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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Agricultural Commodity Technician (Grain)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
Job Announcement Number:  24GR-GIPSA-MA-2014-0028

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$13.55 to $21.96 / Per Hour
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 to Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Intermittent - Permanent
Many vacancies in the following location(s):
Belle Chasse, LA View Map
Destrehan, LA View Map
Reserve, LA View Map
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.


About the Agency


Intermittent Work Schedule: Majority of work will be on an as needed (intermittent) basis. May occasionally work part time or full time, but no minimum amount of hours is guaranteed.

The incumbent serves as an Agricultural Commodity Technician (ACT) in a grain inspection field office or sub-office in support of the activities of the office. The field office carries out (1) the original inspection and weighing of grain; (2) the permissive inspection, weighing, and check loading of rice, pulses, processed grain products and other assigned commodities; and (3) the supervision of these activities conducted by licensed inspectors and weighers employed by state governments or private firms.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Occasional travel may be required.


  • No


  • 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.
  • Valid state driver's license is required at the time of application.


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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:

  • Ensures accurate weights and determinations of events that support the official weight certification.

  • Performs visual inspection and mechanical measurements to assist in establishing the kind and/or class and quality of grain/rice/pulses and related commodities to be processed.

  • Prepares samples for inspection and file sample retention by dividing gross samples of grain/rice/pulses or related commodities to obtain official work and file sample portions.

  • Performs the full range of laboratory analytical and physical tests found in assigned field office which involves preparing samples and solutions, calibrating the equipment when required, conducting the test, and recording and determining the reliability of the test results.

  • Monitors grain collected by mechanical (diverter-type) samplers during export loading operations.

  • Conducts stowage examinations in shipholds, barges, hopper cars, and other containers to ensure cleanliness and acceptability of storage handling facilities.

  • Samples, checkweighs, checkloads, and inspects food and non-food products.


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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-4 LEVEL: Applicants must have six (6) months of general work experience that demonstrates the ability to perform the work of the position or experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation AND six (6) months of specialized experience that provided a broad knowledge of industrial methods, procedures, materials, machinery, or facilities used in production, processing or transportation-related operations and a base of knowledge for the on-the-job development of skills in applying specific sampling and inspecting techniques and for learning a variety of procedures, practices, and safety requirements involved in handling, storing, and transporting grain and grain products.

OR Two academic years of study above high school. Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

FOR THE GS-5 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-4 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Industrial activities, such as quality control, inspection, production, storage, and transportation that demonstrated a knowledge of the flow of work or a knowledge of the relationships of various functions in the facility.

  • Aiding in the inspection of grain and grain products.

  • Experience that shows knowledge of industry procedures for grain weighing and handling.

OR A four-year course of study leading to a bachelors degree. Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-5 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates: 

  • Industrial activities, such as quality control, inspection, production, storage, and transportation that demonstrated a knowledge of the flow of work or a knowledge of the relationships of various functions in the facility.

  • Aiding in the inspection of grain and grain products.

  • Knowledge of industry procedures for grain weighing and handling.

OR Nine (9) semester hours of graduate-level education that is directly related to the work of the position in fields such as agriculture, botany, crop production, agronomy, product processing, food chemistry, technology, quality control, or other related subjects. 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.

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-4/5/6 GRADE LEVELS: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and 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 Technical and Medical Support Positions

Special Conditions:

  • Satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check.

  • Some work is performed outdoors under varying weather conditions.

  • Phases of work may require considerable physical exertion – e.g. obtaining samples requires climbing onto trucks, barges, hoppers, rail cars, man lifts, etc. using probes, pelicans, and similar sampling devices and moving and lifting grain containers or sacks weighing up to 55 pounds; shiphold inspections involve climbing into and out of the hold often at heights greater than 75 feet.

  • Work is in grain elevators subject to potentially explosive concentrations of grain dust.

  • Incumbent is susceptible to high levels of hazardous fumigants and must take extensive safety precautions to avoid serious accidents resulting from these hazards.

  • Must have own transportation to and from assigned points of the inspection, and may be required to operate a motor vehicle on official business.

  • As a condition for promotion to the GS-6 full performance level, the incumbent must pass the Agency administered proficiency examination.

  • Competency examinations in grading and weighing grains/grain products and work-related in-house tests may be required as directed by the Administrator of the Federal Grain Inspection Service under statutory authority of the U.S. Grain Standards Act of 1976 and as amended.


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):

  • Knowledge of grain weighing activities, equipment, and processes

  • Ability to inspect and conduct measurements of grain/rice/pulses and related commodities

  • Ability to obtain and document samples of grain/rice/pulses and related commodities and identify factors impacting their condition

  • Knowledge of physical and chemical testing methods, equipment, instruments, and procedures used in analyzing grain, rice, and related commodities

  • Communication – written, oral, and interpersonal

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 view the application form, visit:


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The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:


  • 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.


  • A resume should be provided. It should include relevant work experience (start/end dates stated in month/year, description of duties and salary), applicable education at a minimum, and your contact information. For current or previous Federal employees, it should also include the Pay Plan, Series and Grade for each work experience entry.

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) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 4) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 5) 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 however, if selected; an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. 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 of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.
  • Other required documents may include:
    • CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from. 
    • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
    • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

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. Please verify that documents you are uploading 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. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).



Human Resources
Phone: 612-336-3326
Fax: 612-336-3560
Agency Information:
100 N. 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, Suite 510C
Minneapolis, MN,
United States
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.

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