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Organic Certification Specialist/Inspector

The Minnesota Crop Improvement Association is seeking qualified candidates for the position of organic certification specialist/inspector. Duties of an organic certification specialist/inspector include collecting and distributing certification information, creating records, reviewing applications, conducting on-site inspections, performing final reviews, and writing certification decision letters.

MCIA’s office is located on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Hybrid or remote work arrangements are possible for employees living within our inspection area (Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota).

Applicants are asked to submit a letter of interest and resume to: Fawad Shah, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association, 1900 Hendon Ave, Saint Paul MN 55108 or email to

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association is an equal opportunity employer.

Title: Organic Certification Specialist/Inspector
Department: Organic Services
Reports to: Organic Services Manager
Direct Reports: None

Job Summary
Perform organic certification activities including information collection and distribution, record creation, inspections, issue reports and other certification-related functions.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Understand and be able to apply the National Organic Standards and MCIA policies as a reviewer and inspector.*
  • Possess and exercise advanced knowledge of the organic certification rules formalized by the USDA National Organic Program.*
  • Exercise consistent discretion and judgment in evaluating inspections and make final organic certification decisions.*
  • Review and prepare files for inspections; schedule and conduct on-site inspections.*
  • Prepare and distribute files, background information, and other support materials to organic inspectors to ensure inspections are completed at appropriate times.*
  • Prepare and distribute organic certification application materials to new and renewing clients. Provide customer service by explaining organic certification requirements and providing informational resources via phone or written communications.*
  • Review organic system plans and evaluate inputs for compliance to certification requirements.*
  • Maintain up-to-date records of organic certification activities by updating database and hard copy files.*
  • Monitor certification progress weekly to ensure adherence to timelines.*
  • Coordinate and serve on organic certification committees, assign committee members, schedule meetings, distribute required information and record committee actions.
  • Prepare, distribute, and/or submit seasonal/annual reports to organic clients and regulatory agencies.
  • Contribute to ongoing organic program improvement through form modifications, certification process streamlining, and other program enhancements.
  • Promote MCIA organic certification services through participation in outreach activities to the organic industry including development of promotional pieces and attendance at industry events.
  • Perform miscellaneous other duties as required.

*Essential functions

Minimum Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED required.
  • Two years of inspection or production experience in agriculture or food industry.
  • Valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications

  • B.S. in agriculture or business.
  • Completion of formal organic inspector training.
  • Three years’ experience in organic inspection and certification.

Skills/Physical Demands

  • Accurate, efficient, and detail oriented.
  • Strong interpersonal, written, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Strong computer skills and working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Handle confidential information with great sensitivity, good reasoning abilities, and sound judgement.
  • Ability to work with limited supervision, highly self-motivated.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize tasks on a regular basis.
  • Familiarity with organic systems in crop, livestock, and food processing.
  • Willingness to travel, must possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Promote and ensure excellence in customer service.
  • Promote good work ethics, positive attitude, and team-work environment.