Job Opening: Meat Program Section Chief

31 July 2019
Agency of Agriculture logo
Title:  Meat Program Section Chief
Application Deadline Date:  08/12/2019
Req ID:  2182
Department:  Agriculture, Food & Markets Agency

Montpelier, VT, US

Position Type:  Permanent
Schedule Type:  Full Time
Hourly Rate:  $29.70

Consider joining one of the hardest working and most fulfilling teams in state government! 

The Meat and Poultry Inspection Section is looking for a Chief to further its mission of protecting public health by ensuring that regulated and exempt Meat and Poultry establishments in Vermont produce a safe product, by ensuring truthful labeling of meat and poultry products, by providing technical assistance to producers, processors and retailers regarding the inspection process, and working in conjunction with the Meat Safety Compliance and Enforcement Specialist to ensure state-wide application. The incumbent for this position is considered the subject matter expert in Vermont for USDA FSIS policy regarding the state meat and poultry inspection program. Work involves administration of a regulatory program and coordination of program-wide implementation of state and federal laws and regulations to maintain a designation from the USDA Secretary of Agriculture of at least "equal-to" the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), as well as other duties typical of a state supervisor.

Work is performed under the general direction of the Deputy Director of the Food Safety Consumer Protection Division, and involves interaction with the inspection team, public, business owners, state and federal officials on a daily basis. Supervision is exercised over the Meat Program Supervisor, and two upper-level specialist positions.  Duties are largely performed in an office setting, with travel to conduct establishment reviews, site visits, and occasional out-of-state meetings. 

Specific duties of the Meat Program Section Chief position include:

  • Manage the day-to-day planning, developing and directing of a comprehensive, multi-faceted state meat and poultry regulatory program and team
  • Develops, reviews and promulgates meat inspection laws, rules and procedures
  • Testifies before legislative committees as a subject matter expert to ensure statutory language remains consistent with Federal Acts and regulations.
  • Annually prepares the state self-assessment (audit) submission to the USDA FSIS as required to maintain the program's "equal-to" status. 
  • Reviews prospective new establishments to determine if they meet the requirements for licensing and inspection, and provides technical assistance as necessary to inquiries received from the public and industry
  • Develops and provides oversight of the Meat section budgets in conjunction with the Business Office

The full job specifications are available on the DHR Job Specifications website.

Who May Apply

This position, Meat Program Section Chief (Job Requisition #2182), is open to all State employees and external applicants.

If you would like more information about this position, please contact Katherine McNamara at (802) 828-2426 or

Please note that multiple positions in the same work location may be filled from this job posting.

Resumes will not be accepted via e-mail. You must apply online to be considered.

Environmental Factors

Work is performed in both office and field settings, with a substantial amount of travel involved. Private means of transportation must be available for required travel. Field settings may include meat processing facilities and slaughterhouses, which may present a risk of exposure to zoonotic diseases. Hazards such as slippery floors, potentially dangerous animals, and heavy overhead objects falling may be encountered.  An incumbent may encounter disgruntled industry constituents and/or strong differences of opinion which must be dealt with in a constructive manner. May be required to perform inspections of regulated facilities. Some evening or weekend work may be required.

Minimum Qualifications

Associate's degree or equivalent or higher in food science, microbiology, biology, animal science, a medical field, or a closely related field, AND four (4) years or more of experience as a governmental meat or other food safety program regulator, or an owner, operator or manager of a meat/poultry establishment.


Four (4) or more years’ experience at the Food Safety Specialist II or higher position

Note: Certification as an accredited meat inspector in a state or federal meat inspection program comparable to Vermont is considered qualifying as a Food Safety Specialist II position.

Preferred Qualifications

Preference will be given to applicants who have at least one year of personnel supervisory experience.

Special Requirements

U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service background checks: The Chief is expected to gain and remain fully credentialed for the federal LincPass identification in order to access the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service Public Health Information System (PHIS). This involves fingerprinting and background checks.

Total Compensation
As a State employee you are offered a great career opportunity, but it's more than a paycheck. The State's total compensation package features an outstanding set of employee benefits that are worth about 30% of your total compensation, including:
  • 80% State paid medical premium
  • Dental Plan at no cost for employees and their families
  • Flexible Spending healthcare and childcare reimbursement accounts
  • Two ways to save for your retirement: A State defined benefit pension plan and a deferred compensation 457(b) plan
  • Work/Life balance: 11 paid holidays each year and a generous leave plan; many jobs also allow for a flexible schedule
  • Low cost group life insurance
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Incentive-based Wellness Program
  • Qualified Employer for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Want the specifics? Explore the Benefits of State Employment on our website.

Equal Opportunity Employer
The State of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications from women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and people from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged.



Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901


Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.522.7811
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431