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					Inside APHIS                                                                                          Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                             In Their Own Words
                                                             For World Veterinary Year, APHIS has been
                                                             interviewing agency veterinarians to learn about
                                                             their insights and experiences. Here‘s what some
                                                             of our veterinarians shared. For more details, go
                                                             to the USDA blog and search ―World Veterinary
                                                             Year.‖ We‘ll share more excerpts in future issues
                                                             of Inside APHIS.

                                                             Why did you become a veterinarian?
                                                             ―Since childhood, this is all I ever wanted to do.‖
By Joelle Hayden
                                                             —Dr. Amy Winter, Veterinary Medical
                                                             Officer, Iowa
In honor of the 250th anniversary of the
founding of the first veterinary school in Lyon,
France, the international veterinary community is            ―I always loved animals and science when I was
celebrating 2011 as World Veterinary Year. To                growing up. A veterinary career seemed like a
join in the celebration, APHIS plans to highlight            good way to combine my interests. I now get to
the agency‘s own diverse veterinary community                help both animals and people every day.‖
throughout the year. APHIS wants to make sure                —Dr. Chrislyn Wood, Veterinary Medical
all of its employees—as well as the world—                   Officer/Poultry Specialist, Pennsylvania
know about our talented veterinary staff and the
great work they do every day protecting
American agriculture.                                        ―Being a veterinarian runs in my family.
                                                             My father is a veterinarian for USDA as well.
                                                             My goal in vet school was to end up working in
In mid-April, Administrator Gregory Parham—                  regulatory medicine myself.‖
himself a veterinarian—posted a blog on the
APHIS portal about the worldwide veterinary                  —Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, Veterinary Medical
celebration. More guest blogs will be posted                 Officer, Iowa
there in the coming months. Additionally, the
agency is developing a video for posting on                  What is the coolest thing about your job as a
APHIS‘ YouTube channel to highlight the                      veterinarian?
message of APHIS and our veterinarians to the
                                                             ―Our lab in Ames was the first to isolate West
social media world.
                                                             Nile virus when it first entered the country in
                                                             1999.‖
APHIS is also participating in an ongoing series             —Dr. Beverly Schmitt, Director of the
of World Veterinary Year blog entries on the
                                                             Diagnostic Virology Lab, Iowa
USDA blog. Click here to visit the USDA blog
and read more. We‘re still looking for APHIS
veterinarians to profile. If you would like to               ―In my job, the coolest moments are those times
participate, contact Joelle Hayden at (301) 734-             where you know you‘ve totally changed
0595 or joelle.r.hayden@aphis.usda.gov.                      someone‘s day (or life) for the better—animal or
                                                             person.‖

                                                    Page 1
Inside APHIS                                                 Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



—Dr. Shanna Siegel, Veterinary Medical
Officer/Import and Export, Georgia

―I‘ve spent a fair amount of time at Yellowstone
over the years. One of the coolest things I‘ve
done was working on a study that involved
putting radio collars on bison and monitoring
them.‖
—Dr. Jack Rhyan, Wildlife Pathologist,
Colorado

―We worked with USDA‘s Agricultural
Research Service on a preliminary study on
vaccines for bovine tuberculosis in white-tailed
deer. It was a great collaborative effort between
USDA agencies, and I learned a lot.‖
—Dr. Pauline Nol, Veterinary
Epidemiologist, Colorado

END




                                                    Page 2
Inside APHIS                                                                                           Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                              Inside APHIS: What was it that you learned
                                                              from him about APHIS that attracted you to this
                                                              kind of work?

                                                              Gregory Parham: I remember that it always
                                                              seemed that he was going on some kind of
By John Scott                                                 training or development program. I remember
                                                              him talking about Ames and the laboratories
                                                              there. One of the things he learned was to be a
                                                              poultry diagnostician. And I remember the first
Inside APHIS recently had the chance to sit
                                                              time he said that. It sounded like something that
down with APHIS Administrator Gregory
                                                              you could—who wouldn‘t want to be one of
Parham and speak with him about his
                                                              those—whatever it meant, you know. He also
background and the agency that he now leads.
                                                              worked internationally in Haiti, as part of the
                                                              African swine fever program there. Just seeing
Below are excerpts from our interview, which
                                                              him do a variety of different things is what I
focused mainly on four areas: his background,
                                                              found compelling.
the future of APHIS, leadership, and stakeholder
engagement.
                                                              Inside APHIS: When did you start with APHIS?
                                                              And what positions have you held with the
For the full version of this interview, you can
                                                              agency here?
listen to the audio clips provided. The buttons in
the margin link to separate and brief audio clips,
                                                              Gregory Parham: APHIS was the very first
one for each topic covered during the course of
                                                              Federal position that I held, and that was when I
our interview. You can also read the full
                                                              was a student in veterinary college, in the—well,
unedited transcripts, which are available using
                                                              the late ‗70s [laughs]. I was a veterinary student
buttons provided on the following page.
                                                              trainee in Florida, working on the brucellosis
                                                              program there. I started there for a 2 ½-month
Background
                                                              stint and then went back to veterinary school and
                                                              completed that, and then went to the Centers for
Inside APHIS: You‘ve spoken about your
                                                              Disease Control in Atlanta.
father‘s career with APHIS and its predecessor
agency. Can you tell me about his job and where
                                                              When I joined USDA, I went to the Food Safety
he worked?
                                                              and Inspection Service, in the epidemiology
                                                              branch because that was my specialty training. I
Gregory Parham: My father graduated from
                                                              came to APHIS in 2006 as the chief information
veterinary college in 1951. So that‘s 60 years
                                                              officer after a career all within USDA, but in
ago. He immediately went into what would then
                                                              different offices. And I spent about a year and a
have been whatever VS was called back in those
                                                              half there. And then, I took the position of
days; but he was assigned to the FMD—the foot-
                                                              deputy administrator for Marketing and
and-mouth disease—outbreak investigation in
                                                              Regulatory Programs Business Services. And
Mexico. So he actually began his career
                                                              from there, Cindy asked me to become the
internationally with APHIS, working on that
                                                              associate administrator. And, as they say, the rest
disease in Mexico for about a year.
                                                              is history. In April, I became the administrator.



                                                     Page 3
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



Inside APHIS: How do you think the range of                    declines that are fatal, by any means, but it does
positions you‘ve held has shaped your                          mean that we have to re-examine how we‘re
understanding of APHIS?                                        conducting our business; and it may mean some
                                                               retrenchment in certain areas, and similar things
Gregory Parham: I think, in particular, working                that we may have had the luxury of doing before,
in the business services arena gives you a real                but we won‘t have the luxury to do them in the
appreciation for some of the underpinnings for                 future.
so many of our programs. Everyone thinks about
the Veterinary Services, the Plant Protection and              Inside APHIS: How is the agency preparing to
Quarantine, the Wildlife Services, the Animal                  handle these funding challenges?
Care programs, but rarely do they think about the
financial, the IT, the human resource issues that              Gregory Parham: One of the ways that we are
underpin all of that kind of thing.                            trying to address some of this, and we‘re doing it
                                                               across the department, is with the early out and
The different positions afforded me the                        buyout authority—or VERA and VSIP: the
opportunity to see the depth and breadth of the                Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and the
activity that the agency finds itself involved in.             Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments
                                                               programs. The early out [VERA] is more
Future                                                         general. Anyone who is eligible can take that,
                                                               except for a couple of excluded categories. But
Inside APHIS: What does a successful APHIS                     with the VSIP—or the buyout portion—we‘re
look like to you?                                              much more focused and targeted. We may have
                                                               to do that again. We don‘t know. But we‘re
Gregory Parham: If you look on our Web site,                   certainly looking at that for fiscal year 2012.
when people apply for jobs, it says, you know,                 We‘re already underway with that process for
we‘re an emergency response agency. So a                       2011. So we‘ll see what happens.
successful APHIS is one that‘s able to respond to
those emergencies. But at the same time, and                   Inside APHIS: Some Federal agencies may be
maybe even more importantly, it‘s an agency                    more vulnerable to reductions than others. What
that‘s able to accomplish its work day-to-day in a             kind of position do you believe APHIS is in?
way that is both—and it may sound trite—but is
both efficient and effective. And I think those are            Gregory Parham: Well, I think APHIS is in a
increasingly going to become important, as we                  very extraordinarily good position because no
look at shrinkage in some of our budgets.                      one else has the mission that we have in terms of
                                                               protecting animal health and safeguarding plant
Inside APHIS: What would you say are some of                   health. No one has the mission of the welfare of
APHIS‘s most significant challenges coming up?                 animals, in the same way that we do.

Gregory Parham: The most significant                           I had the opportunity very recently to go with
challenge is going to be the change in how the                 some of our Wildlife Services employees over to
budget has been working. APHIS has been very                   National Airport, to see some of the work that
fortunate to experience over the last decade an                they do. That work is vital. There‘s no way we
increase in appropriations. In the last—current                will stop doing that work. And so, I do believe
year 2011 and at least projected for 2012—fiscal               that we will find the mechanisms by which we
year 2012—it looks like that trend has reversed,               will be able to continue that work in a way that‘s
and we are looking at declines. They aren‘t                    sustained into the future.

                                                      Page 4
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



Inside APHIS: What other changes do you see                    Stakeholder Engagement
coming our way as an agency?
                                                               Inside APHIS: APHIS has increasingly
Gregory Parham: The Secretary has asked us                     emphasized building strong partnerships and
collectively, as a department, to begin to think               engaging with stakeholders. What is
about what are some of the things we might have                ―stakeholder engagement,‖ and why is it
to eliminate. And are there other things that we               important to APHIS and our partners?
might continue to do, but that we could
consolidate. So as we look at some of our                      Gregory Parham: We are a regulatory agency
programs, are there some that we could merge, if               and so folks are always going to be interested in
you will—still perform all the functions, but                  what it is we are doing—not only in what it is,
maybe do it in a merged kind of fashion. He also               but how it is that we are carrying out. And so it‘s
asked us about some of our office usage around                 important that we continue to have
the country and are there some ways that we                    communications with all interested parties—be
could work with each other, to maybe have less                 they stakeholders, be they cooperators, be they
of a footprint out there.                                      partners—not only for them to understand, but
                                                               also for them to help us. There are many times
Leadership                                                     when our work can be enhanced. Or certainly the
                                                               reach of our work can go much beyond what
Inside APHIS: Recent agency training has                       we‘re able to do, and I think this is going to be
emphasized the need for leadership traits                      increasingly important as we look at budgets that
                                                               are beginning to shrink.
at all levels within the organization. Why is
                                                               Inside APHIS: With regard to our State
this important?
                                                               partnerships, what priorities do you have for the
Gregory Parham: Leadership at all levels is an                 agency in terms of State engagement going
important idea because many times folks who are                forward?
in a position—regardless of what it is—may be
the best one, in terms of that particular position,            Gregory Parham: I think for the States it‘s going
to really understand what needs to be done. And                to be very, very important because the States are
part of leadership is not only knowing what                    facing the same kind of budgets, and maybe even
needs to be done, but also having the                          in many instances, even more severe than the
wherewithal to get it done.                                    Federal government is. So, it‘s going to become
                                                               even more important that we have a close
Inside APHIS: How would you describe a                         alliance in terms of being able to prioritize the
successful leader?                                             work that needs to be done, and how we can go
                                                               about doing that.
Gregory Parham: A successful leader is one
who knows their own strengths, but also is aware               END
of the strengths of the team or the unit that they
find themselves in and also is willing to learn. So
as they continue to advance, they are also                     Audio Links:
constantly learning about new ways, new
                                                               Background:
approaches, and better approaches to
                                                               http://www.aphis.usda.gov/inside_aphis/video/B
accomplishing their work.
                                                               ackground.mp3
                                                      Page 5
Inside APHIS                                               Vol. 2, 2011 Issue




Future:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/inside_aphis/video/F
uture.mp3

Leadership:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/inside_aphis/video/L
eadership.mp3

Stakeholder Engagement:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/inside_aphis/video/St
akeholder.mp3




                                                  Page 6
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                                the things that he had done and that I had
                                                                experienced with him made me believe that
                                                                would be a fulfilling career.
                                                                Inside APHIS: What was it that you learned
                                                                from him about APHIS that attracted you to this
                                                                kind of work? And has what attracted you to the
Background                                                      agency‘s work sort of changed, as you‘ve grown
                                                                professionally?
Inside APHIS: You‘ve spoken previously—at
other events—about your father‘s career with                    Gregory Parham: Well, it‘s interesting, because
APHIS and as its predecessor agency. Can you                    I always remember that it always seemed that he
tell me just a little bit about what his job was and            was going on some kind of training or
where did he work?                                              development program—be it Ames—I remember
                                                                many times him talking about Ames and the
Gregory Parham: Okay. My father graduated
                                                                laboratories there and the offices there. And he
from veterinary college in 1951. So that‘s 60
                                                                would go out there to learn. I remember one of
years ago. He immediately went into what would
                                                                the things he learned was to be a poultry
then have been whatever VS was called back in
                                                                diagnostician. And I remember the first time he
those days; but he was assigned to the FMD—
                                                                said that it sounded like, you know, something
the foot and mouth disease—outbreak
                                                                that you could—you know, who wouldn‘t want
investigation in Mexico. So he actually began his
                                                                to be one of those—whatever it meant, you
career internationally with APHIS, working on
                                                                know. And within—he also did other training.
that disease in Mexico for about a year.
                                                                He also worked internationally, again, before his
Inside APHIS: And how did his career influence                  career was over, in Haiti, as part of the African
you and shape your personal goals, because                      swine fever program there. And so just
obviously it‘s part of your life, as well.                      remembering some of the, you know—TB over
                                                                the years, brucellosis over the years, you know—
Gregory Parham: When he returned from                           just seeing him do a variety of different things, is
Mexico, he moved to Ohio, and that‘s where I                    what I found compelling.
was born. And so, growing up, I always saw the
work that he did, you know. He drove a                          Inside APHIS: When did you start with APHIS?
government car. And so he went off every day to                 And what positions have you held with the
do things in a four-county area within                          agency here?
southeastern Ohio. And it was everything from
                                                                Gregory Parham: Actually, APHIS was the very
sale barns to testing animals to doing just a
                                                                first Federal position that I held, and that was
number of things that were associated with the
                                                                when I was a student in veterinary college, in
agency‘s work at that time. What I also
                                                                the—well, the late ‗70s [laughs]. And so I was a
remember, though, is that he would take trips,
                                                                veterinary student trainee in Florida, working on
periodically; and he took me on one of them one
                                                                the brucellosis program there. It‘s been
time, when he went to—I believe it was to some
                                                                eliminated now, you know, so—not that I take
conference or training session in Delaware. So
                                                                the credit for that, but certainly over the last
that was super-exotic for me, at that particular
                                                                thirty-odd years, this has been one of the great
time. And that influenced me, because over the
                                                                successes in Veterinary Services was the
years, although I had not decided to be a
                                                                elimination of brucellosis in much of the
veterinarian until, actually, I was well into
                                                                continental U.S. It still remains in the greater
college, you know, just remembering some of
                                                                Yellowstone area. But so I started there for a
                                                       Page 7
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



two-and-a-half-month stint, if you will, and then             appreciation for some of the underpinnings, for
went back to veterinary school and completed                  so many of our programs. When we think about,
that, and then went to the Centers for Disease                you know, the safeguarding mission and all of
Control in Atlanta. But still, you know, I knew               that, we—you know, everyone thinks about the
about APHIS and the kinds of things that they                 Veterinary Services, the Plant Protection
did. But when I originally joined USDA, I went                Quarantine, the Wildlife Services, the Animal
to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, in the             Care programs, but rarely do they think about the
epidemiology branch, because that was my                      financial, the IT, the human resource issues that
specialty training was in epidemiology. And so I              underpin all of that kind of thing. And so I think,
came to APHIS in 2006 as the chief information                really, having done that stint as the deputy for
officer after a career all within USDA, but in                MRPBS does give you a different perspective on
different offices. And I spent about a year and a             the work of the agency; because it‘s not really
half there. And then, when Bill Hudnall retired, I            programmatic, in the sense of seemingly directly
took the position of deputy administrator for                 related to safeguarding. But it‘s so essential in
Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business                    terms of the agency actually accomplishing its
Services. And from there, Cindy asked me to                   mission. So I think that‘s one of the things that
become the associate administrator. And, as they              really as administrator I‘ve found most helpful,
say, the rest is history. In April, I became the              you know, an understanding not only of the
administrator.                                                programmatic, but also of the administrative
                                                              work of the agency.
Inside APHIS: With this—the range of positions
you‘ve held, what traits do you have that think               Inside APHIS: How do you think these previous
you—or that you think enabled you to succeed in               positions prepared you for the job of
each of these? Is there a thread that connects                administrator?
those different positions in your mind, do you
think?                                                        Gregory Parham: Wow! Okay—

Gregory Parham: If there‘s any thread, I think                Inside APHIS: If you can prepare… [laughter]
it‘s one of what one might call systems thinking.             Gregory Parham: Exactly, exactly, exactly. If
And all I mean by that is that no matter what                 one can be prepared, I think what it does is—
kind of environment you find yourself in, you                 those different positions afforded me the
could always think about things systematically.               opportunity to see, again, the depth and breadth
And that, coupled with understanding that you                 of the activity that the agency finds itself
always have to prepare for contingencies is part              involved in. And in so doing, you have the
of the common thread. But then, also, the                     opportunity to more fully understand, I believe—
training in veterinary medicine, which is one                 and also more fully engage in all the work of the
where you have to learn a lot about many                      agency. Because again, as administrator, you‘re
different things. Prepares you to really—if you               administrator for all the programs, all the
so desire—to apply that knowledge in a number                 activities, all the various functions that we serve.
of different ways.                                            And so, you know, I think it is important to have
Inside APHIS: And again, given the range of                   a working knowledge of budget; a working
positions, how do you think that‘s sort of                    knowledge of human resources; a working
uniquely shaped your understanding of what                    knowledge of IT, you know. It‘s essential, I
APHIS is and what we do?                                      think, as we‘re in our noble-global-mobile
                                                              environment to be able to rely on those kinds of
Gregory Parham: I think, in particular, working               things.
in the business services arena gives you a real
                                                     Page 8
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



Future                                                          exclusion, you know. Increasingly, I think, we‘re
                                                                going to have to look at exclusion as opposed to
Inside APHIS: I saw in a recent message to                      control and eradication. And so—and Wildlife
employees that you invited employees to write                   Services, in terms of some of the challenges, just
the next chapter of the APHIS story. How would                  around the way that we conduct our activities
you like that chapter to read?                                  there. Just a number of different things that I
Gregory Parham: I wasn‘t sure of the answer to                  think are going to be important in the future.
this one, John, because I‘m just not sure that I                Inside APHIS: What does a successful APHIS
fully recognize and understand the talents of                   look like to you?
everyone in APHIS. But what I do believe is that
it would be a chapter that would be—that would                  Gregory Parham: A successful APHIS is an
reflect the agency‘s creativity. And also, it‘s kind            agency that is prepared for any emergency that
of can-do spirit. Because that‘s one thing about                comes along. And why do I say that? It‘s
APHIS, you—regardless of what the challenge                     because—we call us ourselves an emergency
is, you always find an attitude that, you know,                 response agency. If you look on our Web site,
that they can tackle this, they can approach this,              when people apply for jobs, it says, you know,
they can successfully, you know, adjust to                      we‘re an emergency response agency. So a
whatever is put in their path. And so I think it                successful APHIS is one that‘s able to respond to
would be both creative; it would have the can-do                those emergencies. But at the same time—and
spirit; and then finally, I think it would be one               maybe even more importantly—it‘s an agency
that would show some perseverance. And I think                  that‘s able to accomplish its work day-to-day, in
that‘s going to be critical, as we move forward.                a way that is both—and it may sound trite—but
                                                                is both efficient and effective. And I think those
Inside APHIS: What are your goals for the                       are increasingly going to become important, as
agency? I know that‘s a terribly broad question,                we look at shrinkage in some of our budgets.
but…
                                                                Inside APHIS: I‘ve heard you use the words
Gregory Parham: My goals are that we can                        noble, global, and mobile—I like that. I like that
continue to enhance our core, fundamental                       phrasing—to describe APHIS. To some people,
mission, and that is of safeguarding America‘s                  noble sounds very grand, somehow. But how
natural and agricultural resources, okay. And                   does noble apply to APHIS?
when I say enhance, there are so many things
that we‘re engaged in, that we‘re in the process                Gregory Parham: And again, I think that goes to
of improving: be that on the Animal Care front,                 the fundamental and the core mission, which is
in terms of some of the things that we‘re doing in              safeguard. So you see—so, to guard something,
the area of enforcement—not to the exclusion of                 or to keep it safe, means that you are going to do
education, but certainly with more of an                        what is necessary to make sure that our resources
emphasis on enforcement; some of the things                     are adequately protected. And so anytime you
we‘re attempting to do in biotech, with the                     have a role—an agency with a role for
deregulations of various [pause]—sorry…                         protection, of something as basic as food, as
[continuing] …with the deregulation of the                      basic as agriculture, as basic as plant, as basic as
various—what do you call them—entities, you                     animal, in terms of their health, because that
know—the idea of looking at the different corns,                supports also then, if you will, the public health.
the different soybeans, the different cottons, blue             And this gets all into the ―one health area.‖ The
roses, you know, those kinds of things, you                     protection of animal health and plant health is, to
know. The challenges are great in the plant                     me, the very foundation of the protection of
protection area. The idea of surveillance and pest              public health. And since I‘m trained as a public
                                                       Page 9
Inside APHIS                                                                                               Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



health veterinarian and epidemiologist, I think                 over the last decade an increase in
there is no more noble mission than one that                    appropriations. In the last—current year 2011
protects the public health, but to understand that              and at least projected for 2012—fiscal year
the building blocks for doing so are the                        2012—it looks like that trend has reversed, and
protection of plant health and animal health.                   we are looking at declines. Again, it‘s—they
                                                                aren‘t declines that are fatal, by any means, but it
Inside APHIS: There‘s been a lot of focus and                   does mean that we have to re-examine how
discussion on USDA‘s Cultural Transformation                    we‘re conducting our business; and it may mean
initiative. In your mind, what does a transformed               some retrenchment in certain areas, and similar
APHIS culture look like? How would you                          things, that we may have had the luxury of doing
describe it? And this is the third part, what can               before, we won‘t have the luxury to do them in
employees do to get there, to realize that                      the future.
transformation?
                                                                Inside APHIS: APHIS and other Federal
Gregory Parham: Well, I think the Secretary of                  agencies, you know, we all continue to face a
Agriculture‘s been very clear on what he means                  difficult budget climate. Can you talk a little bit
by cultural transformation. And in addition to it               about how the agency is preparing to handle
being an environment where employees and                        some of those funding challenges?
stakeholders can be treated fairly and with
respect, you know, I think it also means that at a              Gregory Parham: Well, a couple of things. First
certain level his expectation is that the workforce             of all, well, I spoke about the cuts in the budget,
in USDA resembles the civilian workforce in the                 you know. When you look across all of USDA,
U.S.. And so, when you look to see that the                     we sustained less cuts, on average, than some of
civilian workforce has people of diversity from                 the other agencies. I think one of the few
every background, I think his expectation is that               agencies that fared even better than we did was
the agencies would likewise reflect that kind of                FSIS—Food Safety and Inspection Service. And
diversity, across the board. Now, that‘s not to                 again, they are much more a salary-based
say that every site would be exactly like every                 organization, because, you know, so much of
other site; but it does mean that collectively we               their dollars flows right to inspectors. We have a
would reflect the civilian labor force, as well.                bit more flexibility here. But even for APHIS,
And I think where individual employees can help                 our cut was not the double-digit cut that most—
with that, is to understand one of the things that              much of the rest of the department is proposed to
Dr. Betances—who we recently had in as one of                   sustain. And okay, again, it‘s still a proposed
our consultants—talked about expanding the                      budget. But the—in looking at that, one of the
circle of trust. So I think every single employee               ways that we are trying to address some of this,
can work to do that, in terms of expanding the                  and we‘re doing it across the department, is with
circle of trust that allows folks who may have                  the early out and buyout authority—or VERA
been excluded in the past to be part of the                     and VSIP, you‘ll hear it referred to.
environment, to be part of the conversation, if
you will.                                                       Inside APHIS: Okay.

Inside APHIS: What would you say are some of                    Gregory Parham: The Voluntary Early
APHIS‘ most significant challenges coming up?                   Retirement Authority and the Voluntary
                                                                Separation Incentive Payments programs. And
Gregory Parham: Most significant challenge I                    those are designed to—in a very targeted way—
think for APHIS is going to be the change in                    of course, the early out is more general. Anyone
how the budget has been working. You know,                      who is eligible, you know, can take that, except
APHIS has been very fortunate to experience                     for a couple of excluded categories. But with the
                                                      Page 10
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



VSIP—or the buyout portion—we‘re much more                      to say, you know, as we look at some of our
focused and targeted. We may have to do that                    programs, are there some that we could merge, if
again. We don‘t know. But we‘re certainly                       you will; still perform all the functions, but
looking at that for fiscal year 2012. We‘re                     maybe do it in a merged kind of fashion. He also
already underway with that process for 2011. So                 asked us about some of our office usage around
we‘ll see what happens.                                         the country. He was thinking about, all of the
                                                                various offices that we have in the counties and
Inside APHIS: Some Federal agencies, like you                   States and regions. And are there some ways that
talked about, may be more vulnerable—or                         we could work with each other, to maybe have
susceptible might be a better word—to                           less of a footprint out there. So those are some of
reductions than others. What kind of position do                the things that I think in the future we‘ll have to
you believe APHIS is in, regarding future                       address, as well.
funding?
Gregory Parham: Well, I think APHIS is in a
very extraordinarily good position, because,                    Leadership
again, no one else has the mission that we have,
in terms of going—in terms of protecting,                       Inside APHIS: Recent agency training has
safeguarding animal health and safeguarding                     emphasized the need for leadership traits at all
plant health. No one has that mission, in terms of              levels within the organization. Why is leadership
the welfare of animals, in the same way that we                 at all levels an important idea?
do. So I think overall funding, in terms of the                 Gregory Parham: Leadership at all levels is an
future for APHIS, is solid. It‘s a matter of how                important idea, because everyone exerts some
much of that is going to be, and then what we‘re                leadership, regardless of what it is that they do.
able to do, in terms of cooperators and partners                And again, you know, many may not believe that
and stakeholders, and others who have an                        that‘s the case, but many times folks who are in a
interest in the activities of the agency.                       position—regardless of what it is—may be the
I had the opportunity very recently to go with                  best one, in terms of that particular position, to
some of our Wildlife Services employees over to                 really understand what needs to be done. And
National Airport, to see some of the work that                  part of leadership is not only knowing what
they do. That work is vital. There‘s no way we                  needs to be done, but then also having the
will stop doing that work. And so, I do believe                 wherewithal to get it done. And so in terms of
that we will find the mechanisms by which we                    having leadership training at all levels is not only
will be able to continue that work, on a way—in                 about knowing what to do, but how to do it, and,
a way that‘s sustained into the future.                         you know, to the point of completion. So that‘s
                                                                why we think it is important at all levels to have
Inside APHIS: What other changes do you see                     leadership training.
coming our way as an agency?
                                                                Inside APHIS: How would you describe a
Gregory Parham: Well, one of the things that                    successful leader?
the Secretary has talked about, as well, is that as
we begin to look collectively, as a department, at              Gregory Parham: A successful leader is one
the different challenges that we‘ll face, he‘s                  who knows their own strengths, but also is aware
asked us to begin to think about what are some                  of the strengths of the team or the unit that they
of the things we might have to eliminate. And                   find themselves in; and also is willing to learn.
are there other things that we might continue to                So as they continue to advance, as they continue
do, but that we could consolidate. So that begins               to advance as a leader, that they are constantly
                                                                learning, what the new ways, new approaches,
                                                      Page 11
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



better approaches to doing—to accomplishing
their work. And I think in terms of
accomplishing work, it also means in terms of                   Stakeholder Engagement
managing themselves, as well as those around                     nside APHIS: In recent years, APHIS has
them.                                                           increasingly emphasized building strong
Inside APHIS: How would you hope that                           partnerships and engaging stakeholders. What is
employees would describe you as a leader and                    ―stakeholder engagement,‖ and why is it
your leadership style?                                          important to APHIS and our partners? I mean,
                                                                it‘s important on both sides of things, so…
Gregory Parham: I think I would want to be
remembered as being open to various opinions,                   Gregory Parham: Right. Right. And, and again,
but then also reflective. That every decision is                you know, the stakeholders, cooperators, you
not a snap decision. Sometimes you have to                      know we are a regulatory agency and so folks are
think about it for a while, you know, before                    always going to be interested in, in what it is we
you‘re ready to respond, or before you‘re ready                 are doing, and not only in what it is, but how it is
to recommend a particular course of action. So I                that we are carrying out—the regulations that we
would hope, again—open, reflective, and attuned                 promulgate. And so I think it‘s important that we
to the needs of the agency. And when I say the                  continue to have communications with all
agency, that‘s the agency, both in terms of their               interested parties—be they stakeholders, be they
own work, but also the agency, in terms of its                  cooperators, be they partners—not only for them
relationship with others, you know—                             to understand, but then also for them to help us.
stakeholders, partners, cooperators, that kind of               To do what it is that we need to do in terms of
thing.                                                          regulations, and I say that, you know, because
                                                                there are many, many times when our work can
Inside APHIS: What advice would you give                        be, can be enhanced. Or certainly the reach of
others starting down the leadership path today?                 our work can go much beyond what we‘re able
                                                                to do, and I think this is going to be increasingly
Gregory Parham: What I would say to them is                     important as we look at budgets that, that are
that I think it‘s important to be competent in a                beginning to shrink. That there‘s a keen
particular area, because I think, you know we                   understanding of what the relationship is
can talk about leadership competencies and all                  between us and stakeholders, and partners, and
those kinds of things. But I think you really do                that they understand our constraints. As well as
need to concentrate in your area, but understand                we understand what their needs are.
that it‘s not just the depth of your knowledge, but
it‘s also the breadth.                                          Inside APHIS: With regard to our State
                                                                partnerships, what priorities do you have for the
So I would strongly encourage them to read the                  agency in terms of State engagement going
newspaper, know what‘s going on; and to also, if                forward?
they‘re interested in leadership, to avail
themselves of some of the literature of                         Gregory Parham: I think for the States it‘s going
leadership, you know, be that from one of the                   to be very, very important because the States are,
business school magazines or some of the                        are facing the same kind of budgets, and maybe
newspapers that follow that, or in today‘s age,                 even in many instances, even more severe than
you know, a management blog or some other                       the Federal government is. So, it‘s going to
media that one might be able to follow. But to                  become even more important that we have a
just make sure that they get not only a depth of                close alliance in terms of being able to prioritize
knowledge, but a breadth of knowledge.                          the work that needs to be done, and how we can

                                                      Page 12
Inside APHIS                                                     Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



go about doing that. I also think that with our
State partners—and I presume you‘re talking
about the State departments of agriculture and
that kind of thing—but I also think we need to
look at other State officials, if you will, in terms
of seeing if we can‘t, again, expand that circle of
trust. To understand that there may be ways that
we work collectively. To further our respective
agendas.
Inside APHIS: APHIS has always had close
working relationships with State agriculture
agencies, and their animal and plant health
divisions, are there other State agencies that
you‘d like to see APHIS partnering with more?
Gregory Parham: I think one of the areas that
that goes to is the whole area of as we do more
work in the area of, of one health. I think the
State health departments, for example, the State
epidemiologist. Many of the States have public
health veterinarians. And so I think working with
those communities as well, might be something
that we can pursue in the very near future.


END




                                                       Page 13
Inside APHIS                                                                                               Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                                  cat‘s microchip to determine for themselves
                                                                  whether the animals may be used legally.
                                                                  As Kate Ziegerer, a VMO in AC‘s Western
                                                                  Region, puts it, ―a research facility‘s worst
                                                                  nightmare would be that someone‘s pet
By Vivian Keller                                                  would end up in research.‖
                                                                  Willems recalls the case of a laboratory that
 The gold standard of animal identification, a                    traced a dog with a suspicious microchip back to
simple microchip, has reunited many a lost pet                    a pound, where its original owner had
with its grateful owner. But the utility of this tiny             presumably abandoned it. Even though this
technology doesn‘t stop there. Thanks to the                      meant that the dog had been obtained
microchip‘s multifaceted                                          legitimately under the AWA, the laboratory
power, APHIS has new ways to protect                              would not use the animal in its research.
companion animals and uphold the Animal                           For those who remember Pepper—the
Welfare Act (AWA).                                                stolen pet Dalmatian that ended up dying in a
A variety of techniques to identify animals, from                 research facility in 1965, and whose story fueled
tags to tattoos, are still commonly used by the                   public demand for what became the AWA—
companion animal breeders and dealers that                        microchips provide additional insurance that in
APHIS regulates. However, as Robert Willems,                      the 21st century, her tale will be very much a
the assistant director of Animal Care‘s (AC)                      thing of the past.
Eastern Region, points out, ―Microchips are the
least alterable form of identification we have.‖                  END
That is the reason countries such as the United
Kingdom, India, and Japan now require
microchips on dogs and cats crossing their
borders, to ensure the animals and their
vaccination records match. Similarly, such
precision ID is a boon to AC inspectors, who can
more easily confirm the identity and medical
status of any microchipped animals they see on
inspection visits to breeders and dealers around
the country.
Microchips are also proving valuable in AC‘s
regulation of dealers that supply research
laboratories with dogs and cats—particularly
random source dealers, who might unwittingly
buy animals from sources that do not accurately
report where the animals came from. Microchips
not only can erase any doubt in situations such as
these; they can also serve as robust tools that
allow research facilities themselves to trace the
animals they have purchased.
These days, say AC staff, many research
facilities make a point of checking a dog‘s or

                                                        Page 14
Inside APHIS                                                     Vol. 2, 2011 Issue




Looking for some fresh tomatoes, cucumbers,
fruits, baked goods, and more?
If you‘re craving summer‘s bounty, don‘t
delay—find a local farmers market. USDA‘s
Agricultural Marketing Service maintains an
online search tool for finding local farmers
markets. To visit the online search, click market
search. Also, State departments of agriculture
often list markets online, so look at those sites or
use a Web search engine to learn more about
other nearby markets, their dates, hours, and
even special events. Enjoy!

END






                                                       Page 15
Inside APHIS                                                                                                     Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                                 APHIS‘ onsite fly-rearing operations ended in
                                                                 2002, and the facility‘s permanent employees
                                                                 were reassigned to other program efforts in
                                                                 Hawaii—including fruit fly survey work. The
                                                                 site still houses a separate, smaller building for
                                                                 sterilizing Medflies currently reared by the
By Stuart Stein                                                  California Department of Food and Agriculture
                                                                 (CDFA). The Medflies, now bred by CDFA
                                                                 and sterilized by APHIS, are shipped to
APHIS recently marked the final chapter in the
                                                                 California to support the ongoing preventive
history of an agency facility that played a central
                                                                 release program.
role in U.S. efforts to successfully eradicate the
Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly). APHIS‘                         The Hawaii facility holds a notable place in
Hawaii Fruit Fly Production Facility, which                      APHIS‘ history of protecting U.S. agriculture.
produced its first sterile Medflies in 1990, was                 It began at the cutting edge of fruit fly
torn down in early April 2011.                                   technology and control, contributing much to the
                                                                 technological foundation of what is commonly
The facility was one of only two domestic
                                                                 used today. The facility was collaboratively
facilities that reared and shipped Medflies en
                                                                 conceived, implemented, and supported by
masse to programs using the sterile insect
                                                                 APHIS and multiple cooperators, including the
technique (SIT) and was essential to the
                                                                 State departments of agriculture for California
technique‘s early use and success in the United
                                                                 and Hawaii, the agency‘s Administrative
States. The SIT—now the control technique of
                                                                 Services Division, CPHST, USDA‘s Agricultural
choice worldwide—works by distributing sterile
                                                                 Research Service, and the University of Hawaii.
insects in overwhelming numbers to interrupt the
                                                                 Within USDA, there were many—too numerous
life cycle of the target pest. The facility‘s
                                                                 to mention—who were critical to bringing the
mission was to deliver a secure domestic supply
                                                                 facility to fruition.
of high quality, approved strains of sterile
Medflies to ensure rapid response to eradication
and prevention programs in the United States.                    PHOTO CAPTIONS
The APHIS facility regularly produced 350                        The Hawaii facility’s achievements in fruit fly production
million insects each week. At its peak, the                      were earned daily through the talent and commitment of
34,000 square-foot facility had approximately 50                 the employees who worked there.
production employees, plus 5 staff members
from the agency‘s Center for Plant Health                        END
Science and Technology (CPHST). The facility‘s                   
success is especially indebted to agency                         
employees who worked long, strenuous hours                       
and who contributed to developing and refining                   
APHIS‘ fly-rearing and sterilization efforts. Its
levels of quality control, production, and safety
could only have been met through the staff‘s
dedication, self-motivation, and adaptability. It is
these qualities that serve the agency well as the
facility‘s employees now support other
programs.


                                                       Page 16
Inside APHIS                                                                                             Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                               in the southern part of the country. I helped the
                                                               community establish a school/community
                                                               library. I also worked with the farmers on the
                                                               Cherimoya fruit trees.
                                                               Serving Communities
By Kristina Owens                                              For those of us who served as Peace Corps
                                                               volunteers, many agree it helped focus our career
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the                    interests. This includes, for many, choosing to
Peace Corps. What does this mean to APHIS?                     work for the U.S. Government—a decision that
Well, the agency employs more than 65                          allows us to continue serving our local and
―Returned Peace Corps Volunteers,‖ who                         global communities. As a Federal agency,
contribute to the agency‘s mission everyday and                APHIS provides many opportunities to serve
whose personal career goals have been greatly                  both.
shaped by their experiences with the Peace
                                                               By coincidence, an APHIS co-worker of mine,
Corps.
                                                               Kate Rappaport, also served in the Peace
For those who may not know what it means to be                 Corps—in Guatemala. We were both Spanish
a Peace Corps volunteer and why this                           majors with interests in agriculture and the
anniversary is significant, let me explain.                    environment. While volunteers, we both worked
                                                               on agriculture-related projects, and our
The Peace Corps was launched on March 1,                       experiences led us both to look for careers in
1961, by President Kennedy and officially                      agriculture. With APHIS, we now work hard to
recognized by Congress through legislation on                  protect U.S. agriculture by developing diagnostic
September 22, 1961. During the past 50 years,                  methods to detect plant pathogens.
there have been more than 200,000 volunteers
who have served in 139 countries.                              APHIS employs ―Returned Peace Corps
                                                               Volunteers‖ throughout the agency‘s field
Peace Corps volunteers go overseas for more                    locations and at headquarters. Many of us chose
than 2 years, where they work and live in rural                to work for APHIS because the work we do
and often poor communities. They work on a                     reflects our professional interests and the value
variety of tasks, including agricultural and                   that we place upon community—especially one
environmental projects. Volunteers are basically               that is dedicated to improving not only itself, but
―working‖ 24/7, getting to know the community,                 also how it can serve others.
identifying its needs, and helping to locate
project resources. The projects are not                        In honor of 50 years of the Peace Corps, I
necessarily large scale; instead, volunteers often             encourage you to seek out a former volunteer
focus on small, sustainable projects that                      and ask them about their service. Find out more
empower communities.                                           about the Peace Corps and this year‘s
                                                               anniversary events by going to the Peace Corps
My Experience                                                  Web site: www.peacecorps.gov. To read stories
For my Peace Corps service, I served 2 years in                or view photos submitted by volunteers over the
Bolivia, and my experience helped me identify                  years, access the Peace Corps Digital Library.
what I want to do in my career and in my life.
                                                               Kristina J. Owens is a plant biologist
In Bolivia, I worked as a Natural Resource                     with CPHST.
volunteer from 2000–2002. I taught
environmental education in a small community
                                                               END
                                                     Page 17
Inside APHIS                                                                                                 Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                             For the majority of wildlife threats on base,
                                                              Graves was able to use nonlethal methods such
                                                              as pyrotechnics to disperse birds from runways;
                                                              however, for some, he needed to use lethal
                                                              methods to mitigate the risk to aircraft.
                                                              ―Most of the specimens were ideal
                                                              candidates for scientific study, [so] it made
By Tanya Espinosa                                             perfect sense to salvage as many as possible…‖
                                                              said Graves.
Despite being detailed far from home and within               He considers his assignment to Bagram Airbase
earshot of mortar blasts and gunshots on an                   to have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
almost weekly basis, George Graves says that he               ―I feel very fortunate to have been given this
would do it again.                                            opportunity to serve our military men and
Graves, a wildlife biologist with Wildlife                    women in such a role and to represent WS,
Services (WS), worked a 4-month rotation at                   APHIS, and USDA,‖ said Graves. ―The
Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. His job was to                 knowledge I gained is invaluable to me as a
mitigate wildlife hazards to aircraft and other               wildlife biologist, as an APHIS employee, and in
military property, protecting the safety of                   my professional training.‖
military and civilian crewmembers, an important               About his detail, Graves added, ―The most
job for certain. And while he was there, he                   difficult thing wasn‘t dealing with the occasional
accomplished another significant mission:                     rocket and mortar attacks on base from
helping the Smithsonian Institution acquire new               insurgents, but rather being away from home,
samples of mammals and birds for scientific                   family, and friends for Thanksgiving, Christmas,
study.                                                        and birthdays.‖
Due to the danger associated with the region, the             While overseas, he learned to rely on the friends
Smithsonian has been unable to send a team to                 he made—mostly military members. ―They
collect vital samples to add to its collection.               became a temporary family. They are people to
Graves provided the perfect solution.                         joke around with and share stories, your best
―Being a wildlife biologist, I‘m always seeking               friends, a shoulder to cry on, and someone just to
opportunities where the results of my work can                talk with… I haven‘t forgotten the many friends
contribute to further science and looking for                 I made at Bagram.‖
ways to increase my wildlife knowledge,‖ said
Graves.
                                                              PHOTO CAPTION
In 4 months, he was able to send approximately:
                                                              George Graves prepares samples for shipping.
250 Libyan jirds, 100 dwarf gray hamsters, 70
house mice, 20 common shrews, 2 Indian crested
porcupines, 2 short-tailed nesokia, 75 Spanish                END
sparrows, 15 Eurasian skylarks, 3 northern
wheaters, 3 black-billed magpies, and 2 common
Indian toads. He caught many others, some of
which the Smithsonian already had. Others—like
golden jackals and spotted cats—he was unable
to send due to international law prohibiting
exportation of those animal species.
                                                    Page 18
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                                was capable of getting done when they were
                                                                challenged.
                                                                Priorities for the coming months?
Director                                                        A big priority for everyone is going to be
Eastern Region                                                  working on APHIS‘ Modernization efforts in
Veterinary Services (VS)                                        regards to budget issues, maintaining critical
                                                                mass of the workforce, and continuing to supply
                                                                good customer service while incorporating the
What is your background?                                        principles of Cultural Transformation.
I was born and raised in Council Bluff, IA. I
graduated from Iowa State University in 1981                    Accomplishment most proud of?
with a BS in biology and chemistry with a                       I‘m really proud of the work we did with END.
teaching certificate. I later earned a Doctorate of             I‘m also very proud of my two boys—now men.
Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 1987 and an MA                     Matthew, who is 27 years old, and Nathan, 22
in Higher Educational Administration in 1988.                   years old.
After finishing my DVM, I worked briefly in                     Hobbies?
private veterinary practice in Georgia and                      I do some woodworking, and I just started doing
Wisconsin.                                                      stained glass. I also raise koi and aquatic plants.
How long have you been with APHIS?                              Guilty pleasure?
I‘ve been with APHIS for 21 years. I joined the                 I like to fish. My boys and I go to Canada and
agency in 1990 as part of the Public Veterinary                 fish for northern pike and walleyes—the best
Practice Career program. I worked for 6 months                  fishing in the world!
as a veterinary medical officer (VMO) in
Nebraska. Then I worked as a VMO in Madison,                    Favorite meal?
WI, for 9 years, as an epidemiologist for 1 year,               Roast, potatoes, and carrots. Mom made it, and
and then served as area veterinarian in charge                  it‘s my favorite.
(AVIC) for 3 years. During my time in                           Favorite movie?
Wisconsin, I received a joint PhD in                            The Big Country with Charlton Heston and
Microbiology and Poultry Science.                               Gregory Peck. Beautiful scenery and a great
From 2002–2005, I was VS‘ western region                        movie about character.
assistant director. During that time, the exotic                Last book read?
Newcastle disease (END) outbreak occurred, and                  Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.
I served as the area commander for VS. In May
2005, I was selected as eastern region director.
Most memorable APHIS experience?
                                                                PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
Dealing with END as part of the response
                                                                Photo of Jack Shere
task force. I was impressed with everyone‘s
attitude and can-do spirit. In many ways,
management turned it over to the field, and field
                                                                END
folks did the work to complete the eradication.
We initially worked up to 18-hour days. END
was eradicated in record time. This was an
accomplishment for the entire agency. They took
pride in it; it demonstrated what our workforce
                                                      Page 19
Inside APHIS                                                     Vol. 2, 2011 Issue




In June, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)
launched its new Stakeholder Registry. More
than 2,500 users subscribed to it within the first 5
weeks. As that number grows, PPQ is creating
greater engagement and transparency with
agency stakeholders.
The registry enables PPQ to provide stakeholders
with information tailored to the topics selected
by users. Stakeholders get what they need and
how they want it, either by email or by text
message. With the registry, PPQ can send
updates regarding programs, manual revisions,
regulatory activities, and more.
APHIS employees are encouraged to subscribe
at:
www.public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAA
PHIS/subscriber/new.


END




                                                       Page 20
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                                and-mouth disease, as well as other diseases in
                                                                which fever is present.

                                                                END
By Tanya Espinosa

Did you know that Wildlife
Services‘ (WS) National Wildlife Research
Center is testing infrared thermography (IRT), or
thermal imaging, for use in detecting rabies in
mammals?
Here‘s how the technology works. IRT measures
radiation in the infrared wavelength range that is
emitted by a surface. IRT cameras detect
radiation and
produce images called thermograms. Because
temperature influences radiation, thermograms
can be used as a tool to graphically display the
surface or skin temperature
of mammals.
Using IRT cameras, scientists can study the
normal physiological processes of mammals and
when those processes are altered, possibly due to
disease or other causes. So for an animal affected
with rabies, its thermogram shows its nose to be
warmer than that of a healthy animal.
WS first used IRT during a captive study to
determine the efficacy of a raccoon rabies
vaccine. While IRT is not yet widely used for
rabies detection, WS scientists are conducting a
field study to examine its use and effectiveness
in field conditions.
IRT has proven useful in other applications, too.
For example, the Animal Care program currently
uses this technology at Tennessee walking horse
shows to help detect hot spots on the legs of
horses—often an indicator of soring, which is
prohibited under the Horse Protection Act.
Because they can be utilized for multiple
purposes, IRT cameras can be a cost-effective
tool. There have been several scientific
publications regarding their use in detecting foot-


                                                      Page 21
Inside APHIS                                                                                         Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                               United States Animal Health Association annual
                                                               meeting; September 29–October 5
                                                               in Buffalo, NY.


August                                                         END
PPQ will host four Webinars throughout August
on its revised strategic plan and shared
leadership within the program. For more
information, contact Jane Berkow at (301) 734-
5735 or jane.t.berkow@aphis.usda.gov.


Communicating Your Personal Brand; August
23; one in a series of Webinar topics hosted by
the APHIS Federal Women‘s Program and
conducted by Women‘s Leadership Coaching,
Inc. The series is designed for all early- to mid-
career level employees. For more information,
contact Tanika Greene at (301) 734-8153 or
tanika.greene@aphis.usda.gov.


PPQ and U.S. Customs and Border Protection
will hold an AQI Partnership Council Meeting;
September 1–2. For more information, contact
Nicole Russo at (301) 734-5242 or
nicole.l.russo@aphis.usda.gov.


September
Challenges in Plant Resource Protection, a
distance learning curriculum, will be offered in
September by PPQ and Southern University-
A&M College in Frederick, MD. For more
information, contact Todd Dutton at (240) 529-
0272 or todd.dutton@aphis.usda.gov.


PPQ will offer a series of Webinars throughout
September on its collective bargaining
agreement. For more information, contact
Shanna Bradshaw at (240) 529-0247 or
shanna.bradshaw@aphis.usda.gov.




                                                     Page 22
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                              terminals in Hyattsville. Dr. Nelson has yet to sit
                                                              down at the machine himself...“I leave it up to
                                                              the pros,” he says.



By John Scott                                                 END


Network errors? Email problems? When things
go wrong, we all mutter curses at our computers.
But remember this: we haven‘t always had
computers at work to ease our data-crunching
and our memo-writing.
Dipping into the Inside APHIS archive, we found
an article from 1979 boasting of the agency‘s
first word processing machines joined to a
shared CPU. The article offers a glimpse into an
APHIS before the personal computer, when only
a few offices in Washington, D.C., Minnesota,
and Florida were graced by this new technology.
Heralded as ―state of the art,‖ the system had a
spacious 11-inch monitor, could delete whole
paragraphs in a single keystroke, and had an
archive capacity of up to 2,000 pages on
magnetic disks.
Although the systems were still fresh to the
agency, the article nevertheless includes several
references to the impending decline of the then
office mainstay: the IBM Selectric typewriter.
[Note: If you are unfamiliar with typewriters or
Selectrics, go to Wikipedia
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Selectric_typ
ewriter). Changing fonts used to be much more
difficult.]
Makes you wonder what changes in office
technology will occur in the next 30 years. To
read the full archived article, click on the
accompanying photo.

PHOTO CAPTION
Above, Dr. Claude Nelson, senior staff
veterinarian for the Cattle Diseases Staff, looks
as his secretary, Pat Wine, calls up a report on
APHIS’ new Four-Phase word processing
                                                    Page 23
Inside APHIS                                                                                                     Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                                  precise visual recording of newly introduced
                                                                  cultivars of the time, but also for its
                                                                  representation of a scientific field—that of the
                                                                  scientific arts—in which women proliferated.

                                                                  Also in the library are Charles Valentine Riley‘s
                                                                  papers and artifacts, which comprise one of the
By Christa Anderson                                               Rare and Special Collections‘ 400 manuscripts.
                                                                  Many of these detail historical efforts
                                                                  underpinning APHIS‘ work today. Riley, for
USDA has a resource that is second to none
                                                                  example, is widely considered the ―Father of
when it comes to historical archives: the National
                                                                  Biological Control‖ for his work combatting
Agricultural Library‘s (NAL) Rare and Special
                                                                  destructive pests in the American West in the
Collections.
                                                                  19th century. Notes,
                                                                  sketchbooks,correspondence—including a
Dating back to 1509, the rare books,
                                                                  transcript of a letter from Charles Darwin—and
manuscripts, and other historical objects that
                                                                  photos of family and, of course, insects,
make up the collections are handled only with
                                                                  chronicle his work and life. The collection also
the greatest of white-gloved care and are housed
                                                                  includes artifacts such as Riley‘s microscope and
on a floor with its own air handling system. The
                                                                  wooden printing blocks used to illustrate
materials richly illustrate our Nation‘s
                                                                  entomology publications he wrote and edited.
agricultural history in ways that administrative
documents alone simply cannot.
                                                                  In addition, the collection contains Thomas
                                                                  Jefferson correspondence, which didn‘t come to
Take, for instance, an early 1900s refrigeration
                                                                  light until 1993 when the letters were discovered
railcar. Ice blocks insulated the car, keeping its
                                                                  enfolded in another collection. From these pages
contents from spoiling on long hauls. Rare and
                                                                  emerge the clear image of Jefferson the inventor
Special Collections has a working model of the
                                                                  and the prodigious experimenter with imported
historic railcar. The intricately-detailed replica is
                                                                  plants. He thanks a friend for sending him melon
currently on loan to the National Archives and
                                                                  seed from Persia, saying that he too will disperse
Records Administration for its show, “What’s
                                                                  it among acquaintances. ―It is by multiplying the
Cookin’, Uncle Sam?”
                                                                  good things of life that the mass of human
                                                                  happiness is increased,‖ he writes.
Or consider the unrivaled collection of more than
250,000 nursery and seed catalogs spanning
                                                                  NAL‘s Rare and Special Collections is
centuries and continents, their covers a vibrant
                                                                  open to the general public and researchers. For
kaleidoscope of color.
                                                                  more information about the collection
                                                                  and its holdings, visit
Or take a look at the ―Mrs. Dallas‖ apple, the
                                                                  www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll.
―Triumph‖ peach, or the ―Hoskins‖ cherries—
just a few of the fruits that teacher-turned-
USDA-artist Deborah Griscom Passmore painted
in meticulous detail in 1895.                                     PHOTO CAPTION
                                                                  Digitized covers from the Special Collections’ Henry G.
Passmore is one of several artists whose work                     Gilbert Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection, which
                                                                  consists of more than 200,000 American and foreign
makes up the extensive USDA Pomological                           catalogs.
Watercolor Collection, invaluable not only for its
                                                        Page 24
Inside APHIS                                                Vol. 2, 2011 Issue




Links
NAL Nursery and Seed Catalogs
http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/seedcatalogim
agegallery.shtml

NAL’s Passmore Watercolors
http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/collectionsgui
de/mssindex/pomology/artists/passmore.shtml

END




                                                  Page 25
Inside APHIS                                                                                          Vol. 2, 2011 Issue




                                                                    I would be very interested.
                                                                    I might be interested but need more
                                                                     information.
                                                                    I‘m not sure.
                                                                    I have no interest.
We appreciate everyone who participated and
responded to our last newsletter question of the              Click on the following link to participate in the
day: How do you think the growing use of                      poll and to offer your comment:
telework by employees affects the agency’s                    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/questionofthed
work? Why?                                                    ayforinsideaphis

Here‘s how your coworkers responded:                          As always, participation is voluntary and
                                                              confidential.
        88.9% think telework has a positive                  END
         effect on the agency
        5.6% think telework has a negative
         effect on the agency
        5.6% think telework has a neutral effect
         on the agency
Employee comments were overwhelmingly
positive, many noting the increased productivity,
better work/life balance, and more. One
commented, ―Telework is a win-win situation. It
has the potential to save both the government
and the individual employee money, time, and
stress.‖
On the negative side, one employee commented,
―Most of the staff is gone and do not help when
emergencies arise....Seems like teleworkers are
skipping out on the tough issues.‖



Mentoring is a powerful way to nurture
employee success and professional growth. It can
play a significant role in the agency‘s cultural
transformation efforts to provide all employees
with the opportunity for success.
With this in mind, we ask: How would you rate
your interest in establishing a mentor
relationship at work, either as a mentor or
mentee?

                                                    Page 26
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Vol. 2, 2011 Issue



                                                                maintains the organization‘s Web site and has
                                                                produced promotional videos. Hallberg also used
                                                                to work directly with the group‘s rescued
                                                                animals, helping to restore their trust in humans;
                                                                however, she does less of this since she adopting
                                                                three rescued mustangs of her own, which she
For our Volunteer Spotlight series, Inside APHIS                keeps at her home barn.
wants to recognize this issue‘s featured
coworker: Gwynn Hallberg. This ongoing                          Time Given
feature is to highlight individual efforts and                  Hallberg volunteered numerous hours to create
acknowledge and promote the volunteer spirit                    the Mustangs and MOHR Web site and develop
that is part of our agency community.                           videos. Currently, her volunteer hours vary from
                                                                2–4 hours/week to 2–4 hours/month, plus her
Employee Name and Program                                       time networking with other rescues and people to
Gwynn Hallberg; Veterinary Medical Officer,                     place rescued horses.
Animal Care; Dallas, OR
                                                                Organization Web Sites
Volunteer Organization                                          www.mustangsandmohr.org
Mustangs and MOHR (Mustangs Offering Hope
and Renewal)                                                    Email: mustangsandmohr@me.com

Organization Mission                                            Email
To provide a safe and nurturing environment that                gwynn.m.hallberg@aphis.usda.gov
unites children with adopted mustangs to foster
personal growth and development. The
organization has a two-fold purpose: to rescue                  END
mustangs and to work with at-risk youth.

Mustangs and MOHR has a dozen or so horses,
and now also has two burros and a lamb. Many
of the horses arrive with a history of abuse,
neglect, or mishandling. Like many of the
children who participate in the organization‘s
efforts, the horses are at first mistrustful, shy,
and frightened. Volunteers work with the horses
to restore their health and their ability to trust.

The program is free to the kids, who are often
steered to the organization through the juvenile
justice system, foster care programs, and through
Native American substance abuse and suicide
prevention programs.

Volunteer Activities
Hallberg currently serves as vice president on the
organization‘s board of directors. She built and
                                                      Page 27
Inside APHIS                                                                                        Vol. 2, 2011 Issue




                                                                    Once the email has been delivered or
                                                                     read, Outlook sends you an email
                                                                     confirmation.

By Brittany Anderson                                           END

Since making the switch from Lotus Notes to
Microsoft Outlook, APHIS employees have been
learning the software‘s ins and outs and finding
new and more efficient ways to manage email.
Here are three tips to help you navigate Outlook
and benefit from its features.
1. If you‘re having trouble finding an email
   group in the Outlook address book—
   especially one that you used previously in
   Lotus Notes, try this: add ―APHIS‖ or
   ―APHIS-‖ in front of the group name. For
   example, LPA ALL becomes APHIS-LPA
   ALL. During the agency address book‘s
   migration to Outlook, ―APHIS‖ was added to
   each email group‘s list name.
2. To quickly find the email address of a new
   contact, type a portion of the person‘s name
   in the ―To‖ field, then press CTRL+K. This
   function searches Outlook‘s Global Address
   List. If only a single address is found, it is
   inserted directly into your email‘s ―To‖ field.
   If multiple addresses are found, a list of
   possible matches appears for you to choose
   from.
3. Outlook can notify you when an email
   recipient has received or opened your email.
   Using the ―Options‖ menu when either
   replying, forwarding, or sending a new
   email, you can request individual
   notifications. Here‘s how:
        Open the ―Options‖ tab
        Check the ―Request a Delivery Receipt,‖
         ―Request a Read Receipt‖ box or both
        Send the email



                                                     Page 28
Inside APHIS                                                  Vol. 2, 2011 Issue




Visit the APHIS portal at myaphis.usda.gov and
check the agency‘s progress with its Cost
Savings Challenge. From the portal, you can
also, link to Up the Chain and offer your own
cost-saving ideas and read the suggestions posted
by other agency employees.

END




John Scott, Editor
(301) 734-4897
inside.aphis@aphis.usda.gov

Photo sources: Animal Care, Anson Eaglin
(LPA), George Graves (WS), Gwynn Hallberg
(AC), USDA‘s National Agricultural Library–
Rare and Special Collections, Plant Protection &
Quarantine, Kate Rappaport (PPQ), Wildlife
Services.
Inside APHIS is a quarterly newsletter serving
all APHIS employees by delivering agency news,
providing useful workplace information, and
connecting employees from across the agency to
our shared mission, common challenges, and
significant accomplishments.

For information about contributing articles and
photos, please visit
www.aphis.usda.gov/inside_aphis/.




                                                    Page 29

				
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