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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Category: Agricultural Operations


This is the journey level of the series. Performs inspections and grading in the field or plant of seed fields, harvest equipment, eggs, fresh fruits and/or vegetables and other agricultural commodities. Enforces federal/state laws and regulations. Work is typically reviewed on a spot check basis after decisions have been made. Unusual problems that may occur are brought to a higher level supervisor with probable outcomes and solutions. May supervise and train lower employees.

Typical Work

Selects and inspects samples of fresh fruits and/or vegetables as 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), classifications(s), or percentage 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 documents 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;

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;

Calculates fees on inspection documents; calculates and collects inspection fees and assessments for the commodity commissions from incidental inspection applicants such as growers, truckers, and others not having established a credit account;

Performs pre-harvest field inspections, under supervision, in grass, alfalfa, clover, beans, corn, and vegetable fields to determine compliance with state seed certification and/or phytosanitary regulations, (this includes determination of the presence of weeds, other crop, other varieties, and plant diseases); inspections are done on foot or while riding a motorcycle;

Inspects, under supervision, seed dealers to determine compliance with state and federal seed law (this includes visits to retail and wholesale outlets) to determine presence or absence of current required licenses, proper container labeling, and to take random samples of seed offered for sale;

Samples, inspects, handles, grades, and weighs shell eggs for grade, weight, size, and interior quality; impounds improperly graded or otherwise unlawful eggs; releases eggs for sale after re-grading; inspects for egg seal on cartons and to ascertain if supplier or producer is licensed egg dealer; prepares grade report sheets on each lot of eggs inspected at retail stores and egg storage or processing plants; checks retailers’ invoices showing dates, grades, and sizes of eggs delivered;

Mediates settlement of claims without formal proceedings whenever possible; assists in surveillance and audits of certified feedlots; stops shipments of agricultural commodities for noncompliance with transport laws; issues warning and arrest citations; makes cooperative investigations for other divisions and sections of the Department of Agriculture, as well as other state, county, and federal agencies; on own initiative, inspects places of business to assure proper licensing and posting of rate structure; maintains records and writes investigative reports;

May supervise lower level staff.

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

Graduation from high school or GED and two years of experience in production, storage, or sale of shell eggs. Some positions require licensing by the United States Department of Agriculture to inspect commodity to which assigned prior to appointment and a valid driver's license. Some positions require lifting 100 pounds. Some positions require a Bachelor’s degree with major study in agronomy or closely allied field and one year of experience performing inspections in the field or plant of seed fields, harvest equipment, and seed conditioning facilities for approval to handle certified seed.

Class Specification History

New class effective January 1, 2006; Agricultural Inspector 2 (replaces 44170 Egg Inspector 2, 45120 Seed Inspector 1, 45610 Horticulture Inspector).

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