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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 568J
Category: Agricultural Operations

Class Series Concept



This is the journey-level of the series. Positions independently inspect, grade and certify at least three (3) fresh fruits and/or vegetable varieties, or seed, and enforce state and federal laws and regulations.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Under general supervision, inspect and certify commodities with complex factors such as apples, onions, pears, potatoes, alfalfa, corn and grass seeds, or those considered highly perishable with short seasons such as cherries, plums, prunes, and peaches. Duties include tasks such as certifying cold controls for Mexico, Canada and China; collecting pests for identification; certifying seed fields are clear of pests and diseases; mediates claim settlements. May oversee work of lower-level staff and assist with training. Unusual problems are brought to supervisor with probable outcomes and solutions.

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), classifications(s), or percentage of usable stock of raw product for processing;

Determines whether product and/or shipment meets grade standards with authority to reject products and/or shipments that do not meet such standards;

Provide guidance to customers and stakeholders regarding quality control and grading standards, and assist with problem resolution;

Conducts online quality control for industry participating in the Certificate of Compliance Program;

Implements directives on country work plan inspection requirements to determine if product meets requirements;

Enforces state and federal fruit and vegetable laws and regulations;

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

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, 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 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;

Assists in surveillance and audits of certified feedlots;

Inspects places of business to assure proper licensing and posting of rate structure;

Makes cooperative investigations for other divisions and sections of the Department of Agriculture, and other state, county, and federal agencies; maintains records and writes investigative reports as needed;

Stops shipments of agricultural commodities for noncompliance with transport laws;

Assists with 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;

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

Assists with seed conditioning plant inspections to verify compliance with standards;

Assists with visual phytosanitary inspections on industry sites based on import requirements of designated foreign country. Recommends enforcement of seed regulatory requirements for whole sale and retail;

Mediates settlement of claims without formal proceedings whenever possible.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:
Fruit and vegetable positions: USDA Cooperative Agreement with the state of Washington, federal and state regulations and directives, marketing orders, Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, Federal Shipping Point and Market inspection handbook, RCW 15.17 Standards of Grades and Packs, Chapter 16-403 WAC Standards for Apples Marketed within the State of Washington, Export Apple Act, Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

Seed positions: state and federal seed certification regulations and seed law enforcement standards including Chapter 16-302 WAC General Rules for Seed Certification, Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) seed certification standards and The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) seed certification standards.

Ability to: interpret and explain state and federal directives, notices, rules and regulations, and state policies and procedures to customers and stakeholders; resolve customer issues; influence customer and stakeholder compliance with state and federal rules and regulations; 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.


Positions require USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) licensure and USDA-AMS FV200 certification to inspect three (3) assigned commodities.

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.


Graduation from high school or GED,


One year of experience in a state fruit and vegetable, or seed inspection office inspecting, grading and certifying seed plants and fields, or fresh fruits and/or vegetables;


Two years of experience in the agricultural industry working with fresh fruit and/or vegetable production and storage;


Two years of college level course work with major emphasis in horticulture, agronomy, or closely related field.


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