U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Personnel - Agriculture Specialists (OFO)

Agriculture Specialists (OFO)

See also: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

CBP Agriculture Specialists receive 8–12 weeks of paid training at the Professional Development Center in Frederick, Maryland. Agriculture Specialists are stationed at international ports of entry located at airports, seaports, and land borders throughout the U.S. and along the Canadian and Mexican borders. They are uniformed federal employees with the authority to conduct random inspections of luggage or items entering the country and the power to seize prohibited or contaminated items, such as certain kinds of fruit. Agricultural Specialists can also issue fines in accordance with the federal laws. They also serve as expert and technical consultants in the areas of inspection, intelligence, analysis, examination and law enforcement activities related to the importation of agricultural/commercial commodities and conveyances at the various ports of entry. Agriculture Specialists apply a wide range of federal, state and local laws and agency regulations when determining the admissibility of agriculture commodities while preventing the introduction of harmful pests, diseases and potential agro-terrorism into the United States. They participate in special enforcement, targeting or analysis teams charged with collecting and analyzing information and identifying high-risk targets; or conduct visual and physical inspections of cargo, conveyances or passenger baggage. The Agriculture Specialist plans, conducts, and supervises remedial actions such as treating, disinfecting and decontaminating prohibited commodities, conveyances, contaminants or agricultural materials.

The Agriculture Specialist position is categorized as a "sensitive" position in law enforcement and may be granted up to the "Secret" level security clearance. Candidates must undergo a single scope background investigation before being appointed. In addition, the candidates must undergo drug and medical examinations and a video based interview during the pre-appointment phase.

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