Seed Certification Field Supervisor

WA State Department of Agriculture   Yakima, WA   Full-time     Science
Posted on January 24, 2024
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This recruitment is open until filled. 

The first review of applications is scheduled for the week of January 2, 2024. In order to be considered, please submit your application on or before January 1, 2024. The agency reserves the right to make a hire any time after the initial screening date.

 

AGRICULTURE - A Cornerstone of Washington's Economy

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has been serving the state for more than 100 years. Through service, regulation, and advocacy, we keep agriculture viable and vital in Washington State, while protecting consumers, public health, and the environment. We work extensively with farmers and ranchers, but our responsibilities – from ensuring food safety to environmental protection – touch the lives of millions of people locally, nationally, and abroad.

The agency includes 780 employees approximately and grows close to 1,000 employees at the peak of seasonal work. To learn more and view additional openings, please visit our Employment Page.


The Opportunity:
WSDA Seed Program conducts pre-harvest field inspections of agricultural, vegetable and flower seeds grown under the seed certification and phytosanitary programs. The program is responsible for seed certification, seed testing, phytosanitary inspection, and seed inspection. The program provides accurate, timely and high-quality seed analysis and certification services while continually striving for improvements in methods and technologies to assure success for the program and its stakeholders. The seed laboratory is accredited as an USDA Seed Laboratory as well as holds an accreditation with Association of Official Seed Analyst (AOSA).

The Seed Certification Field Supervisor supports the programs mission by overseeing quality phytosanitary and certification field inspections, drawing official samples while enforcing federal and state regulations and maintaining positive relations with stakeholders. This position administers, oversees, and directs field activities and ensures employees are in compliance. This position is required to be in the field at least 50% of the time.

What to Expect
Some of the various responsibilities within this role include: 

  • Reads, interprets, comprehends, and follows inspections and methodology in policies, procedures, directives, notices, rules, and regulations relating to the position and the industry. 

  • Creates and fosters a safe work environment for staff  and maintains a neutral supervisory relationship. 

  • Exercises full technical and administrative supervision over inspection staff; Plans, assigns, reviews work, and adjusts assignments and schedules to maintain adequate cost-effective staffing levels and fluctuating workloads. 

  • Conducts and oversees field inspections and crop certification while keeping accurate records of completed inspections, failed inspections, and tracking plant clinical diagnostic for suspected disease issues.

  • Establishes staff resource plans, field training opportunities, staff orientation, recognition, and evaluations. 

  • Protects and transports sample and documentation to the laboratory or other destination as needed.

  • Conducts annual end of year postharvest for feedback on services and provides and assesss the next crop year's needs to include projected acres, and seasonal staffing.

  • Provides and conducts accurate and unbiased inspections to include neighboring state under specific MOU's. 

  • Ensures vehicles and other necessary equipment are maintained according to schedules, in working order, and available for seasonal and full-time inspectors.

  • Issues a phytosanitary certificate as a licensed USDA ACO according to current rules and regulations.

  • Responsible for regulatory assignments by checking the licensing, labeling, and shipping for truth in seed labeling requirements, and responds to complaints.

  • Participates in quarterly strategic planning meetings with leadership.
  • Communicates effectively with growers and seed companies and responds to questions regarding certification from the general public.
  • Participate in field staff recruitment processes including reviewing applicant credentials, conducting interviews, and recommend hiring of qualified staff.

Qualifications

Who should apply
applicants with:

  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Minimum of one (1) year experience in agriculture with processing, marketing, and testing of agricultural commodities.
  • Must have the ability to qualify for, obtain, and maintain a USDA APHIS ACO license, USDA- SAC Samplers Accreditation, and ISTA Samplers Accreditation. The program will determine which licenses are required, including for supervisory work, and the incumbent will have a designated time to obtain the required licenses.

Special Requirement: Must be able to acquire and maintain a valid driver's license to travel on agency business. Must be able to travel overnight in state for field inspections and available for periodic industry meetings out of state.

In addition to the above qualifications, the following knowledge, skills, and abilities will make a candidate highly desirable: 

  • Bachelor's degree with a major In Agronomy, or a closely related field.
  • Knowledge of state and federal seed certification regulations, seed law enforcement standards, familiarity with diseases and weeds found in crops.
  • Supervisor or Lead experience. 
  • Valid First Aid/CPR card.

Supplemental Information

Employee Benefits

  • A healthy work/life balance, which may include flexible work schedules, and teleworking.
  • WSDA provides an excellent benefits package beyond traditional benefits. State employment offers Dependent Care Assistance, Flexible Spending Accounts, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Deferred Compensation, Employee Recognition Leave; click here for more information.
  • 12 paid Holidays & Vacation and Leave Accruals.
  • All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required will be provided by the agency. 

How to apply:
  

You must complete your careers.wa.gov profile and answer the supplemental questions. In addition to completing the online application, and supplemental questions applicants must attach the following documents to their profile to be considered for this position:
    

· Current resume detailing experience and education

· A cover letter describing how you meet the specific qualifications for this position

· Three professional references 

 

By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed.
 
Applications with comments "see attachments" will be considered incomplete.
 
If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or email support@neogov.com.

The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of your application and the materials submitted. All information may be verified, and documentation may be required. Applications received via e-mail will not be accepted in lieu of applying through the state's on-line recruitment system.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Department of Agriculture celebrates our differences. We strive to hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are committed to a workplace that supports equal opportunity employment and inclusion regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, status as a protected veteran, genetics, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We will also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

We believe in the importance of recognizing the value each of us contributes to the success of the agency mission. Having a diverse workforce is this agency's greatest resource of strength and knowledge. It is through the combination of talents and abilities that we can pursue finding effective measures to provide the best customer service. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone and we strongly mean everyone.

Veteran's Preference: Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and wish to claim Veteran's Preference MUST attach a copy of their DD214, or other verification of military service. Please blackout any personally identifiable data such as social security numbers. For additional information on Veteran's Preference and guidance on how to determine if you are eligible, click here. 

Persons with a disability, who need assistance with their application or need this announcement in an alternative format, may call 664-1960 or toll free (877) 664-1960. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service.

For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture, visit us at www.agr.wa.gov.