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Poultry Programs Student Career Experience Program  

The AMS Poultry Programs Student Internship Program provides qualified college students with valuable work experience in their chosen field of study, as well as full-time employment opportunities upon graduation. After initial training, most students are placed directly in product establishments as agricultural commodity graders, field offices as market news reporters, and as specialists in the Programsí headquarters. The Internship Program establishes a unique relationship with the student and organization by providing the student with career opportunities and the employer with resources to fill skills needed in the workforce. Students are typically hired through the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP under a temporary appointment. The student and the Agency work together to accommodate the academic needs of the student. Work hours may vary and students may work any number of hours acceptable to all parties (between the student and the supervisor).


Students accepted in the Poultry Programs Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) are eligible for the following:

  • Internships (work periods) while pursuing a degree (typically during summers or semester breaks); work periods typically coincide with semesters (summer, fall, spring)
  • Earn a competitive salary of a grade GS-3, 4, or 5. (Visit for salary information, under Salary Tables).
  • Vacation, sick, and holiday leave pay
  • Possibility of a conversion to a Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) appointment, if work performed is related to the studentís academic studies and career goals, which may lead to further employment opportunities after graduation
  • Career advancement opportunities


To qualify for the AMS Poultry Programsí STEP, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Pursuing a baccalaureate, graduate, or professional degree in an accredited college or university;
  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student;
  • Enrolled in at least a half-time academic course load in the current and the next academic period (student must furnish proof of enrollment for the current and upcoming semester);
  • Maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.


Poultry Programs internship opportunities are located throughout the U.S. Students may choose from three types of positions to work as a student trainee: Agricultural Commodity Grader, Market News Reporter, and Agricultural Marketing Specialist. The positions are located in the following geographical areas. (Note: All locations may not be available every semester. Applicants should choose multiple locations to increase the opportunity for placement.)

  • Agricultural Commodity Grader - Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Washington, DC.
  • Market News Reporter - Des Moines, Iowa and Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Agricultural Marketing Specialist - Washington, DC.

Note: THIS IS A PAID INTERNSHIP PROGRAM. However, students are responsible for obtaining housing and transportation to and from internship location. The Poultry Programs will assist in recommending accommodations.


Students interested in applying for the Poultry Programs Student Temporary Employment Program should submit the following information:

  • A resume or OF-612-Optional Application for Federal Employment ( Be sure to include Education, Activities, Honors/Awards, Employment/Experience including duties/accomplishments, starting and ending dates, and hours worked per week.
  • A college transcript(s). (Students may submit unofficial transcripts for application purposes but must submit an official transcript if selected to the internship program).
  • A cover letter identifying the position, location preference, and dates available to work. (Provide semester(s) available to work, Ex. May 2012-August 2012.)

Submit application packet using one of the following methods:

By mail:
USDA AMS Poultry Programs
Attn: Recruitment Coordinator
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Room 3959, Stop 0257
Washington, DC 20250

By e-mail:

(202) 690-4394
Attention: Recruitment Coordinator

If you have any further questions, please contact the AMS Poultry Programs Recruitment Coordinator at (202) 720-6197.

  Last Modified Date: 11/23/2011