Agricultural inspectors use their knowledge of regulations and laws regarding agricultural safety and public health to monitor the production and processing of food and ensure compliance with federal and state requirements. They inspect agricultural facilities and quantify the usage of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, growth stimulators and other chemicals that may negatively affect the quality of food if improperly used. Agricultural inspectors also evaluate the quality of meat, the health of animals at farms, and the conditions of hygiene and storage. If they detect any violations of agricultural regulations, they write a detailed report with recommendations for fixing the issues, or, in severe cases, closing the facilities. The job requires being attentive to small details and issues that may result in poor quality, and taking appropriate measures to prevent safety violations.
Agricultural inspectors have the responsibility to collect samples and send them to laboratories where the quality of agricultural products such as grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish or dairy are tested thoroughly. Based upon the findings of chemical or microbiological analysis, agricultural inspectors provide reports that indicate the level of safety of agricultural products. If the findings do not correspond with state or federal requirements for a certain food category, an agricultural inspector will report to appropriate authorities, who may stop the production. The job requires flexibility, physical and mental endurances and attention to detail.