Published
January 25, 2022
Location
Ventura County
Job Type

Description

The Agricultural Inspector/Biologist class series is responsible for programs that monitor compliance issues within the agricultural industries of Ventura County. The role of these classifications is to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of consumers and industry workers, as well as the environment. To address the business needs of the Agricultural Commissioner's Office, it is the goal of this class series to progress incumbents to the advanced journey level of Senior.  At each successive level in this series, incumbents are required to acquire and maintain specific licenses, exercise greater independent judgment, and handle assignments requiring broader knowledge with less supervision. The Agricultural Inspector class series differs from the Supervising Agricultural Inspector by the latter's full supervisory responsibilities.

Under immediate (Associate), general (Inspector/Biologist), or limited (Senior) supervision, the incumbent receives training (Associate) and performs a variety of progressively responsible and complex agricultural inspection, investigation, and certification functions pursuant to the enforcement of the California Food and Agricultural Code, California Code of Regulations, Business and Professions Code, Health and Safety Code, Labor Code, and Ventura County Ordinances, all of which govern the work of the County Agricultural Commissioner's Office.

The ideal candidate will have graduated from an accredited four year college or university with a major in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or other academic discipline or related science, possess one or more related licenses issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and have at least six (6) months of experience in agriculture and/or agricultural inspection.  Critical to success in these positions are excellent communication skills, effective inter-personal and collaborative skills, and the skills needed to work effectively as a team member.

APPROXIMATE SALARIES
Agricultural Inspector/Biologist Associate: $20.62 - $29.23 per hour
Agricultural Inspector/Biologist:  $25.28 - $35.83 per hour
Senior Agricultural Inspector/Biologist: $28.03 - $39.25 per hour

EDUCATIONAL/BILINGUAL INCENTIVE
Incumbents may be eligible for an educational incentive of 2.5%, 3.5%, or 5% based on completion of an Associate's, Bachelor's, or Master's degree that is not required for the classification. Incumbents may also be eligible for bilingual incentive depending upon operational need and certification of skill.

The Agricultural Inspector/Biologist Associate through Senior are represented by Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) and are eligible for overtime compensation.

To learn about the Agricultural Commissioner Department and the Agricultural industry in Ventura County, please visit: http://www.ventura.org/agricultural-commissioner. Examples Of Duties Depending on level, area of assignment, and licensure, duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Enforces pesticide use laws and regulations, issues restricted material permits and monitors usage; monitors and inspects pesticide use by pest control businesses, private applicators, government, and commercial applicators, including agricultural and non-agricultural uses (structural, institutional, and industrial), for regulatory compliance; inspects and supervises the application of state and federally restricted materials; analyzes compliance history and recommends appropriate actions;
  • Inspects and certifies agricultural commodities in preparation for export from Ventura County and certifies the products in accordance with State, County, Federal and Foreign quarantines; may issue Certificates of Quarantine Compliance and Phytosanitary Export Certificates;
  • Inspects imported agricultural commodities at post offices, express carriers, trucking companies, personal residences, and various other points of entry to ensure compliance with quarantine requirements;
  • Inspects and certifies production and wholesale nursery stock for regulatory compliance; inspects and samples plant material, hard surfaces, water, soil, fruits, vegetables, seeds, feed grain, and other agricultural commodities in growing areas, the field and markets, packing houses, mills, and storage areas for compliance with laws and regulations;
  • Inspects agricultural fields, wholesale packing companies, and retail outlets to ensure agricultural commodities comply with California State quality, maturity, labeling, and packaging standards;
  • Inspects and certifies California Certified Farmers' Markets and Certified Producers and California State Organic Program Registrants;
  • Registers farm labor contractors and performs worker safety inspections, employer records audits, and employee safety record audits;
  • Investigates complaints involving the misuse of pesticides and addresses concerns regarding pesticide application; investigates a variety of incidents, such as pesticide-related illnesses, reports of loss, environmental effects, plant quarantine violations, Right To Farm Ordinance complaints, Direct Marketing and Organic violations, etc.; gathers samples and evidence and prepares investigative reports; reviews and evaluates evidence to ascertain if a violation has occurred and recommends appropriate action, including potential enforcement actions;
  • Issues compliance actions such as notices of violation, cease and desist orders, and letters of warning; participates in documented compliance interviews and follows up to ensure compliance;
  • Prepares and maintains detailed inspection reports, investigations, and daily workload reports;
  • Participates in and conducts continuous pest detection surveys and identifies common insects, weeds, plants, and diseases;
  • Inspects and samples bee colonies for disease, registration and proper identification procedures;
  • Participates in education and outreach activities to the general public and the regulated community regarding agriculturally-related issues; assists in the preparation and delivery of continuing education for permittees and pest control licenses holders; creates informational documents; makes oral presentations to the public, etc.;
  • Operates sensitive field and lab equipment necessary for identification, sampling, and determining compliance with set standards;
  • Collects data regarding Crop Statistics and Disaster Assessments;
  • Leads and participates in inspection activities within area of assignment (Senior);
  • Performs other related duties as required.

  Typical Qualifications These are entrance requirements to the examination process and assure neither continuance in the process nor placement on an eligible list.

EDUCATION, TRAINING and EXPERIENCE
Agricultural Inspector/Biologist Associate

  • A current, valid license in one or more categories as a County Agricultural Inspector/Biologist issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture; OR,
  • Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college with specialization in one or more qualified disciplines in agricultural, biological, chemical or physical sciences; OR,
  • Possession of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college in any discipline with a minimum of 30 semester units, or equivalent, in one or any combination of the following disciplines: 1) Agriculture, 2) Biological Science, 3) Chemical Science, 4) Physical Science, 5) Mathematics, and/or 6) Statistics.

NOTE: If you are qualifying on education alone without any of the licenses listed below issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, verification of the bachelor's degree or college-level coursework is required.  Submit your college diploma, and/or transcripts/grade reports from an accredited college or university which reflect passing grades in the required subject areas, to County Human Resources prior to the closing date of this recruitment. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

Degree(s) from a foreign institution require an academic credential evaluation to determine the U.S. equivalency.

If the name on this documentation is different from the name on your application, include documents that show the name change (e.g., a marriage certificate).

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS:  Employees hired as an Agricultural Inspector/Biologist Associate are required to obtain and maintain one (1) of the five (5) core licenses/certification listed below within (1) year of appointment and one (1) additional license/certification listed below within two (2) years of appointment.

Agricultural Inspector/Biologist

  • Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college with specialization in one or more qualified disciplines in agricultural, biological, chemical or physical sciences, or other academic discipline that meets the minimum qualifications for the County Agricultural Inspector licensing examination for the State of California; AND,
  • Two (2) years of experience performing the full range and scope of duties comparable to Ventura County's Agricultural Inspector/Biologist Associate; AND,
  • Possession and maintenance of three (3) of the core licenses issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which are listed below.

Senior Agricultural Inspector/Biologist

  • Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college with specialization in one or more qualified disciplines in agricultural, biological, chemical or physical sciences, or other academic discipline that meets the minimum qualifications for the County Agricultural Inspector licensing examination for the State of California; AND,
  • Two (2) years of experience performing the full range and scope of duties comparable to Ventura County's Agricultural Inspector/Biologist; AND,
  • Possession and maintenance of all five (5) of the core licenses issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which are listed below.

LICENSES
There are five (5) core licenses issued by the State of California, and the department may determine which license categories are required for each assignment based on operational needs. The core licenses are: Pesticide Regulation; Investigation and Environmental Monitoring; Pest Prevention and Plant Regulation; Commodity Regulation; and Integrated Pest Management. In addition, the federal government administers the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service training course for phytosanitary certification.

NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENT 
Must possess and maintain a valid California driver license.

Effective written communication skills must be demonstrated in the completion of the employment application and supplemental questionnaire.

DESIRED 

  • For the Agricultural Inspector/Biologist Associate six (6) months experience in agriculture and/or agricultural inspection;
  • For the Senior Agricultural Inspector/Biologist successful completion, as indicated by receipt of a passing grade, of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service training course on phytosanitary certification administered by the federal government;
  • Bilingual skills (English and Spanish)

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS and ABILITIES
Working (Associate), considerable (Journey-level), or extensive (Senior) knowledge of: the provisions of the California Food and Agricultural Code, California Code of Regulations, Business and Professions Code, Health and Safety Code, Labor Code, Ventura County Ordinances, and related federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing the work of the County Agricultural Commissioner's Office; County agricultural products and commodities; personal computer applications and usage.

Demonstrated ability to: learn to (Associate) interpret and apply agricultural laws and regulations and County Agricultural Commissioner's Office policies and procedures; learn to (Associate) enforce agricultural standards, laws, and regulations effectively; learn to (Associate) address inspection and enforcement issues that may be challenging and tense, through tact and diplomacy; observe and monitor pesticide applications at 100 yards while driving over uneven terrain; distinguish small insects/pests through a hand lens or microscope; identify potential dangers in the field; detect the presence of chemicals and/or pesticides in open and closed environments; differentiate between colors in order to conduct certain tests; organize and prioritize work; safely operate motor vehicles, tools, and equipment necessary to carry out inspections; read and interpret maps, graphs, and charts; communicate effectively both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers and customers such as the public, growers, media, schools, etc.

Supplemental Information
Inspection locations where work is performed may be indoors or outdoors, including ships, railroad cars, nurseries, warehouses, residential areas, fields, etc.

Performing essential functions of this job may require incumbents to perform lifting and bending; sitting and/or walking continuously for up to two (2) hours at a time; walking on uneven and/or slippery ground or floor surfaces; or be exposed to unpleasant or hazardous conditions or substances in the field, such as heat, dust, diesel exhaust, inclement weather, chemicals, and noise. Recruitment Process FINAL FILING DATE: Applications must be received by County of Ventura Human Resources in Ventura, California no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 11, 2022.

To apply on-line, please refer to our web site at www.ventura.org/jobs.  A paper application can be obtained by calling (805) 654-5129.  Our address is: County of Ventura, Human Resources Division, 800 South Victoria Avenue, L-1970, Ventura, CA 93009.

Note to Applications:  Sufficient information must be provided under the Education/Work Experience portion of the application and supplemental questionnaire to thoroughly and accurately demonstrate your qualifications to determine eligibility.  A resume may be attached to supplement your responses in the above-referenced sections; however, it may not be submitted in lieu of the application.

NOTE: If presently permanently employed in another "merit" or "civil service" public agency/entity in the same or substantively similar position as is advertised, and if appointed to that position by successful performance in a "merit" or "civil service" style examination, then appointment by "Lateral Transfer" may be possible.  If interested, please click here (Download PDF reader) for additional information.

SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE – qualifying: All applicants are required to complete and submit the questionnaire for this exam at the time of filing. This questionnaire may be used throughout the exam process to assist in determining each applicant's qualifications and acceptability for the position.  Failure to complete and submit the questionnaire may result in the application being removed from consideration.

APPLICATION EVALUATION – qualifying: All applications will be reviewed to determine whether the stated requirements are met. Applicants meeting the stated requirements will be invited to continue to the next step in the exam process.

TRAINING and EXPERIENCE EVALUATION – qualifying: A Training and Experience Evaluation (T&E) is a structured evaluation of the job application materials submitted by a candidate, including the written responses to the supplemental questionnaire. The T&E is NOT a determination of whether the candidate meets the stated requirements; rather, the T&E is one method for determining who are the better qualified among those who have shown that they meet the stated requirements. In a T&E, applications are either scored or rank ordered according to criteria that most closely meet the business needs of the department. Candidates are typically scored/ranked in relation to one another; consequently, when the pool of candidates is exceptionally strong, many qualified candidates may receive a score or rank which is moderate or even low resulting in them not being advanced in the process.

In a typical T&E, your training and experience are evaluated in relation to the background, experience and factors identified for successful job performance during a job analysis. For this reason, it is recommended that your application materials clearly show your relevant background and specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities. It is also highly recommended that the supplemental questions within the application are completed with care and diligence. Candidates must earn a score of seventy percent (70%) or higher to qualify for placement on the eligible list.

ORAL EXAMINATION – 100%:  A job-related oral examination may be conducted to evaluate and compare participating candidates' knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to those factors which job analysis has determined to be essential for successful performance of the job.  Candidates must earn a score of seventy percent (70%) or higher to qualify for placement on the eligible list.

If there are three (3) or fewer qualified applicants, an oral examination will not be conducted. Instead, a score of 70% will be assigned to each application, and each applicant will be placed on the eligible list.

ELIGIBLE LIST: Candidates successfully completing the examination process may be placed on an eligible list for a period of six (6) months.  The eligible list established from this recruitment may be used to fill current and future Regular (including Temporary and Fixed-term), Intermittent, and Extra Help vacancies. There are currently two (2) regular vacancies within the Agricultural Commissioner's Office.  

NOTE: If appointed at the lower level, incumbent may be promoted to the higher level without further exam upon meeting the minimum requirements, demonstrating satisfactory performance, and in accordance with the business needs of the department.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: A thorough pre-employment, post offer background investigation which may include inquiry into past employment, education, criminal background information, and driving record may be required for this position.

For further information about this recruitment, please contact Lorin Calderon by e-mail at lorin.calderon@ventura.org or telephone at (805) 654-2959.

Agency Ventura County
Address 800 S. Victoria Avenue
LOC. #1970
Ventura, California, 93009
Phone (805) 654-5129

w.ventura.org/agricultural-commissioner.