reasonable Accomodation Policy Statement

Veterans Information

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:

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