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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 568K
Category: Agricultural Operations

Class Series Concept



This is the senior, specialist, or lead worker level of the series. Positions inspect, grade and certify all fruit and vegetable, or seed commodities within their assigned region; serve as an Authorized Certification Official; and reviews industry stakeholders’ preventative controls for compliance with food safety standards, marketing work plans, and certification standards.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Under general direction, positions ensure inspection protocols are met and perform complex tasks such as investigating complex complaints, auditing inspection paperwork completed by lower level, administering difficult country work plan requirements for international markets, and conducting controlled atmosphere certifications.

Typical Work

Conducts sampling functions at the established quota rate;

Certifies various treatments such as cold and chlorine treatments for control of insect and disease infestation;

Performs inspections of fruits and/or vegetables for insurance companies or other financially interested parties to establish amount of damage or loss due to fire, equipment failure, or other causes for the purpose of providing information useful in making monetary settlements or marketing decisions; performs audits of controlled atmosphere storage licensees' records regarding temperatures, numbers of days in storage, air components, and minimum or maximum levels of oxygen content of the storage atmosphere; certifies compliance of Chapter 15.30 RCW Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Fruits and Vegetables and qualifies the eligibility of the fruit for packing and marketing as controlled atmosphere subject to additional grade and condition inspections;

During the peak seasons, assists the Area Supervisor in organizing and setting up field operations; instructs, trains, and provides field supervision for entry-level inspectors; makes progress reports to the Area Supervisor or Manager regarding trainees; assists in training and development of professional-level inspectors; assists in monitoring and reviews other inspectors' certificates for accuracy and completeness;

Performs as a crew leader of commodity graders in processing plants where third party or contract inspection is in progress;

Performs inspections of fresh fruits and vegetables according to agency policies and procedures, issues federal phytosanitary certificates for export shipments, issues and oversees issuance of federal-state certificates, shipping permits and other clearance documents for domestic and foreign destinations;

Use comprehensive knowledge of Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD) to assist with industry inquiries about exporting countries requirements. In addition, this position is responsible for assisting the industry with phytosanitary issue;

Conducts field inspection and certification activities for all crops, including, alfalfa, all grasses, native species corn, sunflower, vegetable and brassica seed crops, for domestic and international movement of seed stocks;

Issues federal phytosanitary certificates for export shipments and other clearance documentation for domestic and foreign destinations;

Validates healthy seed crop conditions that meet state, federal and international standards;

Applies representative sampling technique to determine official sampling ratios;

Conducts visual phytosanitary inspections on industry sites based on import requirements of designated foreign country. Enforces seed regulatory requirements for wholesale and retail;

Conducts seed conditioning plant inspections to verify compliance with standards;

Enforces quarantine regulations for Crucifer, blue grass and bean seed;

Assists in developing ISO procedures and work inspection processes;

Assist program management in presenting to industry meetings relevant to seed certification and phytosanitary field standards;

Conducts research regarding industry trends such as projected acreage.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: in-depth knowledge of industry standards and all applicable state and federal acts, directives, rules and regulations.

Ability to: effectively communicate complex information verbally and in writing, mediate and resolve complex issues between stakeholders; 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)

All positions require United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services – Authorized Certification Official (APHIS-ACO) licensure.

Fruit and vegetable positions require USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) licensure and USDA-AMS FV200 certification for all commodities in assigned region.

Seed positions require USDA Authorized Official Sampler licensure and International Seed Testing Association (ITSA) sampling certification.

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.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

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


Two 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;


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

Class Specification History

New class effective January 1, 2006; Agricultural Inspector 3 (replaces 45140 Seed Inspector 2, 45620 Horticulture Inspector, Senior).
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.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.