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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Agricultural Commodity Grader (Meat)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Marketing Service
Job Announcement Number:  24LS-2014-0006

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$31,628.00 to $62,297.00 / Per Year
Monday, June 02, 2014 to Thursday, June 12, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
6 vacancies in the following location(s):
Fort Morgan, CO View Map
Joslin, IL View Map
Garden City, KS View Map
Dakota City, NE View Map
West Chester, OH View Map
More Locations  (1)
This announcement is open to all United States citizens.


About the Agency

The incumbent performs the full range of meat grading and quality assurance monitoring duties, located at either a main station, substation, or other office locations, which may involve details and/or reassignments to different geographical areas as needed and as determined by management.

APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response


  • Not Required


  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.


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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:

  • Independently examines meat (in carcass or in cases where the USDA standards permit whole sale cut form) and applies official standards to determine the meat's quality grade.
  • Determines yield grade of carcasses and applicable cuts; is responsible for proper control and storage of official equipment.
  • Records and forwards evaluation data for factors which determine the final quality and yield grade.
  • Following prescribed procedures, selects samples and examines meat food products for compliance with contract specifications.
  • Independently defends grade or certification determinations to plant personnel; corrects errors observed and assists in maintaining relations with plant management.
  • Prepares and issues certificates and maintains permanent records relating to the work.
  • Coordinates the work of several graders assigned to a specific location and may serve as "grader-in-charge."
  • Assists the supervisors in the technical and administrative on-the-job training of GS-5 and GS-7 meat graders and intermittent employees.
  • Conducts public demonstrations; reviews retail meat outlets (i.e. supermarkets, meat markets, hotels, restaurants, etc.) for compliance.


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Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
FOR THE GS-05 LEVEL: LEVEL Applicants must have three years of general progressively responsible experience, one year of which was equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the Federal service. General experience demonstrates the ability to analyze problems to identify significant factors, gather pertinent data, and recognize solutions; plan and organize work; and communicate effectively orally and in writing. Such experience may have been gained performing the following types of work - commodity buyer, receiving clerk, office manager, administrative assistant (with decision-making responsibility), food processing laboratory work (managerial or technical) and farm experience that included responsibility for decision-making (excludes general laborers). General clerical experience (typing, filing, routine procedural processing, and maintaining records) is not creditable.

OR Four-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree in any field.  Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

FOR THE GS-07 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-05 level) that demonstrates:

  • Experience grading products and/or inspecting, storing, packaging, transporting, and processing conditions.
  • Experience grading and inspection meat products for standards and contract specifications to grade products and identify and describe common product defects or diseases and to establish their causes.
  • Identify and determine the cause of common defects and diseases of these products or product types.
  • Recognizing, identifying, and describing common product characteristics relevant to the products graded, such as taste, smell, color, size, shape, or texture, and skill in comparing the characteristics to standards or contract specifications to make consistent determinations.
OR One year of graduate level education in Animal Science, Meat Science, Agronomy, or closely related field of study.

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. For more details click: Superior Academic Achievement

FOR THE GS-09 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-07 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
  • independently grades and/or inspects meat products 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.
OR Master's or equivalent graduate degree or two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in Animal Science, Meat Science, Agronomy, or closely related field of study. Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

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. For more information on submitting transcripts, click: Transcripts

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-05/07/09 GRADE LEVELs: 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:

  • Satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Locality pay will vary based upon the selectee’s duty location. A final salary determination will be made upon selection.
  • Prior to an official offer, selectee will be required to sign and return a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to this office acknowledging and accepting that geographic mobility is a condition of employment. Failure to sign the MOU will be grounds for withdrawal of the job offer.
  • Selectee will be subject to a pre-employment medical examination.
  • Work environment includes exposure to cold temperatures of coolers, which are 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (with occasional short periods at subzero temperatures); high noise levels of industrial processing equipment; risks of forklifts, meat hooks, and/or meat products and other items moving or falling; slippery floors and stairs; and risks of cutting and sawing equipment.
  • Commodity grading work requires periods of physical exertion to lift and move boxes and cartons of product often weighing over 50 pounds; prolonged periods of standing, walking, stooping, bending, and climbing; physical coordination and finger dexterity in both hands to perform digital examinations of commodities; ability to detect abnormalities in the commodity through normal or corrected vision in at least one eye for distance, depth perception, and color; the ability to determine product quality through sensory perception (taste, smell, etc.).


Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures 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 (or competencies):

  • General Commodity Inspection and Grading Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Decision Making, Leadership, Supervisory and Project/program Management
  • Meat and Meat Products Grading
The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interviews. Your ratings in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject to evaluation and verification based on the documents and references you submit.
Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to verify your ratings. Attempts to falsify information; inflate your qualifications or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may be grounds to adjust your rating or to not select you. Errors, omissions or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may affect your eligibility. If selected providing inaccurate information on federal documents could also be grounds for dismissing you from the position/agency. Please follow all instructions carefully.

To preview questions please click here.


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  • Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50 showing the full performance level or career ladder of your current or previous position, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is at: OPM's Career Transition Resources website.
  • 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).
  • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
  • E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin. The following instructions outline our application process.
  • 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 this announcement.
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon 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. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2: Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account. You may want to customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. In addition, your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.


You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. All education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current active duty members must submit a certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.
  • Other required documents may include:
    • CTAP/ICTAP: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, Notice of Proposed Removal, or appropriate OPM/Agency certification; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position from which you will be separated.


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


If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. We expect to make a final job offer within 40 days after the closing date of the announcement.

Additional Duty Location Info

6 vacancies in the following locations:
Fort Morgan, CO View Map
Joslin, IL View Map
Garden City, KS View Map
Dakota City, NE View Map
West Chester, OH View Map
Green Bay, WI View Map

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