Salary: $75,120.00 – $101,052.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Department: Dept. of Agriculture
Job Number: 2022-16434
Closing: Continuous

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has been serving the state for more than 100 years. Through service, regulation, and advocacy, we keep agriculture viable and vital in Washington State, while protecting consumers, public health, and the environment. We work extensively with farmers and ranchers, but our responsibilities – from ensuring food safety to environmental protection – touch the lives of millions of people locally, nationally, and abroad.

The agency includes 780 employees approximately and grows close to 1,000 employees at the peak of seasonal work. To learn more and view additional openings, please visit our Employment Page.

We are hiring a Policy Assistant within our Plant Protection Division!

The Plant Protection Division protects the public interest, health, and welfare of the people of the state of Washington by detecting and controlling invasive species that directly affect agricultural production and trade, providing consumer protection and diagnostic support for industry and internal programs.

The Policy Assistant manages all policy issues within the Division as needed based on the Division’s Assistant Director (AD) direction. This position is the principal policy consultant for all Division programs and advises the AD on external and internal policy issues. In addition, this position provides PPD stakeholders an accessible contact within the division to discuss legislative issues, rules, ongoing high-level division projects, including managing advisory boards, any legislative committee work and the like. This position also works closely with communications personnel and rules development. 

What are we looking for?
A professional with knowledge of regulating agriculture which is often in the spotlight and in the center of public policy debates. This individual would be highly experienced working in a diverse and sensitive political environment with knowledge of personnel management principles and program management.

Position and Salary Information
WSDA is recruiting for a full-time permanent Policy Assistant position within the Plant Protection Division. This position is located in Olympia, Washington, and is not represented.

The base pay offered will take into account internal equity and may vary depending on the preferred candidate’s job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. The typical starting salary range for this position is: $ 75,120.00 – $ 98,592.00 annually. 

In addition to the salary listed above, incumbents assigned to our Seattle office location receive an additional 5% King County Location Pay stipend. If a position is designated as requiring dual language skills, incumbents will also receive a 5% Dual Language Requirement Pay stipend.

Employee Benefits

  • A healthy work/life balance, which may include flexible work schedules, and teleworking.
  • WSDA provides an excellent benefits package beyond traditional benefits. State employment offers Dependent Care Assistance, Flexible Spending Accounts, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Deferred Compensation, Employee Recognition Leave; click here for more information.
  • 12 paid Holidays & Vacation and Leave Accruals.
  • All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required will be provided by the agency.
  • Commute Trip Reduction Program. 

For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture, visit us at

Include, but not limited to:

  • Directs and assists in the completion of the work on the PPD portions of pending bills and/or other legislative or Division level reports.
    • Maintains assorted legislative report management for PPD. 
    • Oversees Data review analysis and writing on legislative bill requirements.
    • Assists with bill analysis and fiscal notes by engaging with subject matter experts and synthesizing written responses based on input.
    • Produces decision packages for proposed agency legislation assigned to the division in coordination with subject matter experts.
    • Checks in with Program Managers regularly to build reports and webpages as appropriate for changing SOPs related to new or ongoing division responsibilities in support of agency mandates.
    • Coordinates and independently organizes, monitors, evaluates, and adjusts for PPD legislative reports.
  • Directs and assists in the compilation and subsequent drafts of PPD legislative reports and any required task force reports.
  • Reviews and develops better format and flow of all PPD related issues to report to the legislature. 
  • Provides a fresh approach to written materials in manner that is understandable to the general public and easily followed by outside expertise.
  • Re-vamps tables and reports to ensure that report narrative is understandable to a wide audience.
  • Coordinates with Policy and Communication to create and maintain central websites for all PPD issues.
  • Oversees strategic planning within PPD to ensure that programmatic plans align with agency priorities and internal deadlines are met.
  • Manages Stakeholder groups, outreach, and coordination of Communication.
  • Ensures communication is provided to major division stakeholders prior to filing any rule actions.
  • Coordinates with PM’s and DC to ensure all rule and legislative mailings go out in a timely manner to all appropriately interested parties.
  • Works closely with the Administrative Regulations team on Rules processes.
  • Assists Program Managers to produce needed communication and outreach materials related to rules, legislation, and policy, with the help of Policy and Communication.
  • Coordinates Communication and Outreach with Stakeholders to determine interest and balanced formation of current or new boards, taskforces, or committees.
  • Coordinates all Legislative work with Agency Policy office, AD and DC as needed, including acting in the place of Assistant Director when necessary.
  • Assists AD and Division leadership in developing timely and informative legislative reports or other Statewide or Agency Cabinet Agency required reports requested of the Division or their programs.

Professionals with:

  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher with a major study in law enforcement, public administration, public policy, agriculture, environmental or one of the natural sciences.
  • Five (5) + years of supervising/managing a staff of professionals.
  • Five (5) + years of professional experience in a law enforcement, public administration, public policy, natural resources, environmental or health regulatory agency; or experience working in pesticide or natural resource regulation.
  • Must have demonstrated history of strong leadership and facilitation skills, demonstrate knowledge of personnel management principles, and program management.
  • Must have the ability to work in a diverse and sensitive political environment.
  • Must be familiar with and capable of operating computers to use word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail programs, and multiple databases.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with agency staff, other state and federal agencies, customers, and stakeholder.
  • Ability to write and speak effectively, clearly, and professionally.
  • Ability to think and plan long-term as well as operationally.

In addition to the above qualifications, the following desired knowledge, skills, and abilities will make your application more competitive:    

  • Three (3) or more years as a manager or policy advisor or assistant at a government agency.
  • Advanced Degree in Agriculture, Natural Resource, Environmental Sciences or related field including course work or continuing professional education in public administration and/or management.
  • Experience working for a regulatory agency and knowledge of federal, state, and local laws and rules governing pesticide and fertilizer products, use, distribution, and storage and/or dairy nutrient management.
  • Experience or knowledge of state legislative and rule-making processes.
  • Policy, rules, and legislative experience- writing, analyzing laws or rules and managing related meetings and reports.
  • Excellent people and negotiation skills.
  • Experience with grant, legislative and/or contract writing and management.

How to apply 
You must complete your profile and answer the supplemental questions. In addition to completing the online application, and supplemental questions applicants must attach the following documents to their profile to be considered for this position:

· Current resume detailing experience and education

· A cover letter describing how you meet the specific qualifications for this position.

· Three professional references 

To Apply:

By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed.

Applications with comments “see attachments” will be considered incomplete.
If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or email

The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of your application and the materials submitted. All information may be verified, and documentation may be required. Applications received via e-mail will not be accepted in lieu of applying through the state’s on-line recruitment system.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Department of Agriculture celebrates our differences. We strive to hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are committed to a workplace that supports equal opportunity employment and inclusion regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, status as a protected veteran, genetics, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We will also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

We believe in the importance of recognizing the value each of us contribute to the success of the agency mission. Having a diverse workforce is this agency’s greatest resource of strength and knowledge. It is through the combination of talents and abilities that we can pursue finding effective measures to provide the best customer service. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone and we strongly mean everyone.

Contact Us
Should you have any questions regarding this position or the online application, contact the Human Resource Office at

Prior to a new appointment into the Department of Agriculture, a background check including criminal record history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant’s suitability and competence to perform in the position.

The Human Resources Division may use referrals from this recruitment to help fill future similar vacancies for up to six months.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Exemption may be granted for religious or medical purposes and should be requested a minimum of (7) seven days prior to the first day of employment. Accommodations will be subject to approval based on the essential functions required of the position.

Veteran’s Preference: Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and wish to claim Veteran’s Preference MUST attach a copy of their DD214, or other verification of military service. Please blackout any personally identifiable data such as social security numbers. For additional information on Veteran’s Preference and guidance on how to determine if you are eligible, click here. 

Persons with a disability, who need assistance with their application or need this announcement in an alternative format, may call 664-1960 or toll free (877) 664-1960. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service. 

To Apply:

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