Agricultural Specialist - PretoriaIntroductionThe U.S. Mission in Pretoria is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for a position of Agricultural Specialist in the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA - FAS). Basic Function of PositionThe Agricultural Specialist (entry-level specialist) is responsible for representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) at U.S. Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa.The incumbent researches and prepares reports that provide agricultural commodity and trade policy intelligence, best prospects and advice for U.S. agricultural stakeholders and on other relevant topics for assigned agricultural commodities.Responsibilities also include advocating for U.S. agriculturalinterests by implementing projects, identifying appropriate actions, and resolving trade problems. The incumbent identifies, develops, and maintains professional and social relationships and consultative contacts (working-to-mid levels) to gain cooperation on substantive agricultural matters.Major Duties and ResponsibilitiesReporting/Analysis/ForecastingThe provision of accurate, timely, and reliable commodity intelligence is a critical element to the overall FAS mission and candirectly impact global prices for many commodities.The incumbent researches and prepares published reports for assignedcommodities and sectors, in accordance with requirements set forth in the USDA/FAS reporting schedule.With guidance,researches, collects, tabulates and analyzes standard market information, trade statistics, and production, supply and demanddata to support industry counseling, market development, capacity building, program planning, or other issues impactingagricultural trade. Uses and verifies published and unpublished data from working level to mid-level government and industrysources in the host country.Under guidance, the incumbent prepares voluntary reports as necessary on subjects of importance to U.S. stakeholdersincluding, but not limited to, agricultural production, competitor activities, potential U.S. trade growth opportunities, hostgovernment trade regulations, and other special current interest developments.The incumbent also analyzes items of interest,and reviews important agricultural news media, government announcements and publications pertaining to agriculture tomaintain expertise of current developments and long-term trends in the host country and region, including economic and marketsituations.Drafts input material and collect data for use in speeches or presentations by USG leadership involving complexagricultural policy or other economic subjects. Identifies and translates relevant news items and regulatory documents forUSDA, as necessary.In addition, the incumbent independently studies and interprets information related to domestic production and consumption,supply and distribution, foreign trade and competition, price trends, long-range prospects for trade, and government policiesand regulations in the host country. Monitors, analyzes and reports on changes in the host countrys agricultural policies anddetermines impact on U.S. agricultural interests.Responsible for the maintenance of office records and data containinggovernment regulations, website content, and operating FAS databases.Business Assistance/NetworkingThis assignment requires the incumbent to develop and maintain professional relationships with technical and policy levelgovernment officials, farm and industry representatives, universities and research institutions to obtain relevant information andeffectively communicate trade counseling, market intelligence, and business matchmaking U.S. agricultural stakeholdersneeded to develop productive business opportunities.The incumbent identifies, develops, and maintains professional and social relationships and consultative contacts (working-tomidlevel) to gain cooperation on substantive agricultural matters.Assists U.S. industry by providing information and advice onlocal importers and market conditions for products of interest, as well as marketing strategies, regulations, consumerpreferences, distribution channels, business practices, cultural considerations and trade opportunities, among others.Providesinput for briefings, speeches, informal remarks and presentations utilized by the Office of Agricultural Affairs for internal andexternal audiences.The incumbent also deliversremarks/briefings to larger audiences, as needed.Ensures ongoingcommunication with industry and FAS/Washington through periodic outreach efforts, including reporting.Assists Americanagricultural stakeholders and USG officials by providing commodity and market information. Recommends appropriate travelitinerary, escorts official visitors, makesappointments, and handles logistical arrangements, as required.Coordinates visits byindustry groups, as necessary.Trade PolicyThis assignment requires knowledge of national trade and agricultural policies and food safety requirements, and generaleconomic and political developments in the host country from the farm to consumer. Provides accurate, timely, and reliabletrade policy intelligence that impacts country-wide U.S. agricultural trade interests.The incumbent provides policy guidance tothe Minister Counselor, Agricultural Attaches and FAS/Washington, U.S. industry and USG (including other Embassy offices)on all issues related to assigned commodities and sectors.Incumbent analyzes proposed policy changes to determine theeffect on U.S. agricultural trade.Contributes to the development of the host country strategy and other planning activities.Provides background information fornegotiations and bilateral discussions. Works with respective U.S. and host government agencies to resolve issues of noncompliancewith host country import regulations and requirements.Upon identification of specific problems that are affectingtrade, the incumbent prepares and provides recommendations of appropriate actions to the supervisor.Provides bilingualtranslation and interpreting services, as needed.Market DevelopmentThis assignment requires general understanding of agricultural markets to administer market development, risk mitigation, tradecapacity building, and food security programs.To achieve accurate, timely and efficient market development program delivery,the incumbent identifies and evaluates existing and potential best prospect export commodities or markets for the purposes ofplanning trade promotion and capacity building initiatives, in alignment with FAS objectives.The incumbent also stays currentwith market developments in retail, the hotel, restaurant and institution sector (HRI), and the food processing sector.Reviewsand advises U.S stakeholders in their market and capacity development plans.Implements and evaluates few planned projects and marketing events/activities. Ensures USG funds expenditures occur withinthe established guidelines from FAS/Washington and prepares activity evaluation reports.Required QualificationEducationBachelors degree in Agricultural Economics, Food and Agricultural Marketing, Agriculture, Agribusiness, or InternationalPrior Work ExperienceMinimum three years of work experience required in one or more fields of agricultural economics, agricultural policy,commodity trade, and marketing analysis/research that includes significant analysis and report writing.LanguageEnglish level IV (Fluent) Reading/Writing/Speaking is required.Skills and AbilitiesGood working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) to create documents andspreadsheets, maintain and update databases, and develop presentations.Use of FAS specialized software for reportingpurposes.Must be familiar with agricultural production, global agricultural trade concepts, and economic supply/demandconcepts.Required to analyze statistical data and maintain data sets for accurate commodity and trade reporting.Draftsdetailed, complex reports on markets and trade policy, as needed.Must have excellent time management skills to copewith the diversity of work and deadlines.Ability to work effectively with government, public, and private individuals to obtaininformation and resolve trade issues.