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Department of Agriculture
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379 reviews

Department of Agriculture Employer Reviews

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Top heavy, needs more of us at the bottom.
Recreation Technician (Current Employee), Silver Springs, FLFebruary 26, 2015
Pros: easy work.
Cons: racism. sexism. favoritism.
Not sure what the mission is some days... things often not getting done. Things not getting done in a timely manner.

Most jobs getting done seem to revolve around volunteers doing work for free...

Absentee, hands off type top level bosses.... allowing mid level managers to show favoritism... Mid level lack of patience in subordinates work, making for constant changing of responsibilities....

Overall job satisfaction in company low....
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great experience
Lead Firefighter Engine (Former Employee), Rapid City, SDFebruary 18, 2015
If you like a rush at work and each day to be different then this is the best job. Enjoyed my crew and being a leader to them. They really make sure that they provide the best training and help you move up.
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good company
Federal executive (Former Employee), Ames, IAFebruary 18, 2015
USDA is a great branch of the US Government to work for. They offer great benefits and development programs for their employees. I would recommend working for them.
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USDA / NASS Work Report
Enumerator (Former Employee), USDA/NASS of Baton Rouge, LAFebruary 9, 2015
Pros: nice work place
Cons: the job was only temporary
I worked for the USDA / NASS between October of 2007 to the end of June in 2008. This was a temporary job for the purpose of doing the 2008 U.S. Farm Census. Our job was to gather Data to complete the U.S. Farm Census for ALL U.S. Farms whether small, medium or large. This was done at a "Call Center" and we would either call the farmer or they would call us (sometimes both). I was paid ten dollars an hour to finish the Farm Census. My responsibilities as an "Enumerator" were to gather farm census information via phone calls, and to log data on the computer for the Department of the USDA / NASS. We finished early, so I was released from my duties at the end of June 2008.
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Learned and enjoyed all aspects of H/R and working with the public
Administrative Support Assistant (Former Employee), Montrose, COJanuary 30, 2015
Pros: flexible working schedule. must have 80 hours per pay period accountable.
Cons: job security
Entering all employee time sheets into Gov't. system; took notes/transcribed from meetings or conference calls; working front desk; coordinating travel for all employees; updating spreadsheets for training and entering fleet mileage into data base monthly.

I learned difficult gov't. computer programs; how to work as a team to accomplish goals; took many Gov't. on-line training programs to better myself as an Administrative Assistant.

Management was very thorough and helpful. Management was confident that I would take on and accomplish the work load that she was not able to handle. When introducing a new project, she was always very clear on what to do, how and when. After that, I did not need direction. I was always rated "Above Average" on my performance reviews.

My co-workers were very focused, positive and upbeat. Each Department (Rec/Trails, Timber and Range) always had something interesting for me to tackle.

The hardest part of the job was learning about the Wildland Fire Fighting Program. I was responsible for five (5) Ranger Districts. I had days of training on the Gov't. system. I worked with the FFMO when we introduced the Job Corps (Collbran) students into the Wildland Fire Fighting Program. There were pack tests and 40 hours of written training for the 25+ students to qualify.

Working with the Wildland Fire Fighting Program was the most enjoyable and satisfying part of my job. I also enjoyed working with the public coming into the front office and over the telephone.
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Productive and fun place
Clerk/Accountant Assistant (Former Employee), Washington, DCJanuary 30, 2015
Pros: lunch with co-workers on a weekly basis to show appreciation
Cons: no cons
-A typical work day, answering phones and reacting with customers.
-Learned customer skills, and data entry dealing with Accounting.
-Management was wonderful and very helpful.
-Co-workers were very helpful.
-There weren't many hard parts.
-Working for the company was enjoyable, learning and helping customers.
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A great summer job
Information Receptionist
 (Former Employee), Idaho Springs, COJanuary 28, 2015
I enjoyed working with visitors and my coworkers. Unfortunately, the job is a temporary/seasonal one (May-September).
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Fun group of people to work with
Research Assistant Intern (Former Employee), Pullman, WAJanuary 26, 2015
Pros: fun people. passionate work
Cons: long work days. occasional 50+ hour weeks
Everyone is passionate about their work. Above average communication between employees working on different projects.
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Family type setting
Resource Management Assistant (Current Employee), Denver, COJanuary 25, 2015
Pros: dinners and cookie exchanges
Cons: overbearing district manager
The job is very filling and the work force is very diverse. Fast pace and joyous days. Some days are more demanding than others but most days are laid back and that gives you the opportunity to work through your day more productively.
My most enjoyable part of the job is knowing that I am servicing our field food inspectors with the things that they need on a daily basis such as tracking their appraisals and time and attendance, processing their travel and expenditures for purchases of equipment that they need on a daily basis.
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Rewarding and Fun
Farm Loan Program Technician (Former Employee), Canton, NYJanuary 19, 2015
Working for USDA helped keep me linked to my family when I was living so far from home. This job was fun and never had the same day twice in a row.
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Good pay, lousy everything else
IT Specialist (Former Employee), Mankato, MNJanuary 16, 2015
USDA is stuck in a 1990s model for IT management. They demand that every technician succeed or fail on their own while not providing standards to adhere to.

On several occasions, it was literally stated, in national teleconferences, that, "if you don't like how we do business, you can be replaced."
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Great Working Experience
Information Receptionist (Current Employee), Mountain Home, IDJanuary 7, 2015
I loved going to work. A great staff of people, and great management. There were often tense moments with the forest fires and occasional unhappy consumers. But worked with a great team and loved working with the public and my coworkers. I did a lot of projects for the Forest Ranger and loved it!
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Exciting place to work
Biological Science Aide/Intern (Current Employee), Tucson, AZJanuary 4, 2015
Daily I do DNA extractions on maize or cotton cultures of aspergillus flavus. It includes constant individual and team efforts to get the job done and invloves excessive communications with management and my co workers to get the job done effectively and efficiently
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I Love my work.
Engineering Equipment Operator Grade 10 (Current Employee), Roseburg, ORDecember 26, 2014
Pros: i love what i do
Cons: getting too hard to be away from home so much.
I love my work, but it is becoming too difficult to be away from Home so much.

I live in Eugene but must stay 150 miles away living in a camper trailer while working and that has an effect on my home life. A negative one.

For that Reason, I would like to find something closer to Home.
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USFS
Seasonal Recreation Technician (Former Employee), Glendora, CADecember 20, 2014
Pros: good pay and benefits
Cons: seasonal
When one works recreation for the Forest Service, no day is ever the same. Though typically days involve maintenance of the national recreation are. I learned about the bureaucratic ins and outs of working for the Federal Government. My co workers were friendly and dedicated individuals. The most difficult part of the job is the fact that it is only seasonal. The most enjoyable part of the job was being outdoors and doing what I love; ensuring the health of out public lands.
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N/A
CIO - Chief Information Office Division (Former Employee), Washington, DCDecember 18, 2014
Pros: experience of working in a government environment
Cons: lack of job security as a it contractor
Some of the staff as well as those I worked with were fairly friendly and professional. Being introduced with some of the latest technologies were one of the big points that I gain with experience and exposure.
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Great place to work!
Office Automation Clerk (Former Employee), Ridgeland, MSDecember 16, 2014
Pros: great benefits and working environment!
Cons: maintaining a full time job while in school
The Department of Agriculture was a great place to work. A typical day at work for me was typing letters, memos, faxes and answering a multiple line telephone. The management team was great. The hardest part of my job was maintaining employment while attending school full time. My co-workers were warm and friendly and the most important part of my job was job security, and great benefits. I resigned from this job to attend school full time.
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A lot of room for professional growth.
Information Technology Specialist (Current Employee), Harrisburg, PADecember 15, 2014
Pros: n/a
Cons: n/a
Excellent career stepping but no upward mobility. Co workers are great to work with and are very supportvie.
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Has a great mission to manage public lands
Forester (Former Employee), Munising MIDecember 11, 2014
Pros: good retirement, satisfaction of public service
Cons: meetings and inadequate supervisors
Working for the Federal government has many benefets.
Maxi flex working day
Poor to very poor management
great co workers
snowshoes in the winter
working outdoors
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Do not take a job unless it is permanent
Ecologist (Current Employee), Bend, ORDecember 9, 2014
I have been a "temporary" hire at the USDA Forest Service since 1997 (18 years). My supervisor would love to hire me "permanently" so I can have full benefits and job security, however the hiring practices for the Federal government, and for USDA Forest Service in particular, are horrendously unfair in the name of being uniform and unbiased.

I would advise anyone interested in a job with the Federal government to take a permanent job, but the temporary jobs absolutely do NOT lead to a permanent job. They really don't. Instead, take the permanent job in the outer reaches of society, and then apply for the permanent job in the place you want to end up once you are in the system.

The USDA Forest Service, at least, hires in two ways: they advertise in-house, and they advertise nationwide. Supervisors who are hiring must select either from the in-house list, which is all of the current permanents, or must select from the nationwide list. However, if they select from the nationwide list they must first offer the job to military veterans even if they barely qualify for the job. Staff officers of the hiring supervisors also get a good rating on their job performance if they hire minorities, so some will look at ethnic-sounding last names (because it's illegal to ask someone if they are a minority). But if the hiring supervisor doesn't want a barely qualified veteran, or pressure to hire someone based on their last name, they go to the in-house list of job candidates. This is why most of the jobs in more popular locations go to those who already have a permanent job within the Forest Service. They can actually review applicants credentials, interview several people, and hire who they'd like to hire if they do it from the in-house list.

If you already have a family, mortgage and husband's job to consider, then you're out of luck... but if you're mobile, the method above could work.

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