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USDA-NRCS Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

If you have any questions regarding the forms on this web page, please contact Doug Rose, (254) 742-9947 or Yerndi Mathurin, (254) 742-9927.

The documents on this page require Acrobat Reader.

Click each link below, fill out each form and promptly mail all required documents to our Human Resources office using the appropriate envelopes provided to you.

You will receive an email from our National Headquarters regarding your security investigation process. Your Human Resources office should have discussed this with you shortly after your were hired.

Below are printable documents that you will send to our Human Resources office. Each document must be placed in the appropriate self addressed envelope located in your packet and mailed to our Human Resources office. Read all of the instructions carefully to avoid delay in processing.

Note:  It is not necessary to print and/or mail the instruction page for these forms.

Form Title and Instruction
OF 306  (PDF; 374 Kb) Declaration for Federal Employment

Complete and Sign item 17b Appointee's Signature.

Mail to Human Resources Office in the envelope immediately to avoid delay in processing.

SF 85 (PDF; 550 Kb) Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions - You will use this form as a guide when entering information into the e-QIP system.  Do not mail this form until you have completed e-QIP.

Mail to Human Resources Office in the white envelope along with the pages you have printed and signed from EQIP.

SF 144  (PDF; 214 Kb) Statement of Prior Federal Employment

You must complete and sign this form whether or not you have prior federal employment.

Mail to Human Resources Office in the envelope immediately to avoid delay in processing.

SF 256  (PDF; 187 Kb) Self-Identification for Medical Disability 

Mail to Human Resources Office in the envelope immediately to avoid delay in processing.

SF 181  (PDF; 62 Kb) Ethnicity and Race Identification

Mail to Human Resources Office in the envelope immediately to avoid delay in processing.

SF 1199A  (PDF; 31 Kb) Direct Deposit - Take this to your financial institution and have them fill out and sign before mailing it back to Human Resources.  (Note: Return the Government Agency Copy to our H.R Office you may retain the other copies for your records)

Mail to Human Resources Office in the envelope immediately to avoid delay in processing.

Form W-4  (PDF; 237 Kb) Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate  (blocks 1-5 must be completed)

Mail to Human Resources Office in the envelope immediately to avoid delay in processing.

AD 349  (PDF; 11 Kb) Employee Address Form  - Direct deposit only (blocks 8 - 12 do not apply)

Mail to Human Resources Office in the envelope immediately to avoid delay in processing.

Instructions for completing the Security Training and Awareness

This is an open book exam.  It is suggested that you do not print the course material in order to save paper. Print the exam and read the course material from your computer while completing your answers.

Note: You may email or fax your completed exam to Doug Rose at doug.rose@tx.usda.gov, Fax: (254)742-9929.  If you have any questions contact, Doug Rose at (254) 742-9947.

If you are a veteran:  A copy of your DD-214 documenting an Honorable Discharge must be provided. We must have a copy of this document to verify all periods of military service.

During your first week of duty

When you report for duty, you and your supervisor will work together to fill out the following forms.

  • SF 61 Appointment Affidavits
  • I-9
  • Security Clearance forms IRM 2 and IRM 3

During Your First Month of duty

These links are very important to have with you during your first month of duty. Please print each booklet from your office computer and have them available for instruction after you've received an email from Human Resources informing you of your EmpowHR password and Employee/User ID.  Follow the instructions in the 'EmpowHR Instruction Guide for New and Returning Employees'.  If you do not receive your EmpowHR User ID and Password by your 4th week on duty contact Yerndi Mathurin via email or phone at (254) 742-9927.

You will receive your EMPOWHR password by email, and the Registration Invitation email linking you to eAuthentication registration. Read the NRCS New Employee eAuth Account Registration Aid.  If you are having trouble registering for your eAuthentication access refer to the help instructions on page 10.

After you have registered and received your eAuthentication password you will log in to Aglearn in order to take the 'Department of Agriculture Ethics Orientation For New Employees' which is located in your learning plan.  Make sure to print a certificate after you complete this course.

When you have registered and received your eAuthentication password you will log in to Aglearn in order to take the USDA - Ethics:  Training Module 21 New Employee Ethics Orientation Course - Ethics training instructions (PDF; 1.15 Mb)

Once you have completed the Department of Agriculture Ethics Orientation and printed your certificate, you will take the 'Introduction to NRCS Course', Click on the following link for step by step instructions to access this course - Introduction to NRCS Course (PDF; 671 Kb)

Remember these logins and passwords for future use.

Please read these important booklets and handouts material in their entirety.

Employee Development:

Your supervisor will be preparing your Employee Development Plan (EDP). You have the responsibility for ensuring your training is completed and documented on your EDP. A current EDP will be maintained throughout your career.

The Employee Personal Page (EPP)

An EPP Password from The National Finance Center (NFC) will be mailed to your home address approximately 4 weeks after you enter on duty.

What is EPP?

With the Employee Personal Page (EPP) you can view your payroll, leave, travel, health and life insurance, savings bond, and other personal information, read news items from your agency or NFC, and link to your favorite sites.

The Self-Service option is available for employees whose agency has elected to offer this option. You can change your Residence Address, Federal and State Tax withholding, Financial Allotments, and Direct Deposit information.

How Do I Get Started?

Step 1. Upon receiving your EPP password go to www.nfc.usda.gov.

Step 2. Enter your computer generated password received from NFC and your social security number as your user ID.

Step 3. Click the Submit button.

Step 4. Change your PIN to a number that only you will know.

More Information:

The Employee Personal Page has been modified to synchronize with your USDA eAuthentication (eAuth) credentials.  You may contact our human resources office or your supervisor for more information on this matter.


With the Employee Personal Page (EPP) you can view your payroll, leave, travel, health and life insurance, savings bond, and other personal information, read news items from your agency or NFC, and link to your favorite sites.

The Self-Service option is available for employees whose agency has elected to offer this option. You can change your Residence Address, Federal and State Tax withholding, Financial Allotments, and Direct Deposit information.

The Work Number for Everyone (PDF; 21 Kb) The Work Number for Everyone is an automated system that provides employment & salary verification to specific creditors and potential lenders. Through use of a touch-tone phone, employees can authorize potential creditors the access needed in order to obtain information required for apartment rental, reference checks, short-term, and major loans including mortgages through this automated system.

Military Reservists: Federal employees are required to advise their employing offices at such time they become eligible for retired or retainer pay from the military reserves.

If you encounter any problems with the files provided on this page, please contact Webmaster at 254-742-9953.