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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Category: Agricultural Operations


This is the senior, specialist, or lead worker level of the series. Leads assigned crew and performs inspections and grading in an assigned area of seed fields, fresh fruits and/or vegetables, and other agricultural commodities. Enforces federal/state laws and regulations. Investigates more difficult complaints. Some positions must inspect and certify at least five major horticulture commodities with a horticulture district. Regularly assigns, instructs, and checks the work of others. May supervise and train lower seed or horticulture inspectors.

Typical Work

Selects and inspects samples of fresh fruits and/or vegetables at shipping points; inspects for a wide variety of quality factors such as color, blemishes, shape, mechanical damage, and evidence of insect and/or disease; inspects for condition of product as to factors of maturity/firmness/freshness and presence and degree of latent condition defects occurring subsequent to grading and packing; inspects for proper sizing of product, tightness and/or fill of pack, and correct labeling as required by grade standards; determines grade(s), classification(s), or percentages of usable stock of raw product for processing;

Supervises fumigations or other treatments for control of insect infestation and makes appropriate certification; issues federal-state certificates, shipping permits, and other clearance documents for domestic and foreign destinations, detailed inspection note sheets of samples inspected, federal phytosanitary certificates (when properly licensed), and state phytosanitary certificates declaring presence or absence of pests and disease; issues notices on non-complying product(s) and takes regulatory actions as necessary; issues certificates indicating quality levels or percentages of marketable stock for payment to the producer by the buyer or processor; calculates fees on inspection documents; calculates and collects inspection fees and assessments for commodity commissions from incidental inspection applicants such as growers, truckers, and others not having established a credit account;

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;

Assists in inspection, grading, and certification of native and non-native fruits and/or vegetables at receiving points; performs platform inspections of horticultural commodities to be put into storage; makes platform inspections of fruits and/or vegetables for payment to producer by the processor; during the peak seasons, assists the Area Supervisor in organizing and setting up field operations; instructs, trains, and provides field supervision for entrance level horticulture inspectors; instructs, trains, and supervises Horticulture Inspector Trainees and makes progress reports to the Area Supervisor or Manager regarding trainee; assists in training and development of the Horticulture Inspector; 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 inspection operations utilizing near infrared transmittance analyzer (NIRT), falling numbers apparatus, and other current technology including analysis for mycotoxin content and for the presence of biotech events to define the quality, condition, and end-use properties of the grain, commodity, or agricultural product;

Performs pre-harvest field inspections similar to those conducted by a Seed Inspector 1, but under limited supervision; investigates and performs inspections in special and/or difficult cases, such as disputed field rejections or unique crops; helps instruct Seed Inspector and trainees in Seed Branch programs; performs seed dealer inspections similar to those done by a Seed Inspector 1, but under limited supervision; investigates complaints from dealers and the public regarding seed law; helps maintain seed certification records; performs routine purity and germination analysis in the state seed lab.

Legal Requirement(s)

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

positions require six years of experience in regulatory horticulture inspection and licensing by the United States Department of Agriculture licensing for five major commodities prior to appointment, and a valid driver's license. Some positions require lifting 100 pounds.

Class Specification History

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

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