Agricultural Commodity Inspector I (#MGAA01)
$33,649.00 Yearly Min / $42,061.00 Yearly Mid / $50,473.00 Yearly Max

Agricultural Commodity Inspector II (#MGAA02)
$40,543.00 Yearly Min / $50,679.00 Yearly Mid / $60,815.00 Yearly Max

Food Products Inspection Field Supervisor (#MGAA04)
$48,850.00 Yearly Min / $61,062.00 Yearly Mid / $73,274.00 Yearly Max

Description of Occupational Work

This class series uses three levels in the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Sciences occupational group, Agriculture and Animal Services occupational series and describes inspection, grading, sampling, and verification of agricultural commodities to determine compliance with federal and state laws and regulations relating to standards of wholesomeness, purity, quality, quantity, and sanitation of agriculture and other commodities prior to release into commerce.  Incumbents in this class series provide a critical service to the industry by assuring Delaware produced poultry and eggs receive a Federal Grade Seal allowing USDA graded products to be sold domestically and internationally.  

Note: This career ladder series incorporates levels I and II.  The I level is to provide entry for hiring new employees into the class series but does not preclude hiring new employees at higher levels. Employees may be promoted through the career ladder in accordance with job requirements and promotional standards. Promotional standards, a selection document under separate cover, sets forth the criteria that defines and describes the requirements that must be met at the next level. Advancement of employees through the career ladder is dependent on an agency's/department's operational needs and distribution of work. 

The Food Products Inspection Field Supervisor, although not part of the career ladder, provides competitive opportunity for movement of employees.  

Essential Functions

Essential functions are fundamental, core functions common to all positions in the class series and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class. Since class specifications are descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents can complete job duties of similar kind not specifically listed here. 

  • Conducts inspection of commodities such as poultry, eggs, or fruits and vegetables to determine compliance with a variety of contractor or USDA standards such as grade, weight, quantity and packaging, and makes final grade determination.
  • Inspects, samples, tests, and grades commodities using standard inspection techniques; grades poultry including whole birds, drum, legs, wings, breast, and boneless skinless products to include marinated products, antibiotic free claims, and organic claims; considering factors such as fleshing, finish, freedom from defects, age, weight and other conditions.  Examines eggs for weight, color, soundness, texture of shell, absence of defects, clarity of yolk outline and clarity and firmness of albumen.
  • Prepares and issues certification of products for both international and national distribution.
  • Monitors food safety controls such as sanitation, processing and storage conditions; communicates issues immediately to supervisor and/or management.  
  • Verifies store specifications on labeling which includes expiration dates, product codes, dates for compliance, and ensures appropriate labels are applied.
  • Enforces federal and state laws, rules, and regulations and resolves issues within the range of normal plant activities involving grading/inspection determinations and operating problems.
  • Interprets and applies technical standards, rules, and regulations; explains and defends all grade and inspection determinations and coordinates grading services with plant production activities.
  • Cooperates with federal agencies, official state organizations and agencies, and other State representatives on matters related to agricultural inspection and grading.
  • Develops and maintains effective working relationships with plant personnel, retailers, farmers, and facility management.
  • Utilizes computers to enter information and prepare a variety of reports and records such as plant production data, grading results, certificates issued and other administrative records.
  • Provides technical information and assistance to representatives of the Attorney General's Office as well as the Inspector General's Office in preparing court cases and testifying.

Levels of Work

Agricultural Commodity Inspector I

This is entry level commodity inspection work.

  • Reports to a technical supervisor. Must meet performance standards of both state and federal supervisors.
  • Receives formal and on the job training in the technical standards, inspection, and grading techniques.
  • Performs routine inspections of agricultural commodity for which the incumbent maintains licensure.
  • Prepares, maintains, and issues necessary certificates and forms dealing with daily activities and inspection results.
  • Makes a final determination and obtains technical assistance for complex or unique inspection findings. 
  • Works with farmers, packers, and shippers toward the improvement of packing techniques, grading standardization requirements, and the appropriate labeling of packages of agricultural products and materials.
  • May participate in the verification of proper dating of agricultural commodities.

Agricultural Commodity Inspector II

This is the full performance level of commodity inspection work.

  • Receives general supervision.  Supervisor does periodic review of progress.
  • Independently conducts inspection of agricultural commodity for which the incumbent maintains licensure.
  • Communicates potential violations and issues related to food safety or bio security infractions to necessary regulatory officials. Must adhere to appropriate food safety and bio security measures.
  • Stop sale or withdrawal from distribution improperly graded product which has financial impact on industry management and producers.
  • Compiles monthly billing data and submits to the Federal USDA for billing plants.  
  • May oversee and train seasonal employees and other Inspectors within the area of specialty.

Food Products Inspection Field Supervisor

This level supervises a statewide agricultural commodity inspection and grading program.

  • Supervision is exercised over at least two or more merit full time positions per the Merit Rules.  The elements of supervision include planning, assigning, reviewing, evaluating, coaching, training, recommending hire/fire and discipline.
  • Resolves field work problems, coordinates grading and inspection activities, and provides technical training in official standards and regulations.
  • Negotiates with plant managers to resolve complaints/controversies, provides for unexpected intrastate inspections, and researches inquiries from industry groups and Congressional offices and prepares replies.
  • Maintains liaison with federal, state, and county officials of industrial organizations concerning status of the State's grading and inspection program; responds to inquiries from consumer or industry officials regarding technical complaints and standards, grading and inspection procedures, and interpretation of legal guidelines related to agricultural commodities.
  • Reviews initial appeals from regulated industries and businesses and recommends appropriate action; participates in administrative hearings and recommends appropriate disposition of controversial or complex cases; may serve as an expert witness in court with disputes involving graded agricultural commodities and possible violations of various regulatory laws.
  • May prepare samples and/or laboratory analysis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The intent of the listed knowledge, skills and abilities is to give a general indication of the core requirements for all positions in the class series; therefore, the KSA's listed are not exhaustive or necessarily inclusive of the requirements of every position in the class. 

  • Knowledge of federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Knowledge of proper inspection, sampling, testing and grading procedures and techniques.
  • Knowledge of processing, packaging, storage and sanitation procedures pertinent to the assigned agricultural commodity area.
  • Knowledge of applicable international and national certification requirements.
  • Knowledge of basic mathematics.
  • Knowledge of standard computer software.
  • Ability to apply proper inspection, sampling, testing, and grading procedures and techniques.
  • Ability to apply sound judgement to make routine determinations.
  • Ability to apply applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Ability to prepare and maintain accurate records and reports.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
  • Ability to acquire licenses as required.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.

In addition to the above knowledge, skills and abilities, the Agricultural Commodity Inspector II requires:

  • Knowledge of marketing practices and perishability of products being graded.
  • Knowledge of basic percentages and ratio calculations.
  • Skill in independently inspecting and certifying poultry, eggs, or fruits and vegetables and determining grade, acceptability and condition.
  • Skill in the use of applicable tools and equipment.
  • Skill in applying sound judgement to make a variety of determinations, including those that are complex and borderline.
  • Skill in preparing and maintaining accurate records and reports using standard computer software.
  • Ability to perceive subtle differences in size, shape, color, texture, and other physical characteristics of agricultural commodities.
  • Ability to train and supervise.

In addition to the above knowledge, skills and abilities, the Food Products Field Inspection Supervisor requires:

  • Knowledge of the grade standards, methods of distinction among grades and the method, techniques and tests used in the grading and inspection process for agricultural commodities.
  • Knowledge of supervisory principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of inspection, testing, investigative techniques specific to grading and inspecting multiple agricultural commodities.
  • Knowledge of the legal procedures and processes regarding compliance with regulatory law.
  • Knowledge of products, procedures, tools, and equipment used in plants and processing operations.
  • Skill in evaluating the effectiveness of the grading and inspection program and any new or revised inspection regulations.
  • Ability to reach conclusions based on analysis of technical facts and written reports.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and direct the work of subordinates.
  • Ability to develop and implement operational procedures and practices.

Job Requirements

JOB REQUIREMENTS for Food Products Inspection Field Supervisor
Applicants must have education, training and/or experience demonstrating competence in each of the following areas:

  1. Possession of a USDA Egg Grading license.
  2. Possession of a USDA Fruits and Vegetables license.
  3. Possession of a USDA Poultry Grading license.
  4. Three years’ experience in inspecting agricultural commodities such as poultry, eggs, or fruits and vegetables.
  5. Three years’ experience in determining compliance with laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures.
  6. Knowledge of budget management and control which includes managing a budget for the purpose of keeping expenditures within the limitations of available appropriations and available revenue and maintaining, monitoring, projecting and controlling a budget within set policies and procedures.
  7. Knowledge of staff supervision acquired through course work, academic training, training provided through an employer, or performing as a lead worker overseeing the work of others; OR supervising staff which may include planning, assigning, reviewing, and evaluating the work of others; OR supervising through subordinate supervisors a group of professional, technical, and clerical employees.
  8. Possession of a valid Driver's License (not suspended, revoked or cancelled, or disqualified from driving).