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Volunteer Programs


Higher Education Institution - Student Volunteer Program (HEISIP)

This program was established to formalize the relationship between USDA and various colleges and universities across the nation to provide training and work experience to undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in agriculture, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and other administrative career fields. The HEISIP is a non-paid internship opportunity. This program gives students an insight into considering a future career with USDA. Annually, USDA works with students volunteers nationwide throughout our 7 Mission Areas, 19 agencies and 16 Administrative Offices.

Eligibility:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, some international students may qualify,
  • Must be enrolled in high school or pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an accredited institution (community colleges) or be a career professional,
  • Sign a volunteer participant agreement,
  • Must meet the qualification standards of the non-pay position, and
  • Must meet security clearance.

Generally, volunteers/interns will be placed in non-paid position at the GS- 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 grade levels. The grade level is determined by the academic level of the volunteer.

Duration:
Student volunteer work may be performed during the school year and/or during summer or school vacation periods. The nature of your volunteer assignment as well as your weekly work schedule should be part of your work agreement. Volunteer work assignments typically have duration of 3 – 4 months.

To apply:

  • Check with your college/university to earn credit, seek stipend payment and/or travel/housing assistance, if needed.
  • Search https://usda.usajobs.gov/ for a USDA Volunteer non-paid internship vacancy announcements or click here to contact Mission Area Student Coordinator.
For general questions, contact: USDA.Internships@dm.usda.gov

Deadlines to apply: Year-round

Website: http://www.dm.usda.gov/employ/student/index.htm

USDA Law Student’s Volunteer Program (LSVP)

The USDA Law Student’s Volunteer Program (LSVP) is an experiential program being offered to Law School students who are possibly interested in a career in public service, specifically working for the federal government. Here they can exercise their legal knowledge, skills and abilities through work on policy and administrative issues that affect the lives of everyday citizens. The LSVP is an externship and law students will receive academic credit from their schools at the end of their volunteer service with USDA. The LSVP is either a quarter or semester term commitment (quarter - 3 months or semester - 6 months). Many law schools and professional programs require their students to acquire public service experience for academic credit towards graduation. Since it is a graduation requirement students are encouraged to engage with federal agencies which for many students is as important as earning money.

Eligibility:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Must be pursuing law degree in an accredited university
  • Sign a volunteer agreement
  • Sign up for School internship or externship to receive credit
  • Must meet the qualification standards of the non-pay position
  • Must meet security clearance

Duration:
Student volunteer work may be performed during the school year and/or during summer or school vacation periods. The nature of your volunteer assignment as well as your weekly work schedule should be part of your work agreement. Volunteer work assignments typically have duration of 3 – 4 months.

To apply or for general questions, contact: USDA.Internships@dm.usda.gov

NIFA Volunteer Program

This program is designed to help students experience working in a federal government setting, to assist them in applying various theories and skills, and to enhance their personal growth and development. Every intern will have a unique experience while working at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture whether they are earning University credit or an hourly wage; nevertheless it will be an experience that is invaluable later in life. Emerging into adulthood is not an easy transition and one that often comes with many questions, highs, and lows. It is our goal that your participation in the internship program helps to ease the transition by preparing you for a career, whether it is in the federal government or another place of interest.

Eligibility:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an accredited college or university
  • Sign a volunteer agreement
  • Must meet the qualification standards of the non-pay position
  • Must meet security clearance
To apply:: dswanson@nifa.usda.gov

For general questions, contact: Eboni.Wiggins@ars.usda.gov

Deadline to apply: April for summer session

NRCS Earth Team Volunteers (NRCSETV)

The National Volunteer Program became known as the “Earth Team”, the volunteer arm of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The primary purpose of the Earth Team is, and always has been, to expand NRCS services by using volunteer time, talent, and energy to help meet agency needs. NRCS employees at the national, regional, state, and local level recruit and utilize volunteers for a wide variety of activities. As it was in the beginning, the Earth Team is looking for volunteers who have an interest in conserving natural resources.

Eligibility:

  • 14 years of age or older
  • Interested in agricultural, management and business fields
  • Available for part-time, evenings or weekends, and/or outdoors, or in local or field offices.
Deadline to apply: Year-round

To apply online: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/people/volunteers/?cid=stelprdb1041482

For general questions, contact: Amanda N. Hasemeier and Linda Bouc at scholarships@nophnrcse.org or linda.bouc@lin.usda.gov

Website: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/people/volunteers/