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Frederick Animal Health Laboratory

Recruitment #23-000078-0001


The Maryland Department of Agriculture is a department under Maryland's Executive Branch.  Formed in 1972 by the Maryland General Assembly to address the agriculture needs for the State of Maryland, the Department oversees and serves as a regulatory body for animal health , consumer services to include marketing and lab services, plant and pest management and resource conservation.  As the number one industry in Maryland, the diversity of agriculture programs in the State continue to expand and grow.

The MDA Animal Health Program prevents and controls infectious and contagious diseases in Maryland livestock and poultry with particular emphasis on those diseases that threaten public health, endanger food supplies or threaten the economic security of the animal industries.

Join our Team and make a difference in preventing contagious and infectious disease in Maryland livestock.

 Full-Time contractual position with eligibility for subsidized health benefits and limited paid leave.




Frederick Animal Health Laboratory 1840 Rosemont Ave. Frederick, MD 21702

Main Purpose of Job

As Agricultural Laboratory Scientist I, this position serves primarily to support the Agency mission to prevent and control infectious disease of livestock and poultry, and to assure consumer confidence by conducting veterinary analytic and diagnostic tests in the assigned regional laboratory of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. This position is primarily responsible for assisting the Pathologist in performing large and small livestock necropsies, including operation and management of the incinerator and associated record keeping and document management. Additional necropsy duties include Rabies testing and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) sample collection & preparation. This employee secondarily assists with laboratory diagnostic work as assigned such as fecal sample preparation and testing, sample and paperwork set-up for other testing, sample preparation for packing and shipping, packing & shipping of biological specimens, media preparation, ordering of reagents and supplies, and with other elements of diagnostic testing conducted in the Laboratory. This position manages resources and operations. This position is considered an essential employee for continuity of operations purposes. 

This position requires use of heavy machinery such as but not limited to table saws, chain saws, knives, conveyors, 1 ton hoists, and a large single batch load incinerator.  Work with large and small livestock necropsies is labor intensive.  This work occurs on a daily basis, with surges due to events such as weather, disease outbreak scenarios, or other livestock related events.


Learns to assist the Pathologist with gross necropsy, conducts cleanup and disinfection of the necropsy suite after completion of necropsy, and stocks supplies used during necropsy.

Participates in the rotational weekend on-call schedule for animal carcass intake.

Learns to serve as primary back-up scientist for Rabies sample collection & preparation, Rabies fluorescent antibody testing, and TSE sample collection and preparation. Participates in the Rabies proficiency test rotational schedule. Works closely with the Rabies & TSE lead scientist to assure reagents, controls, and supplies are in-stock and available for use at all times. 

Learns to accept carcasses for necropsy or disposal, records body weight, places in cooler or incinerator or on necropsy table, as directed. Learns to clean, sharpen, and condition knives and other equipment used in the necropsy suite. Learns to clean out the incinerator after cremations, including proper disposal or retention of remains. Learns to clean and maintains the necropsy suite, the area around the incinerator and assess the need for additional deep cleaning on a weekly basis. 

Participates in and passes the 3-day Incinerator Operator Training required by theMaryland Department of Environment (MDE). Participates in and passes annual 1-day refresher Incinerator Operator Training as required by MDE.

This position may learn to assist with sample set up & testing as directed for tests such asfecal testing or other parasitology testing. This positive may also learn to help with sample andpaperwork set-up for in-house serology testing.

Learn to assist with sample preparation for packing and shipping. Packing and Shipping of Biological Specimens: This includes completion of required Federal training for Packing & Shipping of Biological Specimens, as well as in-house training.

Learns to strictly adhere to biosecurity, biosafety and personal protection equipment SOP for all laboratory activities.


Experience: Four years of experience performing veterinary analytical, diagnostic, and epidemiological laboratory testing work.


1. Candidates may substitute the possession of a Bachelor's degree in the biological or chemical sciences from an accredited college or university including one course in general microbiology and one course in pathogenic, clinical or medical microbiology for the required experience.

2. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a commissioned officer in natural resources management and biological science classification or natural resources management and biological science specialty codes in the animal science field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience.


Preference will be given to applicants who possess the following preferred qualification(s). Include clear and specific information on your application regarding your qualifications.

Experience with veterinary analytical testing such as parasitology, slide staining, or other diagnostic techniques.

Experience handling large and/or small animals in a setting such as a laboratory or veterinary clinic (e.g. animal care, performing necropsies, etc.).  Please specify large and/or small animals.

Experience incinerating pathological waste.




1. Candidates for some positions may be given a medical examination to rule out color blindness.

2. Employees in this classification must be willing to undergo and maintain rabies immunization.


Please make sure that you provide sufficient information on your application to show that you meet the qualifications for this recruitment.  All information concerning your qualifications must be submitted by the closing date.


Contractual employees who work for an agency covered under the State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program, have a current employment contract and work 30 or more hours a week (or on average 130 hours per month) may be eligible for subsidized health benefits coverage for themselves and their dependents. As a contractual employee, you will be responsible for paying 25% of the premiums for your medical and prescription coverage, including any eligible dependents you have enrolled. The State of Maryland will subsidize the remaining 75% of the cost for these benefits. You can also elect to enroll in dental coverage, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and life insurance, but will be responsible to pay the full premium for these benefits.

Leave may be granted to a contractual employee who has worked 120 days in a 12 month period. This leave accrues at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per calendar year.


Online applications are STRONGLY preferred.  If you unable to apply online, you may mail a paper application to: Maryland Department of Agriculture Human Resource Office, Room 304 50 Harry S Truman Parkway Annapolis, MD 21401.  If you are submitting additional information, such as diplomas and transcripts, the preferred method is to upload them online with your application. 

If you are unable to upload, you may mail, hand-deliver or fax (HR Fax # 443-602-9831).  All paper applications must be received by 4:30 PM on the closing date, no exceptions.  (Postmarks not accepted.)   Resumes will NOT be accepted in lieu of completing the online or paper application. 

As an equal opportunity employer, Maryland is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State’s diversity. People with disabilities and bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. We thank our Veterans for their service to our country.  TTY Users: call via Maryland Relay For questions concerning this recruitment, please contact: Kathleen Newhouse at 410-841-5837 or

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