Plant Health Inspector

Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg, Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is currently seeking candidates for a Plant Health Inspector position in the Plant Health Division, Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulation Section, headquartered at 8995 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Licking County. The duties for the Plant Health Inspector position include but are not limited to:

  • Assists in updating and maintaining the pesticide and fertilizer inspection tracking system: reviews pesticide and fertilizer product labels for compliance with the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) the Ohio Pesticide Law and the Ohio Fertilizer law
  • Receives written and verbal communication concerning pesticide and fertilizer use
  • Receives written and verbal communication concerning pesticide and fertilizer licensing requirements
  • Works with supervisor to assign inspections to inspectors based on geographical location and information received during various communications with the public
  • Provides technical assistance to inspectors in the field by providing licensure/registration status and directions for use on pesticides and fertilizers
  • Provides technical assistance to inspectors in the field by providing licensure status for licensees under the Ohio Pesticide Law and the Ohio Fertilizer Law
  • Conducts inspections of pesticide applicators, distributors and production facilities to assure compliance with state and federal laws
  • Conducts fertilizer-related inspections for registration of fertilizer manufacturers, distributors and blenders of all agricultural, specialty and non-agricultural fertilizers
  • Inspects sales records to assure legal sale of restricted-use pesticides, inspects pesticide application records
  • Observes pesticide applicators while applying pesticides
  • Assures proper licensing and product labeling of fertilizers and liming materials
  • Inspects anhydrous ammonia storage sites and application equipment
  • Performs market place inspections to assure pesticide products are registered
  • Gathers facts and assembles for use as evidence in hearings and/or prosecution
  • Interviews and discusses licensure and compliance with establishments producing pesticides or pesticide-containing products
  • Prepares reports of findings
  • Monitors pesticide examinations of farmers and commercial applicators
  • Verifies fertilizer tonnage reports
  • Issues stop sales, withdraw from distribution orders as necessary when fertilizer or pesticide products are out of compliance
  • Reviews product labels for compliance applicable laws and regulations
  • Provides presentations of regulatory issues and related topics
  • Conducts investigations of citizen complaints about damage from pesticide applications
  • Conducts routine sampling of pesticide products, fertilizer products, limestone, hydrated lime, burnt lime and industrial byproducts
  • Submits samples to ODA’s Analytical Laboratory for analyses
  • Provides testimony in administrative, civil and criminal proceedings
  • Collects samples following chain of custody using US EPA protocol
  • Performs other related duties as assigned


Completion of undergraduate core coursework in agricultural field (e.g., agronomy, biology, horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, environmental science); AND 1 year experience in agricultural field commensurate with duties to be performed as described on the approved position description on file; AND 3 months experience in operation of personal computer; valid driver’s license

-Or equivalent of Minimum Class Qualifications For Employment noted above. 

Knowledge of entomology, zoology, botany, ecology, environmental science, natural resources, plant pathology, horticulture, or agriculture, or related field of study; state & federal laws, rules & regulations (e.g., plant pest inspection, quarantine & eradication*, manufacture, storage & use of pesticides & fertilizers, phyto-sanitary certification regulations & standards, grain warehousing, feed & seed); public relations; human relations; interviewing; bookkeeping*; inventory control*; grain warehouse storage methods; algebra; geometry; accounting; economics.Skill in use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices *; operation of personal computer/laptop & related software (e.g., ExamHand); use of inspection tools (e.g., magnifying glasses, collection tweezers, aerial digital sketch pads, pruners, saws, staple guns; topographical compass; binoculars; acreage measuring device); use of biological sampling kits; use of weather sampling kits; use of first aid kits; operation of slide projector; operation of 2-way radio; operation of digital camera*; operation of a motor vehicle.Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts & draw valid conclusions; write meaningful, concise & accurate reports; use research methods in gathering data; gather, collate & classify information about data, people or things; proofread technical materials, recognize errors & make corrections; answer routine inquiries from public; handle sensitive inquiries from & contacts with officials & general public; cooperate with co-workers on group assignments; assist with training & mentoring of seasonal workers & new employees; stand, walk & bend to perform inspections; demonstrate dexterity to use hands & feet skillfully (e.g., expose insects); demonstrate agility to climb over & around logs piles, lumber stacks, tree limbs, briars, foliage & brush; hike up & down hills carrying back pack & supplies; climb to heights of 130 feet; demonstrate strength to lift up to 50 lbs.

(*)Developed after employment.

Unless otherwise required by legislation or union contract, salary will be set at the lowest rate of the salary range.


Unusual Working Conditions:

Works outside exposed to varying weather conditions; exposed to pesticides; exposed to machinery, dirt and dust; climbs heights of up to 130 feet; exposed to insects and subject to insect stings, ticks and poison ivy; exposed to angry hostile landowners; required to work in crawl spaces when conducting inspections; requires overnight travel.

Training & Development Required to Remain in Classification After Employment:

Must obtain federal credentials commensurate with program area to be assigned as per approved position description on file (e.g., USEPA, FIFRA, FDA, USDA ACO) and for positions assigned to Grain, Feed, & Seed program: must master ExamHand Ohio software program & other associated computer applications.

 Background Check Information 

The final candidate selected for the position will be required to undergo a criminal background check. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude an applicant from consideration for a position. An individual assessment of an applicant's prior criminal convictions will be made before excluding an applicant from consideration.

The recommended candidate for this position will be required to take a drug screen as part of their approval process. A candidate who tests positive for illegal or improperly used controlled drugs will not be hired.

For more information, or to apply, click here. 

Printer-Friendly Version