Job Vacancy Plant Science Specialist Montana State Government

Job title: Plant Science Specialist

Company: Montana State Government

Job description: The Montana Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for our Plant Science Specialist in Kalispell Montana. Position is open until filled with first review of candidates July 19, 2022.

The Montana Department of Agriculture is serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky.

The Agricultural Sciences Division provide agricultural producers and consumers, commodity and environmental protection through the administration of the Montana laws and rules in the areas of pesticides, groundwater monitoring, noxious weed control, feeds, fertilizers, seed, anhydrous ammonia, grain commodity dealers, commodity warehousemen, nurseries, produce, mint, honey bees, alfalfa leaf cutting bees and other services including organic certification, pest management consulting, laboratory analysis, pest surveys, export certification and quarantines.

Job Overview:

Applicants rarely are experienced in all of the position duties. With a background in Biology, Environmental Science or Agriculture, the chosen candidate will be trained for the position duties. This position is a field specialist, responsible for implementing and supervision of an agri-chemical compliance and regulatory program within a multi-county district. The position investigates use and misuse of agri-chemicals, responds to incidents, provides technical and remedial assistance, conducts inspections, develops regulatory quality control procedures, trains, and educates agri-chemical users and the public, tests applicants for pesticide licenses, maintains a district office and equipment, does data entry, and generates reports, and reviews scientific and technical literature to maintain a current level of knowledge. Maintains effective relationships between the agency and regulated community, interest groups, other agencies, and the public so that problems are addressed, priorities recognized, and agency programs communicated. Designs and proposes new regulatory procedures and office procedures according to a formal district plan, designed and implemented by each field specialist.

As a Plant Science Specialist, you will:

  • Evaluate and assess enforcement, training, and investigation needs in a diverse multi-county district to develop and write a comprehensive plan for regulating all aspects of the use of pesticides including but not limited to human health, groundwater, the environment, the public, agriculture, wildlife, and industry.
  • Research, organize and develop training materials, guides, handouts, and visual materials.
  • Present information and use a variety of instructional techniques and formats such as role playing, simulations, team exercises, group discussions, videos, and lectures.
  • Keep up with developments in the area of expertise by reading current journals, books, and magazine articles.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • Create and maintain a safe and secure working environment by adhering to MDA safety, security, and health requirements; as well as attend any necessary training and implement best practices in order to mitigate injury, illness, and loss prevention.
  • Travel throughout the year varying with the seasonal demands in the district.
  • Conduct inspections and investigations which can involve occasional long working hours under adverse weather conditions in isolated areas.
  • Work in all program areas; lifting to 50 lb. containers, climbing onto railcars and trucks, withstanding heights, working around treated seed, fertilizers, and other hazards, working in extremely dusty and noisy conditions, exposure to heavy agricultural equipment and machinery, and being subjected to insect and animal bites and stings.
  • Some work conditions require protective clothing and breathing apparatus.
  • Confrontational situations will be encountered due to the regulatory nature of the position and incumbent must be able to manage, and mediate confrontational situations associated with site inspections, certification determinations, and regulatory and enforcement measures.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the principles of plant, animal, biological and environmental sciences, Montana agriculture, sampling methods and procedures, regulatory procedures, and concepts.
  • Knowledge of relevant federal and state agricultural laws and regulations, and administra­tive practices and procedures.
  • Knowledge of the regulation, manufacturing, labeling, trends, and marketing of pesticides, pesticide devices, microbials and repellants; sampling methods and inspection protocol.
  • Knowledge of investigative procedures, confidentiality, enforcement tactics and techniques.
  • Ability to act as the department’s agent or as a team member in enforcement cases and thus must have a thorough understanding of regulatory work and enforcement case development in order to build solid, reliable, and defensible cases.
  • Strong computer skills including MS Office programs and database software.
  • Skill in translating complex technical and scientific information to broad audiences and coordinating programs involving people with diverse backgrounds, private businesses, members of the public, and others.
  • Ability to interpret and apply knowledge of rules, regulations, standard operating procedures and other knowledge to routine and non-routine situations and incidences encountered in the field and make sound judgment calls.
  • Working knowledge of practices and techniques of scientific research, design, and implementation.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external customers.
  • Advanced ability to work in a self-directed and proactive manner.
  • Ability to mediate confrontational situations during meetings, field/site activities, etc.
  • Ability to maintain and handle confidential information and data.
  • Solution driven and ability to problem solve.
  • Ability to handle competing priorities with sensitive time frames while completing high-quality work.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in animal science, plant science, agricultural science, environmental science, or closely related field.
  • Two years of job-related work experience.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Other combinations of education or experience may be substituted.​​​


Your paycheck is just part of your total compensation package! Upon date of hire, employees working at least half-time for more than six months are eligible for state paid premiums toward employee “core” medical, dental, and basic life insurance coverage. Employees earn 15 working days of annual leave, 12 days of sick leave and 10-11 paid holidays each year. Membership in a Retirement System – vesting criteria applies.

Expected salary:

Location: Kalispell, MT

Job date: Fri, 08 Jul 2022 22:49:42 GMT

Apply for the job now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *