• Austin, TX
  • Full-time

Company Description

The Texas Legislature established the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) in 1907. The agency's key objectives are to promote production agriculture, consumer protection, economic development and healthy living. The agriculture commissioner oversees the agency and is elected every four years. The current commissioner, Todd Staples, was first elected in 2006 and re-elected to a second term in 2010.
TDA is a diversified state agency that provides value-added services through our regulatory and marketing and initiatives. TDA is headquartered in Austin and has five regional service offices, two sub-offices, three laboratories and five livestock export facilities.

Mission: TDA’s mission is to partner with all Texans to make Texas the nation's leader in agriculture, fortify our economy, empower rural communities, promote healthy lifestyles, and cultivate winning strategies for rural, suburban and urban Texas through exceptional service and the common threads of agriculture in our daily lives.

Job Description

CLASSIFICATION TITLE:  Program Specialist V            

SALARY:  B21, $4,500-4,900.00/MO.

CLASSIFICATION NO:  1574                                                                             

FLSA:  Exempt



JOB OBJECTIVE:  Coordinate and oversee nutrition functions for the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Food and Nutrition (F&N) Division to contribute to the compliance of the Texas Child Nutrition Program.  Provide consultative services and technical assistance to agency staff, governmental agencies, community organizations and the general public.



  1. Plan, develop and implement nutrition goals and objectives to support Food and Nutrition activities in statewide Child Nutrition Programs:  the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Summer Nutrition Programs and Child and Adult Care Food Program, including At-Risk.
  2. Provide consultative services and technical assistance on Healthier U.S. School Challenge and accommodating children with special needs.
  3. Address issues impacting all State Child Nutrition Programs with agency staff.
  4.  Serve as a liaison and maintain contact with other divisions, agencies and professional associations that impact nutrition.
  5. Develop and implement effective techniques to measure and evaluate the implementation of local wellness policies and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plans. 
  6. Develop guidelines, procedures, rules and regulations for Nutrition policy and assist in monitoring compliance with nutrition-related policies and procedures, including those for administrative reviews.
  7. Assist in establishing short and mid-term goals and objectives; and develop and/or approve schedules, priorities and standards for achieving goals for the Nutrition policy.
  8. Establish long and short-term goals, objectives, policies and standards to promote United States Department of Agriculture’s Team Nutrition initiatives.
  9. Review and approve certification for additional performance-based federal reimbursement for contracting entities.
  10. Examine research and current media coverage of food and nutrition issues; provide a clearinghouse and act as a liaison for child nutrition information.  Provide technical and nutrition information to administrators, Education Service Centers and other institutions. Make presentations to varied audiences. 
  11.  Evaluate, develop and implement policies and procedures for the Nutrition Unit.
  12. Prepare administrative reports, studies and complete specialist research projects.
  13. Develop and update nutrition education materials for Child Nutrition Programs monitor and update Food and Nutrition website content.
  14. Remain abreast of the current research, developments and trends in nutrition by interpreting how they impact the division’s goals and objectives and making recommendations of how the agency can be proactive in its strategies to help contracting entities comply with nutrition regulations.
  15. Respond to inquiries from the Commissioner and other TDA management and staff regarding nutrition.
  16. Adhere to established work schedule with regular attendance.
  17. Follow all TDA safety guidelines/procedures and ethics requirements.



  1. Handle customer complaints for the division, as requested.
  2. Perform other duties as assigned.



  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university (two years of work experience related to the essential duties may substitute for one year of college);
  • Minimum four years nutrition experience in professional administrative, supervisory or consultative work;
  • Work experience developing/preparing training materials and making technical presentations understandable for professional and non-technical audiences;
  • Work experience preparing  technical program reports;
  • Credentialed  as a registered dietician or licensed dietician; and
  • Required to travel up to 30% of the work period.


Additional Information


  • Master’s degree, with major coursework in institutional management, nutrition, dietetics or a related field.


KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (The application must specifically state how each of the following qualifications are met):

  • Working knowledge of federal and state government nutrition policies and issues;
  • Thorough knowledge of food and nutrition as it relates to preventative health care;
  • Knowledge of various aspects in institutional food service management;
  • Effective verbal and written communication, human relations and organizational skills;
  • Skill in providing customer service excellence to both internal and external customers;
  • Skill in operating a personal computer with word processing, database and spreadsheet software;
  • Effective critical thinking skills;
  • Ability to analyze problems, evaluate alternatives and recommend effective solutions;
  • Ability to process information in a logical manner and to assess validity;
  • Ability to establish goals and objectives and to devise effective solutions to problems;
  • Ability to develop and interpret policies, procedures and regulations;
  • Ability to interpret technical information and translate into lay terminology;
  • Ability to plan, organize and work independently, as well as within a team environment;
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet strict deadlines while maintaining extreme attention to detail;
  • Ability to work in a setting requiring self-motivation/cooperative decision-making and to work effectively with diverse groups of people;
  •  Ability to adapt successfully and quickly to change and deliver quality results in a timely manner;
  • Ability to work successfully in a dynamic, multi-tasking environment.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and discretion; and
  • Ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality.



  • Working knowledge of federal nutrition regulations.


ENVIRONMENT/PHYSICAL CONDITIONS:  Normal office work environment, mostly sedentary in nature. May involve walking; standing; pulling and pushing; kneeling, stooping and bending; and safely lifting and carrying items weighing up to 30 pounds.  May involve working overtime, to include evenings and weekends, as needed.   Involves travel, occasionally overnight.


A skills exercise will be conducted at the time of the interview.


*     A valid Texas driver’s license and an acceptable driving record are required.  TDA will verify this information with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) accepts applications exclusively through the website. Fill out application form completely. If fields are not applicable, enter "NA." Do not leave any fields blank. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For more information about registering with Work in Texas and submitting an electronic application, you can refer to the Frequently Asked Questions on the WorkinTexas website. Questions directly related to the job posting may be directed to TDA’s Applicant Services Office at (512) 463-7648.
TDA participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security, with information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.     * E-Verify Participation Poster (English)     * E-Verity Participation Poster (Spanish)     * Right to Work Poster (English)     * Right to Work Poster (Spanish)