Agricultural Products


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Commodity Inspection Division

Jessica Allenton

Assistant Director
jallenton@agr.wa.gov
(360) 902-1828

Rachel Furth

Business Administration and Operations Manager
rfurth@agr.wa.gov
(360) 902-1997

Teresa Justice

Operations Admin.
TJustice@agr.wa.gov
(360) 902-1960

Overview

The State of Washington is unique in the function of providing a comprehensive package of federal inspection services through fee-based, state sponsored programs. The Commodity Inspection Division provides unbiased third-party inspection for a wide variety of Washington State agricultural products and assists agricultural companies in exporting their products. The Fruit and Vegetable Inspection, Grain Inspection, and Seed programs provide verification services of product quality, condition and volume, as well as certification on the freedom from quarantine pests and diseases for international export markets. These programs operate on delegated authority from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the agencies of the Agricultural Marketing Service, Federal Grain Inspection Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The Grain Warehouse Audit Program protects grain producers by licensing and regulating grain storage warehouse operators and dealers. The Industrial Hemp Research Pilot licenses pilot studies to research the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp in Washington. The International Marketing Program provides promotional support to the state's agricultural companies to assist them with exporting their products, with contract representatives in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. These individuals are experts in the export and marketing of food products in these regions.

Programs

Fruit and Vegetable Inspection


The Fruit and Vegetable Inspection program provides inspection services to the fresh produce and processing industry to ensure orderly marketing of fruits and vegetables. Major commodities inspected include apples, pears, cherries, peaches, asparagus, potatoes and onions. These commodities are inspected for quality, size, labeling, condition, and contract specifications, and may be certified as free from disease and insects as required by domestic and international markets. These services are provided through district offices in Yakima and Wenatchee and ten field offices located throughout the state. This self-supporting, fee-for-service program is the largest in the agency, accounting for about 30% of the agency's employees and about 20% of the agency's expenditures.

Grain Inspection


Grain Inspection provides inspection, analytical and weighing services to ensure orderly commerce for grain, dry peas, dry beans, lentils and similar commodities sold in or from Washington. These services are provided at ten grain inspection facilities located throughout the state (Seattle, Tacoma, Aberdeen, Longview, Kalama, Vancouver, Pasco, Spokane, and Colfax). Headquarters is located in Olympia and a Quality Assurance office is in nearby Tumwater. The program, as required by federal law, provides service 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, upon request. This fee-for-service program is the second largest program in the agency in terms of employees and estimated expenditures.

Grain Warehouse Audit


Grain Warehouse Audit protects grain producers from undue losses by requiring licensing and bonding of grain storage warehouses and grain dealers. The program audits each licensee to assure producers and depositors that the warehouses and dealers are meeting requirements to cover storage and contractual obligations. This program is funded by license fees.

Industrial Hemp Research Pilot


The Industrial Hemp Research Pilot licenses pilot studies to research the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp in Washington to better understand if this crop is a viable product for our state. At this time, WSDA has issued seven licenses for the first industrial hemp growing season, beginning spring 2017. We will continue to accept new applications to the program for now. However, because the fees collected have been insufficient to support the pilot, we will not process these applications or collect application fees.

Seed


The Seed Program conducts pre-harvest field inspections and laboratory testing of agricultural vegetable and flower seeds grown under the seed certification program. The program tests seed samples submitted by seed growers and companies to determine compliance with purity and germination standards, and to certify seed for domestic and international marketing. The program operates the state's only official seed testing laboratory, located in Yakima. This is a self-supporting, fee-for-service program.