Salary: $48,156.00 – $64,788.00 Annually
Location: Multiple Locations Statewide, WA
Job Type: Project (limited duration)
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Department: Dept. of Agriculture
Job Number: 2023-04841
Closing: 4/30/2023 12:00 AM Pacific

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.

The Dairy Nutrient Management Program is hiring for a Water Quality Project Inspector! This is a Project position funded through June 2026.

The Dairy Nutrient Management Program (DNMP) serves Washingtonians by providing technical assistance, conducting inspections, responding to complaints, collaborating with stakeholders, enforcing state laws, providing outreach, education, and training for dairy producers, supporting research, and advocating for livestock agriculture.

The Water Quality Project Inspector serves as a Northwest Region field inspector and technical assistance specialist with primary responsibility for the Program’s federal National Estuary Program (NEP) grant deliverables including watershed surveys and surveillance, source identification water quality monitoring, dairy facility and field application inspections, and technical assistance focused upon grant deliverables. The Water Quality Project Inspector responds to complex water quality issues, identifies pollution sources, recommends corrective actions, and evaluates the implementation of those recommendations. This position works in partnership with other agencies to identify and correct environmental impacts to surface water while maintaining a healthy working relationship with dairy producers and CAFO permittees. The DNMP Water Quality Project Inspector acts as a liaison to partnerships such as the Whatcom Clean Water Program, Clean Samish Initiative, Lower Stillaguamish workgroups, and transboundary partnerships. This position supports the Program’s mission of protecting water quality from livestock nutrient impacts while supporting a healthy agricultural business climate through active coordination and communication with Tribal, federal, state, and local partners in government, academia, and the broader public.

Position and Salary Information
WSDA is recruiting for a full-time project Water Quality Project Inspector position within the Dairy Nutrient Management Program in the Pesticide Management Division. This position is located in Bellingham, Washington. This is a non-represented position.

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: $48,156 Step A – $63,216 Step L annually. 

Include, but not limited to: 

  • Collaborate with local Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) programs in Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish counties to jointly reduce manure impacts to water quality within shellfish growing areas.
  • Conduct NEP focus area source identification water sampling around storm events, conduct field surveys, map nutrient applications, perform investigations, and provide technical assistance.
  • Report on Program measures of success, lessons learned, and outcomes associated with the NEP grant.
  • Manage water quality results from multiple projects and prepare data for upload.
  • Collaborate with the NEP project lead and others in the Program to evaluate objectives, prioritize deliverables, implement work plans, and refine methods.
  • Inspect and review management practices on farms and ensure appropriate measures are in place and used to manage livestock manure, wastewater, and other sources of potential water pollution at regulated livestock facilities.
  • Prioritize, manage, track and complete inspections to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Develop and implement specialized inspections or inspection strategies that improve on-farm practices and water quality outcomes.
  • Conduct CAFO permit inspections, providing regulatory technical assistance on permit compliance.
  • Identify and recommend or require appropriate actions to address water quality issues toprotect human health and the environment.
  • Document the status of collection, containment, storage, transfer systems and the agronomic use of manure and other potential pollutants.
  • Provide technical assistance to regulated facility operators through interpretation, guidance, and other assistance.
  • Attend and speak at public meetings and conferences as a Program representative, providing input and support for strategies that reduce impacts to water quality from dairies and permitted CAFOs.
  • Coordinate with Conservation Districts, Conservation Commission, and Natural Resource Conservation Service on technical issues, farm planning, and management practices.

Required Qualifications:

Six (6) years of combined education and experience:
  • Education: Involving major study in agricultural, environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning, or allied field.
  • Experience: In environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning, which includes one (1) year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 (ES3) or above or two (2) years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 (ES2) or above. Additional qualifying experience may substitute, year for year, for education. 


  • A Bachelor’s degree involving one of the above listed major fields of study, AND
    minimum of two (2) years of professional-level experience.


  • A Master’s degree involving one of the above listed major fields of study, AND Minimum of one (1) year of professional-level experience.


  • A Ph.D. in one of the above listed major fields of study; No specific professional-level experience required.


  • Relevant inspector experience with a minimum two (2) years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 2 or higher job class.

Preferred Qualifications:
Expertise –

  • Compliance inspections, investigation, or code enforcement.
  • Agronomy and agricultural best management practices.
  • On-farm experience and familiarity with dairy and/or livestock industry practices.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field data collection, data analysis, and data management.
  • Natural resources monitoring and data analysis.
  • Water quality permits.
Certifications – 
  • Nutrient management planning or consulting certifications including but not limited to:
    • Dairy Nutrient Management Planner.
    • Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planner.
    • Certified Crop Advisor.
    • Certified Professional Agronomist.

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 

For more information and 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.

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.

For more information and to apply:

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