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Natural Resources Conservation Service Agronomist (Direct hire) in United States

Summary This vacancy will be filled using the Office of Personnel Management's Direct-Hire Authority. Veterans' preference and traditional rating and ranking of applicants do not apply to positions filled under this announcement. For more information on OPM's authorization of Direct Hire Authority, please visit, https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-information/direct-hire-authority/ 2 vacancies will be filled from this announcement (1 in Ohio and 1 in Michigan) Responsibilities Provides technical leadership and assistance in agronomic, precision agriculture, and soil health to individual land users or groups of land users. Assesses and evaluates soil and water resource management problems and farming practices on individual or multiple tracts of land in the assigned area. Evaluates effectiveness of agronomic practices, identify technical problems and/or deficiencies, recommend improvements, and motivate landowners to implement and maintain sound conservation management systems. Assists with vegetative and management practices to secure a balanced program of soil and moisture conservation. Provides technical assistance in promoting conservation tillage, crop rotations and nutrient and pest management through tours, conferences, and direct assistance to field office personnel and producers. Assists in conducting on-the-job and formal training in agronomy to internal and external customers, providing information to field offices on agronomic techniques for inventorying, analyzing, and selecting treatment alternatives. Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications (NOTE: You must attach a copy of your transcripts. Failure to submit transcripts will result in an ineligible rating.) Basic Requirements: For the GS-05 level: 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. Evaluation of Education: Course work in such subjects as botany, plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant breeding or genetics, plant ecology, plant pathology, microbiology, agronomy, or those dealing with basic soil-water-plant relationships of an agronomic or ecologic nature may be used to meet the 30-semester-hour requirement in the basic plant sciences. Agronomy courses include agronomy, field crops, field crop production or management, soil and crop management, plant breeding and development, weed control, and similar courses, including those in soils, biochemistry, plant physiology, etc., provided they dealt with principles, methods, or procedures that are applied directly in agronomic work and in the solving of agronomic problems. In addition to meeting the Basic Requirements above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification requirement to be considered for the following grade levels: For the GS-07 grade level: Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-07 grade level, you must possess at least one year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent) demonstrating experience and knowledge of agronomy, hydrology, biology, soils, and practical engineering techniques and other natural resource conservation principles, methods and techniques. Knowledge of the concepts, principles, and practices applicable to soil health, crop science and soil science. OR Superior academic achievement in a bachelor's degree a curriculum directly related to the work of the position. To qualify for superior academic achievement, you must have ONE of the following: (1) standing in the upper third of your college class or major subdivision at the time you apply; (2) grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; (3) B+ (3.5 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed in a related discipline, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; OR (4) election to membership in one of the national honorary scholastic societies that meets the requirements of the Association of College Honor Society; OR Education Substitution: (1) one year of graduate-level education in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. OR Possess a combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy. For the GS-09 grade level Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-09 grade level, you must possess at least one year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent). For this position, examples of specialized experience include advanced-trainee level experience such as: providing technical guidance and direct assistance to personnel and producers to carry out natural resource's conservation planning and application for agronomic practices; solve complex agronomic problems on individual farms or group projects; and assist with vegetative and management practices to secure a balanced program of soil and moisture conservation, and, assists in the development of resource management systems. OR Education Substitution: 2 or more years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree in soil science or a directly related discipline; OR Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy. For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=GS-PROF Experience Note: 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, knowledge, and skills 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 You must submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). 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. You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. Official transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration. If you have not yet conferred your degree or certificate, but will within 180 days of the closing date of this announcement, a letter from the school documenting current standing, degree being obtained and expected graduation date must be submitted with your application. 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. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation via this link. All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. 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. Additional Information Locality Pay: may be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/. Salary for each location may vary depending on location. 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 will be manually reviewed to make "well qualified" determinations. "Well qualified" will be defined by applicants who meet over 80% of the duties associated with the position to be filled. Management may select at any grade level. Physical Demands: The work requires regular and recurring physical exertion related to conservation work, such as walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, or climbing steep banks. Work may include frequent lifting of moderately heavy items such as equipment and samples. Work Environment: The work requires regular and recurrent exposure to operating agriculture equipment, adverse weather such as snow and icy field conditions, and unimproved roads, and exposure to irritating plants and insects. 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. To be well-qualified, applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and must be proficient in most of the requirements of the job. Selections made under this authority will be processed as new appointments to the civil service. Current civil service employees would therefore be given a new appointment to the civil service. If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed. THIS IS AN OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT. This type of announcement provides NRCS the with a readily available source of applicants when vacancies occur. Eligibility and qualifications will be verified when there is a vacancy for the location and grade for which you applied. This is a direct hire solicitation, open continuous announcement; This Posting will close on August 4th 2021, or when all positions are filled. The first cut-off date is within 15 days of the open date of this public notice. Other certificates may be issued as needed. This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Current USDA policy includes telework for an 8 hour work day, 4 days per week; other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor. Relocation/Recruitment incentives may be authorized. (Tentative selectees will be asked to sign a mobility agreement prior to final selection.) Information about incentives can be found at opm.gov Recruitment, Relocation & Retention Incentives (opm.gov)

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