WSDA Organic Program is Hiring – Inspectors and Certification Reviewers

Join our dedicated team of professionals in providing third party certification and ensuring the integrity of the organic claim in Washington State.

 Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program is looking full-time, permanent Organic Inspectors and Certification Reviewers.  The final area of responsibility for the Organic Inspector positions will be determined by the location of the applicant’s home and the needs of the program.  Certification Reviewer positions are based in Olympia, WA.  The positions are at the Environmental Specialist 3 level (salary range 49, $3,522 – 4,623 per month).

The recruitments will remain open continuously due to the increased growth in the organic industry.  Positions will be filled as qualified candidates are identified.  For a further description of the duties, the excellent benefit package, and details on how to apply, see the announcements on careers.wa.gov:

Organic Inspector Recruitment

Organic Certification Reviewer Recruitment

 For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture Organic Program, visit us at http://agr.wa.gov/foodanimal/organic/ or contact Brenda Book, WSDA Organic Program Manager, at bbook@agr.wa.gov

______________________________________________________________

About the Program:

Started in 1988 the USDA-accredited WSDA Organic Food Program upholds the integrity of the organic label through certification and inspection of organic crop and livestock producers, processors, handlers and retailers. The oldest and largest state certification agency in the country, the program is entirely fee-funded and currently certifies over 1,200 organic clients and registers over 1,000 material inputs for organic production.

 Overview of Roles:

Field Inspectors work out of a home office and travel in a state issued vehicle throughout an assigned territory to inspect farms and handlers for compliance with the USDA National Organic Standards. Inspectors make observations, conduct interviews, audit records, take samples, and write detailed and objective reports to determine if an operation is in compliance with organic standards. Inspectors do not make final certification decisions nor do they issue organic certificates.

Reviewers provide technical assistance on organic standards and evaluate applications and inspection reports to determine compliance with the USDA Organic Regulations.  Reviewers make certification decisions, provide peer to peer quality assurance, and draft compliance and adverse action notices for violations to the organic standards.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills are a must.

Both inspectors and reviewers provide technical assistance and have the ability to respond to complex inquiries with a high degree of technical understanding; inspectors and reviewers do not consult or give specific advice on how farms or handling operations can overcome organic barriers. Inspectors and reviewers represent the program and provide outreach and education on organic requirements at public meetings, conferences, workshops, or other industry events.  Knowledge and  expertise in at least one of the following scopes is crucial: crop production,  livestock, handling, or input materials.

 Required Education and Experience:

  1. A Bachelor’s degree involving major study in agriculture or other allied field AND two (2) years of professional level experience in crop production or organic certification. Note: qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education
  2. Expertise in farming and food distribution common to Washington State and other locations served by program.
  3. Proven record of excellent communication skills – verbally and in writing.

Preferred/Desired Experience:

  1. Experience providing technical assistance to the agriculture community
  2. Experience working in a regulatory environment.
  3. Knowledge of or course work in soil management, organic and conventional pest controls, post-harvest technology, food science and/or processing technology, labeling regulations, and/or food distribution systems.
  4. International Organic Inspector Association (IOIA) training in Crops, Handling and/or Livestock.

 Key Competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors):

  1. Job Knowledge – Expertise in production and handling systems common to Washington State and other locations served by program.
  2. Enforcing Laws, Rules, & Regulations – Enforces applicable organic laws, rules, and regulations, and initiates enforcement actions in a way that the public perceives as fair, objective, and reasonable.
  3. Ethics & Integrity – Earns others’ trust and respect through consistent honesty and professionalism in all interactions; ability to remain impartial and unbiased.
  4. Customer Focus – Builds and maintains customer satisfaction with the services offered by the program.
  5. Teamwork – Promotes cooperation and commitment within team to achieve goals and deliverables.
  6. Writing – Conveys ideas and facts in writing using language the reader will best understand.
  7. Interviewing and Inspecting Others – Approaches inspections in ways that enhance the clarity, quality, and reliability of information.
  8. Decision Making & Judgment – Makes timely, informed decisions that take into account the facts, goals, constraints, and risks.
  9. Accountability & Dependability – Takes personal responsibility for the quality and timeliness of work, and achieves results with little oversight.
  10. Adaptability & Flexibility – Adapts to changing program and regulatory needs, conditions, and work responsibilities.
  11. Development & Continual Learning – Displays an ongoing commitment to learning and self-improvement.

Brenda Book

WSDA Organic Program Manager

Direct: 360-902-2090 / bbook@agr.wa.gov

Main: 360-902-1805 / organic@agr.wa.gov

Web:  http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/Organic

 

Organic Program

Washington State Dept. of Agriculture

1111 Washington Street / PO Box 42560

Olympia, WA 98504-2560