Job Code Pay Scale Group Pay Scale Type Bargaining Unit Civil Service or Non-Civil Service Last Executive Board Change Executive Board Change History
51511 07 ST G4 C 709-04 09/01/2014
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 05/13/1999 51511


DEFINITION: This is professional, investigative and enforcement work in an assigned geographic area involving inspection of all agronomic products including pesticides, feeds, pet foods, fertilizers, lime, soil conditioners and seeds for the Department of Agriculture.

An employee in this class is responsible for interpreting Commonwealth laws, rules and regulations associated with various regulatory programs to include these agronomic products. Work involves responsibility for inspecting various types of agronomic product establishments for proper quality control and good manufacturing practices; collecting samples of agronomic products for routine laboratory analysis and suspected adulterants; investigating and resolving complaints involving agronomic products and their labeling. Work includes providing advice to feed, fertilizer, lime, seed and pesticide operators regarding quality control procedures and good manufacturing practices; meeting with government and industry officials to provide program information; responding to emergency situations affecting feed, fertilizer, lime, seed and pesticides, such as flood disasters and fires; initiating enforcement and compliance activities against violators and prosecuting court cases; operating and conducting routine maintenance of a variety of sampling equipment; and participating in other initiatives such as Chemsweep, pesticide container recycling, nutrient management, integrated pest management and farm safety. Work involves considerable contact with facility operators, government officials and the public to explain Departmental rules, regulations, policies and procedures involving pesticide use. Employees are commissioned inspectors of the Federal Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for the purpose of enforcing federal pesticide and medicated feed laws. Employees in this class are supervised by a Plant Industry Regional Supervisor. Work is performed independently under general direction. Work is reviewed through consultation, meetings and a review of written reports.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: Inspects agronomic product establishments such as feed mills, fertilizer blenders, lime quarries, seed producer, pesticide manufacturer and applicators, pesticide dealers, pet food manufacturers and agronomic products wholesale and retail establishments for proper storage, record keeping, sanitation, employee training, worker safety and proper agronomic product labeling.

Investigates and resolves complaints involving pesticide misuse and pesticide worker protection in all types of pesticide establishments to prevent human and environmental harm; and conducts investigations in suspected cases to determine the validity of and/or eliminate the cause of the human or environmental harm.

Determines violations of feed, fertilizer, lime, seed and pesticide laws and regulations and prepares violation reports.

Conducts sampling of assorted agronomic products and ingredients for laboratory analysis to determine compliance with applicable standards and regulations as well as to prevent fraudulent practices. Review and interprets laboratory findings to determine the appropriate corrective action, including seizure, reconditioning or request for compliance

Receives and reviews applications for the licensure of feed, fertilizer, lime and seed establishments and approves or disapproves in accordance with state laws and regulations.

Provides advice to establishment operators and quality control personnel regarding proper processing and quality control; and insures that the facility complies with Commonwealth and Federal laws and regulations for interstate shipment of feed, seed and pesticide.

Provides advice to pesticide businesses on proper record keeping, storage of chemicals, worker protection and disposal of pesticides and pesticide containers.

Meets with public and industry officials to provide program information.

Responds to emergency situations affecting agronomic products, such as flood disasters and fires by providing oversight in clean-up operations; provides advice on containment, recovery, water supply and environmental concerns; investigates train and truck accidents involving agronomic products; supervises the reconditioning of salvaged products and assures unsafe agronomic products are properly disposed; and provides re-inspection of establishments.

Coordinates recovery activities with other government and emergency agencies such as fire officials, law enforcement, PEMA, FEMA, PA Department of Health, PA Departmental of Environmental Protection and local health agencies.

Conducts inspections of feed, seed and pesticide establishments for the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency through agreements with the PA Department of Agriculture.

Represents the state as prosecutor and witness at hearing concerning prosecutions of violators of the laws and regulations.

Reviews labels for compliance with Commonwealth and Federal laws and regulations.

Coordinates epidemiological investigations with the PA Department of Health and Federal agencies in suspected cases of pesticide misuse and human harm to aid in determining the validity of as well as eliminating the cause of contamination.

Inspects pesticide applicator businesses for safety to include water supplies, personal protective equipment, emergency equipment and other factors under the pesticide laws and regulations.

Determines violations of rules and regulations by comparing case data with laws, rules and regulations; prepares request for compliance letter indicating violations, citing appropriate laws, rules and regulations and establishing time limits for their correction.

Trains new inspectors on basic feed, fertilizer and pesticide safety practices.

Informs public and private officials of changes in program policies, procedures, and Department rules and regulations.

Administers pesticide certification exams, approves/disapproves permits for pesticide applicators, monitors pesticide re-certification meetings and makes presentations.

Prepares reports and correspondence to exchange information with facility owners, governmental officials and supervisors.

Prepares and delivers formal presentations regarding all aspects of the program to groups.

Seizes or detains agronomic products and or/ingredients that are suspected to be adulterated and/or unfit for animal consumption and use or which violate state or federal laws and/or regulations.

Determines and assigns facility inspection frequency based on associated environmental risks and or/previous violative history. Develops and manages a record keeping system to provide for an efficient and timely completion of required inspections and administrative functions.

Conducts sampling of a variety of agronomic products and ingredients for laboratory analysis to determine compliance with applicable standards and regulations and to prevent fraudulent practices. Reviews and interprets laboratory findings to determine the appropriate corrective action.

Investigates and resolves complaints involving sanitary conditions in all type of feed establishments to include feed formulation and manufacturing techniques for adequate processing to destroy pathogenic organisms to prevent food borne illness and feed worker hygiene and training.

Inventories, samples and collects suspended, unwanted and unknown pesticide products for proper disposal.

Inspects and collects empty pesticide containers for recycling.

Promotes Integrated Pest Management to businesses, applicators and the public.

Educates and inspects agricultural facilities on the Federal Worker Protection Standard.

Conducts pesticide usage surveys and groundwater sampling.

Performs related duties as required.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES: Knowledge of Federal and State laws, rules, and regulations relating to the regulation of agronomic products such as, pesticides, feeds, pet foods, fertilizers, soil conditioners, seed and agricultural liming products.

Knowledge of pesticides, feeds, pet foods, fertilizers, soil conditioners, seeds, and agricultural liming products characteristic properties.

Knowledge of proper procedures to inspect and sample pesticides, feeds, pet foods, fertilizers, soil conditioners, seeds, and lime products.

Knowledge of investigation techniques.

Ability to learn the components of manufacturing, distribution and retail sales of agronomic products.

Ability to learn the operation and calibration of aerial and ground pesticide application equipment.

Ability to recognize animal or plant symptoms of injury or illness resulting from contaminants found in agronomic products or as the result of misuse of products.

Ability to secure facts through observation and investigation and to make accurate judgment based on facts.

Ability to establish and maintain public trust in agronomic products inspection and certification programs.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with manufacturers, distributors, retailers and the general public.

Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

Ability to utilize Department of Agriculture computer programs to input and retrieve information.

Ability to withstand extended periods of exertion.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: Two years of experience in the inspection of agronomic products and a bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences or biological sciences or in a closely related field.


Four years of experience in the inspection of agronomic products and an associate degree in agricultural sciences or biological sciences or in a closely related field.


Any equivalent combination of experience and training which affords an applicant the Required Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities. Appropriate graduate level training may be substituted for the experience on a year- for-year basis.

NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENT: Possession of a valid Class C driver's license issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.