Agricultural Sampler in Plentywood, MT

State of Montana

Job Description

The Montana Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for an Agricultural Technician in Plentywood to sample grain and other crops. Open until filled with first review of candidates February 21, 2023. Position is posted as full-time, but persons interested in possible part-time opportunities should apply.

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

The State Grain Laboratory, located in Plentywood, is responsible for the operation of a statewide grain and commodity inspection program. Accurate and unbiased sampling inspections and testing are performed in compliance with federal and state grain standards. The State Grain Laboratory is the only federally designated, official grain inspection service in the state of Montana. The purpose of official grain inspection is to certify the type and grad of crops for setting market values under federal standards issued by USGA/AMA.

Job Overview:

Grain Samplers may start their day at the Lab preparing samples for grading inspections. They may then be assigned a route for collecting samples. Most of the day may be spent driving the route from one grain elevator to the next. Elevators are located from 1 to 4 hours or more from the lab in Plentywood. While at each elevator, crop samples are taken from rail cars, trucks and totes or bags. The samples are then returned to the lab after completing the assigned route. The routes and crops being collected vary each day.

The State Grain Laboratory uses on-the-job training methods during the normal paid work hours.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Good driving record.
  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Other combinations of education and experience may be considered.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

The State Grain Laboratory has a peak work season starting at the end of July and lasting until early January. During these months, employees may be asked to work 10 hours a day and up to seven days a week to provide timely customer service. During off-peak season, from January to July, employees may be asked to work a reduced work week.

Overtime is paid at 1.5 times base rate.

Lunch time is paid while in route and collecting samples.

Sampling is performed outdoors on railcars and trucks, indoors for totes and bags.

Workers can be exposed to discomforts and physical annoyances: traffic, road construction, adverse weather, noise, fumes, and dust.

Workers are required to lift up to 50 lb. crop samples and boxes.

Requires climbing ladders to the top of rail cars, hopper cars and trucks. Must be able to carry a 12 ft. probe to the top and insert into 12 feet of compacted grain to obtain samples.

Other work duties may include processing of samples in the laboratory. Sample processing requires the use of lab equipment where accuracy is critical to meeting federal standards.

May include occasional paid overnight stays and meals for sampling unit trains.


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. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) – Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive student loan forgiveness under the PSLF.

Applicant Pool Statement : If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection.

Training Assignment : This agency may use a training assignment. Employees in training assignments may be paid below the base pay established by the agency pay rules. Conditions of the training assignment will be stated in writing at the time of hire.

Salary: $ 15.50 – 15.50 Hourly

Telework Eligibility : Not Telework Eligible

Benefits Package Eligibility : Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan

Number of Openings : 1

Employee Status : Regular

Schedule : Full-Time

Shift : Day Job

Travel : Yes, 50 % of the Time

Primary Location : Plentywood

Agency : Department of Agriculture

Union : Montana Federation of Public Employees

Posting Date : Jan 27, 2023, 4:26:52 PM

Closing Date (based on your computer’s timezone): Ongoing

Required Application Materials : None

Contact Name : Traci Merzlak | Contact Email : | Contact Phone : 406-444-3145

See more: