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FSIS

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Volunteer Student Program Overview

The Volunteer Student Program (VSP) provides experience that is directly related to the student's education program and possible career goals. We have developed the VSP to provide students with valuable career-related work experience in our public health agency. FSIS is responsible for ensuring that the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products moving in interstate commerce or exported to other countries is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. Our public health goal is to help reduce foodborne illness from products we regulate. 

Under this agreement the student will be exposed to and receive training, time allowed, which will assist them in preparing to assume roles in food safety and food security issues of the future. The conditions for the acceptance of students under this program are as follows:

  • The student's training is considered educationally-related and is in compliance with the provisions of 5 USC 3111. Under 5 USC 3111, a student volunteer is not a Federal employee for any purposes other than injury compensation and law related to the Tort Claims Act. Service is not creditable for leave or any other employee benefits.
  • If we have a formal agreement with the student's college or university, this period with FSIS can go toward meeting the elective credit requirements. The length of the externship week may vary from school to school and also depends on the student's interests and availability, the learning objectives established, and course credit requirements, if applicable.


At a minimum, students will be asked to be available and commit to 1 week of full-time volunteer service during their school break (summer, winter, senior year blocks, etc.). If we have a formal VSP agreement in place with the student's college or university, then student may need to commit to more weeks and other stipulations. If a mentor is not available during the student's availability, then we will work with the student on another location option. 

We have mentors in various locations throughout the country. However, please keep in mind that many of the locations are in small towns. In order to match students with mentors, students will be asked where geographically they are interested in working. The student's location will be determined based on their geographical interests and the availability of a mentor in, or close to, that location. Since expenses will NOT be covered by FSIS, we suggest you try to find a location where you can stay with family/friends or near your college. 

If the location in which the student indicates interest, and is selected for, requires the student to relocate from their current school location, FSIS will NOT be responsible for any travel or relocation expenses incurred to and from duty station. 

Please keep in mind that there is no guarantee that there will be a mentor available in the area student would like or the dates student has available. Please contact FSISStudentJobs@fsis.usda.gov if you have any questions regarding the VSP. 

How to Indicate Interest 

Common Questions

Last Modified Mar 10, 2014