US Agricultural Research Service
3.5 of 5 150 reviews
www.ars.usda.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

150 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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It Could be Such a Nice Place to Work, But...

Scientist (Support) (Former Employee)
Fort Pierce, FL

ProsEmployment with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA offers the opportunity to work on research that should help American agriculture, but he cons out weigh this pro.

ConsThe psuedo-academic work environment of the ARS is militaristically mismanaged by incompetent upper management at all levels that got their jobs heavily based on "good ole boy" politics rather than research competence in their field and proven superior supervisory skills. The incompetence is evident in all aspects of the organization from the administration, to the research, to the supervision, and to the science. Even though some exemplary individuals try to excel, the over all incompetence of the organization drags these individuals down and foments job dissatisfaction and low moral. The so called Peter Principal is alive and well at the ARS. The motivation of the support staff is stifled by archaic supervisory methods and out-date management philosophies. Most professional people who actually retire from the ARS are very disillusioned, they are angry from their decades of mistreatment by the incompetent administration, and they want nothing to do with organization. If one is a professional scientist looking for a challenging and rewarding career, the best choice in the public sector might be with the universities, not with the ARS.

Advice to Senior ManagementBreak the oligarchic to near dictatorial control of the area offices; Allow support staff to publish research with the scientists, especially when the idea, the research, and the writing belongs to the support staff; revamp the hiring practices of the scientific administration to banish the good ole boy political hiring; More closely involve farmers and stake holders in the hiring and research process so that the American public is getting the value it deserves.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
           
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    Not pleased with organizational communications

    Public Affairs Specialist (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service


    Pros: Good work/life balance, great benefits Cons: Atmosphere is not conducive to productivity, management has trouble communicating vision… Advice to Senior Management: Develop a strategic plan and communicate it across the board. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More
    • Work/Life Balance
           
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    typical office work

    Administrative Assistant (Current Employee)
    Beltsville, MD

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service


    Pros: Very flexible, especially with students. accommodating to work and school exams. salary significantly higher than on campus positions. the work allows for experience within a… Cons: rigid, sometimes boring. not very many responsibilities but it is… Advice to Senior Management: N/A Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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