The class incumbent is responsible for managing and overseeing statewide animal health programs for contagious animal diseases including those which can affect humans and other animals.
Nature and Scope
The incumbent in the class reports to a technical supervisor. The statewide animal health programs include (1) the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services (USDA/APHIS/VS) regulated diseases, which are managed cooperatively by states and USDA/APHIS/VS, and (2) non-USDA regulated diseases which, per the Delaware Code, are the Department of Agriculture’s responsibility to identify, control and contain. The class incumbent strategizes with state, federal, and other partners such as USDA/APHIS/VS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), animal producers, faculty of colleges/universities, livestock organizations, and veterinary organizations regarding how to best accomplish health surveillance and communicate the benefits of maintaining animal health in Delaware. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for managing the Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health laboratory operations.
Essential functions are fundamental, core functions common to all positions in the class series and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class. Since class specifications are descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents can complete job duties of similar kind not specifically listed here.
Manages statewide animal health programs and associated activities that are used for diagnosing, monitoring, controlling, and eradicating contagious and emerging diseases of livestock and poultry.
Manages Poultry and Animal Health laboratory operations, to include developing and managing a budget for in-house and outside testing, supplies, and equipment. Manages inventory, routine maintenance, and certification of laboratory equipment. Ensures that Laboratory Technician and other Poultry and Animal Health Section personnel working in the laboratory are properly trained, proficiency tested, and consistently following standard operating procedures (SOPs) that ensure safe sample handling. Develops a system for recording sample submissions and tracking of biological and necropsy samples through the laboratory, to include timely messaging of results.
Supervision is exercised over at least two or more merit full time positions per the merit rules. The elements of supervision include planning, assigning, reviewing, evaluating, coaching, training, recommending hire/fire and discipline.
Monitors, evaluates, and develops operational procedures and program activities and makes recommendations for improvement of current policies and procedures.
Ensures compliance with state and federal regulations and recommends new and revised policies, regulations, and laws.
Interacts regularly with federal partners and other agencies within the State; for example, Delaware Division of Public Health to ensure Department's animal laboratory is meeting all required biosafety protocols, DNREC's Fish and Wildlife management to share information about wildlife mortality events that could impact agricultural animals, and USDA/APHIS/VS to share surveillance numbers for program diseases, and to ensure the data the Department collects is meeting federally required testing numbers and following the correct reporting calendar.
Supports the Poultry and Animal Health Section’s field staff during an emergency, by sampling animals for diseases, operating cleaning and disinfection equipment or depopulation equipment, and helping with tracking resources during a disease response.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The intent of the listed knowledge, skills and abilities is to give a general indication of the core requirements for all positions in the class series; therefore, the KSA’s listed are not exhaustive or necessarily inclusive of the requirements of every position in the class.
Knowledge of the principles, practices and theories of program planning, development and evaluation.
Knowledge of animal health.
Knowledge of applicable department, state and federal laws, rules, regulations, programs, policies, and procedures pertaining to animal health.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of supervision and management.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of budget preparation and management.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of policy and procedure development.
Knowledge of the methods and techniques used in collecting and analyzing data.
Knowledge of biological sampling procedures and laboratory operations.
Skill in identifying disease trends using data collection methods and existing databases.
Ability to analyze and evaluate laws, rules, regulations, programs, policies, procedures, and operations, identify problems/needs, and recommend changes.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with state and federal agencies/personnel, animal producers, faculty of colleges/universities, livestock organizations, veterinary organizations, and staff.
Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of people.
JOB REQUIREMENTS for Animal Health Program Manager:
Applicants must have education, training and/or experience demonstrating competence in each of the following areas:
Possession of a Bachelors degree or higher in Animal Husbandry, Animal Health, Animal Physiology, Zoology, Biology or related field.
Six months experience in managing animal health, including diagnosing, monitoring, controlling and eradicating contagious and emerging diseases of livestock and poultry.
Six months experience in program management which includes making recommendations for continuation or changes to operations, programs, services, policies or procedures based on findings.
Six months experience in analyzing data and identifying trends based on collected data.
Six months experience in staff supervision which includes planning, assigning, reviewing, and evaluating the work of others.
Knowledge of laboratory operations including how to monitor performance of laboratory quality control measures, proficiency testing, maintenance procedures, safety and reporting.
Knowledge of budget management and control which includes managing a budget for the purpose of keeping expenditures within the limitations of available appropriations and available revenue and maintaining, monitoring, projecting and controlling a budget within set policies and procedures.