Class Specifications - G.65
Principal Agricultural Technician - 8540
Senior Agricultural Technician - 8541
Agricultural Technician - 8542
Farm Laborer - 8543

September, 1974

Series Concept

Agricultural Technicians perform and/or supervise a wide variety of cultural operations for establishing and maintaining research plots in fields, orchards, vineyards, nurseries, and greenhouses; and perform other related duties such as minor construction, maintenance and repair of agricultural facilities and equipment pertinent to the research projects.

Incumbents are typically operating personnel spending most of their time in production and/or maintenance activities and may have limited supervisory responsibility.

Incumbents plow, disc, level, and otherwise prepare land for cultivated crops, orchards and vineyards; apply various kinds of agricultural chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, soil fumigants and fertilizers; perform tillage operations for weed control and mechanical thinning of crops; operate tractors with attached or towed equipment and specialized agricultural equipment such as planters, bed shapers, chemical incorporators, harvesters, combines and spray equipment: drive light and medium to heavy sized trucks; propagate and maintain highly delicate and valuable nursery plants; determine and control proper ventilation, humidity and temperature for plants where guidelines are sketchy or nonexistent; perform nonroutine hybridization; devise cultural methods for new or unfamiliar plant species; maintain various operational records such as records regarding equipment, cultural operations and materials applied to test plots.

The concept for the Agricultural Technician series reflects levels of difficulty such as general and specialized agricultural knowledge required and utilized; the size and complexity of farm machinery and equipment used; the degree of responsibility assumed for risk and consequence of error; and supervisory responsibilities.

Class Concepts

Principal Agricultural Technician

Under direction, incumbents (1) perform the duties of a highly skilled specialist; or (2) act in a lead position over a crew of Senior Agricultural Technicians, Agricultural Technicians and/or Farm Laborers on a limited number of tracts or plots and involved in general or specialized cultural operations; or (3) have the sole responsibility for the performance of all cultural operations, on a year-round basis, involving one or more tracts or plots and where there is no direct supervision over the incumbents' cultural techniques.

Incumbents typically perform the most demanding nursery or greenhouse tasks such as propagating and devising cultural methods and environmental controls for new or unfamiliar plant species; act as pest or weed control specialist with responsibility for supervising pest or weed control operations including locating and identifying pests or weeds, selecting pesticides or herbicides and application methods, scheduling application and training operators; and handle complex multi-operational farm equipment including orchard and crop sprayers, planting sleds with agricultural chemical incorporators, power driven tillage complements, bulldozers, earth moving equipment and trenching machines.

Incumbents maintain records as outlined in the Series Concept and may compile data for research purposes.

Senior Agricultural Technician

Under general supervision, incumbents perform skilled or specialized operational level cultural duties.

Incumbents typically operate large and/or more complex farm equipment as outlined in the Series Concept; perform general nursery duties such as propagating standard varieties of plant materials, collecting, caring for and germinating seeds, maintaining cuttings of plants, and controlling environmental conditions; perform specialized cultural work such as irrigating, applying insecticides, herbicide and fertilizers; and may keep routine operational records. Incumbents may supervise and train Agricultural Technicians and Farm Laborers.

Senior Agricultural Technician is distinguished from Principal Agricultural Technician on the basis of the nature and complexity of tasks performed or by the lack of working supervisory responsibility; and it is distinguished from Agricultural Technician by operating more complex and larger equipment or by having greater responsibilities over diversified or specialized operations without close supervision.

Agricultural Technician

Under supervision, incumbents perform semi-skilled tasks involved in general agricultural operations.

Incumbents typically hoe; prune; harvest fruit or vegetable crops; transplant trees, vegetable and/or horticultural plants; operate light or non-complex farm equipment with or without simple attachments or integrally mounted farm implements such as plows, harrows, rakes, discs, mowers and spreaders; perform minor equipment maintenance; assist in spraying, dusting and weed control; use small hand and power tools in maintaining and repairing fences and simple farm structures.

Agricultural Technician is distinguished from Farm Laborer by the absence of close supervision and by the assignment of more responsible tasks an a continuing basis.

Farm Laborer

Under close supervision, incumbents perform unskilled or semi-skilled tasks involved in general agricultural operations and may operate simple equipment such as light trucks and light or medium-size tractors on a seasonal or occasional basis. This is the entry level in the Agricultural Technician series. This class may also be used for unskilled seasonal workers.

Minimum Qualifications

Principal Agricultural Technician

Ability to read, write and perform basic arithmetic calculations; five years of agricultural experience in all phases of cultural operations including heavy and/or complex equipment operation and/or supervisory responsibility; or a demonstrated ability to perform in a highly skilled specialization; and knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Senior Agricultural Technician

Ability to read, write and perform basic arithmetic calculations; three years of agricultural experience with a demonstrated ability to operate heavy and/or complex agricultural equipment or a demonstrated ability to perform at a skilled level within an area of specialization; and knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Agricultural Technician

Ability to read, write and perform basic arithmetic calculations; one year of agricultural experience, or a demonstrated ability to operate light and/or non-complex agricultural equipment; and knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Farm Laborer

Ability to read, write, follow oral and written instructions and demonstrated ability to perform general agricultural work; and knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.