US Agricultural Research Service

www.ars.usda.gov
There are newer employer reviews for US Agricultural Research Service

1 person found this helpful  

It's what you make it

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Agricultural Marketing Specialist in Washington, DC
Current Employee - Agricultural Marketing Specialist in Washington, DC

I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

At USDA, you get to work on projects that affect consumers, producers and businesses nationwide and potentially around the world.
You get to work with all kinds of people in the public and private sectors.
The work is usually low stress. There are ample opportunities for telework, flexible work schedules, and do it yourself, on the job training.

Cons

There are three broad categories of USDA employees:
1) the ones who have been here since college, learned to schmooze and network into a good old boy or good new girl buddy system and get promoted quickly and often.
2) the ones who have been here since college, and didn't learn to schmooze, got bullied instead of buddied, avoid eye contact and stare at the floor when walking down the hall, counting the days to retirement.
3) the rest of us who did something else for 10, 15 or 20 more years before moving into the federal service, and nobody seems to know what to make of us because we think of new ways to do things, or question why we need to do something in the first place if it doesn't seem to have a reason other than "always did it that way." Cultural transformation means you won't have much luck getting promoted if you are not in a desirable social / ethnic category.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Retire, and make room for new blood and new ideas.

Recommends
Negative Outlook
Approves of CEO

162 Other Employee Reviews for US Agricultural Research Service (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1.  

    Very Challenging Environment if you are a person of color and not a political appointee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Division Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Division Director in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very important and relevant subject matter. Food issues have an impact on us all!

    Cons

    They think it's okay to resolve EEO grievances by giving promotions "Greive a Grade" is not the way to deal with the problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    "Culural Transformation" really has to be put into action by senior leadership, not just part of a lawsuit settlement based on the Sherrod situation. If you are going to talk the talk, you are going to have to walk it as well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    NRCS is a good place if you are willing to move around or if you are hired where you want to live.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Soil Conservationist in Salisbury, MD
    Current Employee - Soil Conservationist in Salisbury, MD

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you're in a field office then you have a nice combination of field and office work. Also in the field office work stress is lower and the environment is more layed back. If you are in a state office or headquarters the pros are generally higher salaries, more support staff, and proximity to urban centers and the ammenities that come with that. (althought I am not state or hq so this is an outsiders view)

    Cons

    The cons for being in a field office is that you don't as much field/technical experience as the as advertised and expected. Many field employees are stuck contracting behind a computer not giving technical assistance to farmers. The cons of state and headquarters are more stressful work environments due to inner office politics, political pressures, and output demands from higher ups.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Either higher more staff or reduce goals. There are currently not enough field staff to accomplish the many conservation goals headquarters has placed upon states (especially states with critical watersheds).

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for US Agricultural Research Service

Work at US Agricultural Research Service? Share Your Experiences

US Agricultural Research Service

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.