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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Agricultural Commodity Grader (Processed Fruit and Vegetable)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Marketing Service
Job Announcement Number:  24FV-2013-0010

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$56,172.00 to $73,019.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 to Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy - Union City, CA, US  View Map

This announcement is open to all United States citizens. (Current and Former Federal employees may also apply with a separate application to Merit Promotion vacancy announcement #6FV-2013-0024. For information on viewing Merit Promotion announcements, click Locating a Status Position on USAJOBS.)


This position is located in a field location of the Processed Products Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Agricultural Marketing Service. The incumbent is responsible for coordinating and/or performing inspection and grading work on processed fruits, vegetables, and related products at processing plants, area offices, inspection points, and/or similar facilities as assigned. The incumbent may perform lot inspection on a wide variety of products and/or serve as inspector-in-charge of a technically complex processing plant.

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!


  • U.S. Citizenship


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The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Draws and examines samples of the finished products and conclusively determines grade, condition, and wholesomeness in accordance with official grade standards, buyer-seller contracts, or other written specifications.
  • Makes observations to determine if plant facilities, operating methods, and processing equipment and personnel are in compliance with Branch sanitation requirements and FDA regulations.
  • Observes the raw product material to establish the suitability for processing and advises plant management of the results.
  • Uses standard and prescribed analytical methods and techniques to make objective determinations that aid in the evaluation of quality factors, determine the degree of wholesomeness, and/or establish definite characteristics or identity of the product.
  • Instructs inspectors and aids in proper grading and inspection techniques.
  • May monitor processing plant operations, product grade evaluation, and quality control procedures and provides technical assistance as necessary.
  • Adheres to Equal Employment and Civil Rights (EEO/CR) policies, goals, and objectives in performing the duties of this position.
  • Ensures that written and oral communications are bias-free and that differences between other employees and clients are respected and valued.


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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 EXPERIENCE requirements.



GS-09:  Master's degree or equivalent graduate degree or two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree agriculture, mathematics, engineering, science, business, or economics.


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. 

This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. For more information on submitting transcripts, click: Transcripts


SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-09 GRADE 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. Examples of qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Independently grading and/or inspecting primary products in the fruit and vegetable commodity group and performing difficult assignments, such as grading and/or inspecting rare or unusual fruit and vegetable products or product types.
  • Performing the full range of grading and/or inspection tasks involved in directly supplying grading services to producers or members of the trade.
  • Inspecting 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.
  • Inspecting or evaluating more complicated processing equipment and procedures and conditions of storage or transportation such as is typical of most processed products production and advising industry employees on product quality control methods.
  • Hands-on grading experience in the Processed Fruit and Vegetable commodity.  Such experience must have included final responsibility for certifying the condition and grade according to universally accepted standards for the commodity. 

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-09 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed 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:

  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • DD214 (Member 4 copy) or other veterans' documents required to receive veterans' preference.
  • As a condition of employment, a background investigation may be required for this position.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one-year probationary period.
  • Selectee will be required to complete the Self-Certification Medical Statement (MRP-5).
  • 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.
  • Valid state driver's license required at time of hiring.
  • Commodity grading work requires periods of physical exertion to lift and move boxes and cartons of product weighing up to 50 pounds; prolonged periods of standing, walking, stooping, bending, and climbing; physical coordination and finger dexterity in at least one hand to perform digital examinations of commodities; normal or corrected vision in at least one eye for distance, depth perception, and color to detect abnormalities in product; the ability to ensure safety in a highly-mechanized and/or noisy environment through adequate or correctable hearing; use of both legs, arms, and hands to perform carrying, pulling, pushing, reaching above the shoulder, kneeling, grasping, and working with hands in water; and the ability to determine product quality organoleptically (e.g. through sight, smell and/or taste).
  • The work environment includes exposure to freezing and/or hot temperatures, slippery surfaces, moving materials, handling equipment, high noise level and similar risks typical of fruit and vegetable and related processing plants and storage areas.
  • Requires the ability to work in close proximity to others and/or alone; the ability to work weekends and overtime; the ability to travel for extended periods of time; the ability to work multiple shifts and change/rotate shifts (i.e., first, second and third).


  • 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
    • Decision Making, Leadership, Supervisory and Project/Program Management
    • Processed 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 preview questions please click here.


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Eligibility for employee benefits depends on your type of appointment and your tour of duty (work schedule). Generally, you must be hired on a permanent basis and have a regular full or part-time work schedule. For more information on potential benefits, go to: Federal Employee Benefits



  • For information regarding CTAP eligibility for displaced Federal employees click: Career Transition Assistance Programs
  • 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).
  • For information on filing a complaint of discrimination, click: Filing a Complaint


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    A complete on-line application will require the submission of the following:

    • Resume
    • Responses to the vacancy specific questions
    • Supporting Documentation which may be required (See links under Required Documents for more information)

    For instructions on using the on-line system click: APPLYING ON-LINE

    For instructions on submitting documents click: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION


    Click on the following links to see if the supporting documentation is applicable to you:


    Critical Submission Requirements and Reminders

    • Help in applying online is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time at the number listed in the Contact information section.
    • All application materials and supplemental documentation will be accepted until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date.
    • Application and supporting documentation will not be accepted via e-mail.
    • Due to the high volume of applicants, we are unable to confirm receipt of supporting documentation. If faxing, you should retain confirmation of a successful fax transmission including the number of pages successfully transmitted as proof of submission.
    • 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 fax and/or upload both the old document and the new document.
    • Applicants who cannot apply on-line must request a hard copy application packet from the Agency Contact listed in the vacancy announcement. Resumes and/or supporting documentation alone will not be considered without the inclusion of a hard copy application packet.


    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


    You may check the status of your application on-line 24 hours a day through USAJOBS. Status updates will be available after 2-3 weeks. For instructions on checking your application status click: Checking My Application Status. No additional correspondence will be sent.

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