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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 568L
Category: Agricultural Operations

Class Series Concept



This is the supervisory level of the series. Positions apply expert knowledge of commodity inspection and assigned geographic area to plan and coordinate the inspection activities of staff. Supervises assigned staff, monitors work and quality of inspections conducted.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions serve as a working supervisor. Enforces federal/state laws and regulations, and ensures staff are updated on current preventive controls and practices for compliance with food safety standards. Develops, implements, and monitors training to ensure program compliance with requirements of federal partners and national food safety regulations. Implements and evaluates workflow priorities. Develops and disseminates instructions and information to unit personnel.

Positions hold all licenses and certifications required by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for commodities and specialized functions within assigned geographic area.

Typical Work

Supervises and trains lower level Agricultural Commodity Inspection staff; 

Plans, coordinates, and organizes workload; makes work assignments to inspectors; supervises inspection of fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure compliance with state and federal quality and condition regulations; 

Trains, coaches and mentors staff; 

Develops and implements staff initial training, re-training programs and continual refresher trainings; 

Ensures a safe working environment for all staff by following up on safety concerns and injury/accident reports; organizes and leads staff safety meeting monthly; 

Ensures all employees under their supervision comply with Federal Cooperative Agreement, Quality Manual, Quality Systems Service Standards (QSSS), International Trade Seed Association Standards, USDA authorized sampling Methods, Associations of Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) Standards, International Standards Organizations (ISO) and federal and state statutes; 

Audits staff notesheets, export certificates, phytosanitary certificates and other required inspection documentation for accuracy and compliance with grading standards, inspection procedures, and phytosanitary requirements;

Performs regular field reviews on staff to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations such as representative sampling, proper identification and proper identification of pests, defects and plant diseases; 

Routinely visits warehouses to provide oversight for inspection staff to ensure the interpretation of work plans is applied consistently regardless of inspection location or inspector; 

Communicates product grade to warehouse to allow for corrective action if necessary. Enforces state and federal fruit and vegetable laws and regulations; 

Developing annual staffing plan to ensure sufficient staffing to meet industry workload needs for inspections, internal monitoring, and quality control and audit services; 

Schedules employees and determines job assignments to meet industry needs in accordance with employee licenses and abilities; 

Communicates schedule changes to industry stakeholders; 

Within authorized limits, exercises purchasing authority for all equipment, computers, vehicles and office supplies within the area; 

Participates in regional and program projects as assigned; 

Ensures the program’s inspection and auditing process is independent from any commercial, financial, or other pressure which might adversely affect the quality; 

In the absence of the Seed Program Manager, assists in making administrative decisions affecting day-to-day operation of the work unit. Supervises maintenance of certification, phytosanitary, and seed control records; 

Represents the Department at certification, seed control, and seed industry meetings; answers questions and investigates complaints regarding certification and seed control from the public, growers, and seed dealers; acts as liaison between persons involved in the seed industry and the seed branch.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: adult learning styles; human resource related laws, regulations and agency policies; in-depth knowledge of industry standards and best practices; and all applicable state and federal acts, directives, rules and regulations. 

Ability to: lead and manage individuals and teams; effectively communicate complex information verbally and in writing, mediate and resolve complex issues between stakeholders; develop and apply change management models techniques; climb and work safely and with agility at high levels, around moving equipment under extra hazardous conditions, and often in very high temperatures; work in environments that include exposure to chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

Legal Requirement(s)

Positions require all United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses applicable to assigned program area(s), including Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), AMS-FV200 license for Supervisory Work, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Authorized Certification Official (ACO) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)/Good Handling Practices (GHP) licensure. 

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor’s degree with major study in agronomy or closely allied field, 


One year of experience leading or supervising within an agricultural environment, 


Four years of experience performing inspections within a state fruit and vegetable inspection office or in the fruit and vegetable industry related to processing, marketing and testing; 


Four years of experience in a seed testing laboratory or in seed industry production, processing, marketing, and testing.

Equivalent education and experience may be substituted on a year-for-year basis.

Class Specification History

New class effective January 1, 2006; Agricultural Inspector 4 (replaces 45180 Seed Inspection Supervisor, 45630 Horticulture Area Supervisor).

Salary adjustment; revised title, definition, legal requirements, desirable qualifications; added class series concept, distinguishing characteristics, knowledge and abilities; adopted June 13, 2019, effective July 1, 2019.