August 2023 Snapshots
Fort Bliss, Texas
On July 25-26, FSIS expanded its apprenticeship program outreach and recruitment activities to Fort Bliss, Texas. FSIS’ Veterans and Persons with Disabilities Outreach Program Manager Shonda Moore met with 30 culinary specialists assigned to the 1st Armored Division (AD) Sustainment Brigade. Moore provided an Inspector Apprenticeship Programs (IAP) briefing to the Brigade’s culinary specialists explaining how their military occupational specialty could transition into a career as a federal civil servant.
Moore met with Fort Bliss Veterinary Services leadership to collaborate on providing IAP briefings to the unit’s veterinary food inspection specialists during the Army’s Public Health Activity annual field training exercise. Moore also met with Fort Bliss’ Transition Services management team and a manager for the Career Skills Program (CSP) to establish the IAP as a certified CSP and to determine best recruitment strategies.
Moore closed out her outreach efforts by meeting with representatives of Army Community Services and the Texas Workforce Commission to strategize recruitment of the Fort Bliss veteran community. FSIS has 31 veterans and transitioning service members participating in IAP, with eight apprentices scheduled to complete the program by the end of fiscal year 2023. Learn more about FSIS’ apprenticeship programs by emailing FSISHR1@usda.gov with the subject “Inspector Apprenticeship Program.”
Pictured: FSIS’ Veterans and Persons with Disabilities Outreach Program Manager Shonda Moore (center) with Army culinary specialists assigned to 1AD Division Sustainment Brigade’s Muleskinner Restaurant.
Photo by Culinary Specialist Leandra Laws, 1AD Division Sustainment Brigade.
San Antonio, Texas
On July 19-20, FSIS and USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) used a OneUSDA approach to outreach and recruitment when participating in the Department of Defense Joint Base San Antonio’s (JBSA) Transition Assistance Program Table Day. JBSA Table Day serves all separating and retiring (transitioning) service members and their spouses from Randolph Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston and Lackland Air Force Base. FSIS’ Veterans and Persons with Disabilities Outreach Program Manager Shonda Moore and Human Resources Specialist Jerrell Davis — both from the Office of Management (OM) — and AMS Financial Execution Branch Chief Carolas Ford spoke with transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses and veteran organizations about FSIS Inspector Apprenticeship Programs (IAP) and other agency career opportunities. Nearly 30 participants expressed interest in working for FSIS.
Moore and Davis met with Fort Sam Houston’s Veterinary Services Unit Commander to collaborate on providing IAP briefings to the unit. They also met with JBSA’s Transition Services Manager and Career Skills Program Manager to determine best recruitment strategies for FSIS’ IAP. FSIS has 29 veterans and transitioning service members participating in IAP, with eight apprentices scheduled to convert to permanent, full-time employment by the end of fiscal year 2023. Learn more about FSIS’ apprenticeship programs by emailing FSISHR1@usda.gov with the subject “Inspector Apprenticeship Program.”
Pictured, from left: OM Human Resources Specialist Jerrell Davis, OM Veterans and Persons with Disabilities Outreach Program Manager Shonda Moore and AMS Financial Execution Branch Chief Carolas Ford.
Photo by an event vendor.
In July, Under Secretary Dr. Emilio Esteban and Administrator Paul Kiecker visited multiple establishments in Alaska and met with nearly every FSIS employee in the state. They shared agency updates, discussed employee engagement, talked about challenges facing small/very small establishments in the state and learned more about the meat industry in Alaska.
Delta Junction, Alaska
On July 24, Under Secretary Esteban and Administrator Kiecker visited a red meat and sausage establishment.
Pictured, from left: Administrator Kiecker, Under Secretary Esteban, Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI) Julie Labaska, Frontline Supervisor Dr. Earl VanBuskirk.
North Pole, Alaska
On July 24, Under Secretary Esteban and Administrator Kiecker visited a red meat establishment.
Pictured, from left: CSI Micki Salinas, Administrator Kiecker, Student Trainee (Veterinary)/Adel A. Malak Scholar Chelsea Brigham, VanBuskirk and Under Secretary Esteban.
On July 25, Under Secretary Esteban and Administrator Kiecker held a work unit meeting with employees.
Pictured, from left: Administrator Kiecker, Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian (SPHV) Dr. Lyndsay Morgan, CSI Todd Blackley, VanBuskirk, Student Trainee/Adel A. Malak Scholar Ella Cowan De Wolf and Under Secretary Esteban.
On July 25, Under Secretary Esteban and Administrator Kiecker visited with FSIS employees at an establishment.
Pictured, from left: Administrator Kiecker, Under Secretary Esteban, CSI James Paul, VanBuskirk, Morgan, Cowan De Wolf.
Photos by Chief of Staff Karen Hunter, OA.
On July 17-21, FSIS new supervisors took part in the Hybrid New Supervisor Training Program. The goal of the training is to prepare new supervisors for the challenges of their leadership roles and to emphasize supervisory behaviors that encompass the knowledge, skills and other attributes required to build high-performance teams.
Pictured, seated, from left: Supervisory Consumer Safety Inspector (SCSI) Brandy Agans; Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian (SPHV) Dr. Fiyimfoluwa Oparinde; SCSIs Pearl Fraley and Nieshia Walker; Deputy Administrator Terri Nintemann; SCSIs Sharon Peredis and Sheila Johnson; Administrator Paul Kiecker.
Front standing row, from left: OPARM Deputy Assistant Administrator Dr. Damon Ranftle; OPPD Deputy Assistant Administrator April Regonlinski; Supervisory Microbiologist Kelly Romanolo; SCSIs Cathy Mulkey and Christy Timbrook; SPHV Dr. Dayle Butler; SCSI Lisa Ko; OPHS’ Resource and Program Management Staff Director Kristi Akers; SPHV Dr. Danielle Kammer; OPACE Assistant Administrator Carol Blake; FSIS Chief Public Health Veterinarian and OPHS Deputy Assistant Administrator Dr. Kis Robertson-Hale.
Middle standing row, from left: Principal Deputy Assistant Chief Information Officer Dr. Elamin Osman; OPARM Assistant Administrator Gerri French; SPHVs Dr. Kristie Souders and Dr. Meghan Jessee; SCSIs Portia Teague, Les Wells and Joshua Hernandez; SPHV Dr. Hashim Alsafi; SCSIs Jeremi Feller and Dexter Wright.
Back standing row, from left: OFO Deputy Assistant Administrator Dr. Hany Sidrak; OM Assistant Administrator Frank Mays; SPHVs Dr. Asif Zahoor and Dr. Bernadette Grismer; SCSIs Myron Sorlien and Roger Warnke; SPHV Dr. Wayne Myers; Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Witte; SCSI Jaime Cigarroa.
Photo by Program Manager Tina Blain, OEED.
Great Falls, Mont.
On Aug. 2, Administrator Paul Kiecker spoke at the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s Rocky Mountain Regional Summit and answered attendee questions. With a goal of continuing a new opportunity and partnership with Indian Country, Administrator Kiecker shared ways the agency can support tribal and native efforts to build self-sufficiency and revenue for their communities through meat and poultry processing.
Pictured above: Administrator Kiecker gave an overview of FSIS inspection and the federal grant of inspection process to the approximately 40 tribal government leaders and native producers, mostly from Montana and Wyoming, who were attending the summit.
Pictured above: after highlighting that over 90 percent of FSIS-inspected meat and poultry establishments are classified as small or very small, Administrator Kiecker touched on other topics of particular interest to the attendees, such as mobile slaughter, field antemortem inspection and voluntary inspection of nonamenable species, such as bison.
Pictured above: Administrator Kiecker provided contact information, sources of possible funding, and more resources useful both to existing producers and to tribes interested in setting up new establishments.
Photos by Program Analyst and Tribal Liaison Alexandra Tarrant, OFO.
On June 14, USDA officials from the FSIS Office of the Administrator (OA), Office of Field Operations (OFO), Office of Public Health Science (OPHS), and the Office of Policy and Program Development (OPPD) were joined by an official from a sister USDA agency — Rural Development (RD) — and participated in roundtable discussions with local small and very small meat and poultry establishments. These events focused on promoting equity, reducing disparities, and addressing challenges faced by underserved groups. USDA is committed to expanding processing capacity and building a more resilient supply chain by supporting independent small and very small establishments.
Pictured above, back row, from left: an attendee from a small establishment; another attendee from a small establishment; OA Chief Operating Officer Jeremy “Todd” Reed; OFO Deputy Assistant Administrator Dr. Hany Sidrak; OFO Philadelphia District Manager Jason Orlando; OPHS Senior Advisor for Chemistry, Toxicology and Related Sciences Alexander Domesle; and OFO VMO Staff Officer Dr. Gabrial Eddings.
Front row, from left: RD Public-Private Partnerships Branch Business Loan & Grant Analyst Christine Kimball, OA Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Witte, OPPD Deputy Assistant Administrator April Regonlinski, and OPPD Labeling and Program Delivery Staff Director Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins.
Pictured above, seated on panel, from left; OA Chief Operating Officer Jeremy “Todd” Reed, OA Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Witte, OFO Deputy Assistant Administrator Dr. Hany Sidrak, OPPD Deputy Assistant Administrator April Regonlinski, OFO Philadelphia District Manager Jason Orlando, and OPPD Labeling and Program Delivery Staff Director Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins.
In audience holding microphone: an attendee from small establishment.
Photos by Public Affairs Specialist and Social Media Manager Karen Anderson, OPACE.