Agricultural Inspector I

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Quality Control
Posted on September 16, 2022
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Starting salary up to $29.97/hour ($62,550/year), a cash allowance of $600/month, and a competitive total compensation package!*

The Agriculture Inspector I/II/III job series can be filled at any level, depending on qualifications and required licensure.  If you are interested in applying at the II and/or III levels, you must apply to the separate concurrent recruitments being conducted for each level.  This job class is eligible to promote to the next level in the series, up to an Agricultural/Weights & Measures Inspector III, once the minimum requirements are met for each level.    
Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to excellent benefits* including:

  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • County paid 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance of up to $500 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment

Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures

This is a small but mighty department, which thrives on developing cooperative working relationships with the community and other regulatory agencies. The Department's mission is to promote and protect agriculture, the health and safety of our community, environment, and economy through education and the enforcement of laws and regulations of the California Food and Agriculture Code, the Business and Professions Code, and the California Code of Regulations. The Department employs a full-time staff of 36+, with the main office in Santa Rosa and satellite offices in Sonoma and Petaluma.

Agriculture is one of the main industries in Sonoma County and is a vital component to the County's economy. Through education and outreach, the department strives to provide the information necessary for growers and others to comply with the laws and regulations we enforce. Through inspections and enforcement, the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures ensures equity in the marketplace and the safety of workers, the public, and the environment.

About the Position

As an Agricultural Inspector I, you will be conducting surveillance and/or inspections of pesticide application methods, dealers, storage areas and equipment, pest control businesses, and worker safety training records. Additionally you will be:

  • Preparing notices of violation, civil fines, enforcement referrals, and writing reports
  • Collecting, maintaining, and transferring investigative samples to State laboratories
  • Inspecting agricultural commodities and quarantining commodities, or entire areas, as necessary to protect against injurious pathogens or destructive organisms
  • Inspecting Sonoma County organic producers for compliance with Federal and State organic standards, and/or inspecting farmers' markets
  • Fielding inspections of various types of farms, including vineyards, cannabis, and hemp

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • A high level of integrity, professionalism, and excellent customer service skills
  • The ability to work independently as well as in a team environment
  • Good judgement and the ability to make sound decisions, particularly in contentious compliance situations
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills and ability to write detailed and accurate reports
  • Possess the ability to work with members of the public, local businesses and industry members with the purpose of explaining applicable laws, regulations, and local municipal codes
  • Possess excellent organizational skills allowing for effective time management
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Bilingual Spanish skills are a highly desired

Please Note: The State of California, Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) oversees the licensing for this classification. To meet the qualifications for this recruitment, candidates must fulfill the current requirements to be admitted to the CDFA licensure examinations. At this time, candidates must meet one of the following criteria listed by the CDFA.  
For the most recent agricultural inspector licensing requirements and testing information, please refer to the minimum requirements information at  

This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help vacancies as they occur during the active status of the list in the Agricultural Division. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future vacancies should consider applying to this recruitment. Bilingual (Spanish/English) candidates are encouraged to apply. The Civil Service title for this position is Agricultural/Weights & Measures Inspector I.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 Memorandum Of Understanding (SEIU MOU) and our Employee Benefits Directory.




Minimum Qualifications


Education and Experience: Any combination of education and work experience which would provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed herein. Normally, this would include graduation with a Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college with major course work in one of the following areas of discipline: Agricultural, Biological, Chemical, or Physical Science; Commerce; Engineering; Law Enforcement; Marketing; Mathematics; Physics; or Statistics, or other degrees approved by the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture.


A Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college with a minimum of 30 semester units (or equivalent) in one or any combination from the same areas of discipline.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level, including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.

If assigned to weights and measures inspection, possession of a valid Class B California driver's license and Tank Vehicle Endorsement are required within one year of appointment to this class.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Knowledge of: complex mathematics; principles of botany, entomology, plant pathology, physical science, chemistry, and related laboratory techniques; Federal, State, and local regulations, laws and procedures in the functional area of agricultural, weights and measures, and hazardous material and fire safety inspection and enforcement; the agricultural industry of Sonoma County; principles of sanitation when handling and testing food products; data processing equipment and systems; safety principles and equipment used for handling chemicals and responding to hazardous materials incidents; techniques of case management, record keeping, and report preparation; and rules of evidence, investigative techniques, and enforcement and court procedures.

Ability to: perform mathematical computations; read, understand, interpret, and enforce laws, codes, regulations; read, understand, and interpret technical material and lab analyses; collect and organize field information, write clear and concise reports and maintain records; draw accurate maps of field locations; learn to conduct a wide range of agricultural, hazardous material, fire safety, or weights and measures inspection and enforcement functions; gather information and data through interviewing individuals and conducting investigation; use and maintain department equipment; establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships; work with uncooperative and potentially hostile individuals; follow oral and written instructions; analyze situations accurately and recommend appropriate action; communicate tactfully and effectively with the public, co-workers, consumers, and industry representatives to provide information or obtain compliance with enforcement actions; safely handle hazardous materials such as herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, gasoline, and propane; maintain situational awareness while confidently approaching unknown environments with changing circumstances; use common office technology and software, databases and other software products used by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the County of Sonoma to carry out regulatory programs; and lift and carry 50 pound objects or containers for short distances; and operate a pickup truck with trailer.


Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.