Food Safety Farm Consultant

State of Indiana - Indianapolis, IN

Work for Indiana

Grow your career with the State of Indiana! With more than 50 executive branch agencies, the State of Indiana is a diverse workforce offering employees stimulating and challenging projects across a broad scope of career opportunities. As a State of Indiana employee, you impact the well-being of Indiana’s communities every day.

About the Indiana State Department of Public Health Protection and Laboratories Services (ISDH)

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) maintains the State Health Laboratories for the support of State Public Health, Environmental and Food Protection, Lead & Healthy Homes and Immunization programs. The State Health Laboratories provide specific, high quality, and necessary laboratory tests, test data, and test interpretations to federal, state, and local health, environmental, and food protection programs. The data from these tests is required for effective and efficient detection and response to public health, environmental and food protection emergencies and for surveillance and detection of communicable diseases, environmental hazards and their health effects, and food contaminations and their health effects.


The salary for this position starts at $37,778/year but may be commensurate with education and job experience.

About the Job

This role works as a senior level subject-matter expert in farm food safety in the Food Protection Program of the Indiana State Department of Health. You will perform high level administrative and field work directing activities related to farm food safety as a result of the the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 and ongoing outbreaks of foodborne illness relating to lack of implementation of good agricultural practices on farms. This new program will assist agricultural operations that grow and distribute food for human consumption to make improvements via education, outreach, technical assistance and environmental assessment. In this role you will coduct inspections of farms to ascertain needed improvements to food safety/defense with the end result of improving protection to the public.

A Day in the Life
Responsible for managing the agency’s relationship with the agricultural farm business community;
Develop working relationships with agricultural related individuals, associations, industries, universities, sister agencies (especially the Indiana State Department of Agriculure) and other stakeholders and interested parties;
Develop agency fact sheets and other useful tools to educate the public and other stakeholders on agriculture related food safety issues;
Provides all agency communication with the farm constituency via the web communication tool FoodSHIELD;
Represent the agency at trade associations, public and private meetings, and other appropriate venues to communicate agency policy and receive input from effected entities;
Develop agriculture related policies and messages for internal as well as external customers;
Formulates and interprets policies and procedures, both federal and state, related to produce food safety;
Develops work plans relative to the farm food safety program; implements changes, and evaluates effectiveness of the farm food safety program;
Performs onsite visits to the agricultural farm industry to evaluate the level of food safety that exists, and assists with food safety improvement plan development as requested;
Maintain a database as comprehensive as possible to identify all produce farm operations in the state, the production, the operators, the volume, the owners, contact information and direct markets.
Analyze programs and services provided by agricultural associations and become a resource to share program knowledge and services offered;
Develops complex statistical and narrative reports identifying farm consultant program trends and needs;
Serves as needed as a farm food safety subject-matter expert on national and state committees;
Reviews and evaluates farm food defense plans and specifications relating to facilities;
Provides technical assistance on agricultural food safety to local health department food specialists;
Effectively uses other electronic forms of communication and reporting tools, such as email, Excel Word, Access, Gateway, USA Food Safety, internet and smart phones
Prepares and submits progress reports to the Produce Safety Supervisor at least bi-weekly or as directed;
Serves as back-up to the Produce Safety Supervisor in her absence;
What We're Looking For
Bachelor Degree from an accredited college or university in Food Science, Agriculture, or Public Health
3-5 years of experience with agriculture safety regulations enforcement or investigation preferred.
What You'll Need For Success
Extensive knowledge of food safety inspection processes and procedures; pathogenic disease, radiological, chemical and toxins with potential use for mass destruction; espcially in the context of good agricultural practices for farming, harvesting, processing, storage and distribution of fresh produce;
Broad knowledge of food science, HACCP, and risk asessment principles;
Considerable knowledge of food defense and background in physical security for business or government;
Broad knowledge of the organizational function of state and local health agencies;
Extensive knowledge of the food industry, i.e., farm production, manufacturing/distribution and retail;
Specialized knowledge of federal and state food law and associated food safety/defense requirements;
Broad knowledge of program planning, development and implementation
Broad ability to professionally conduct surveys, investigations and inspections of farm facilities;
Advanced ability to collect, analyze, and protect data (which may be confidential in nature), and prepare technical reports;
Ability to direct subordinates in enforcing food laws and rules;
Advanced ability to effectively and tactfully communicate complex public health theories/principles and food safety principles, both orally and written;
Broad ability to direct statewide crisis reaction situations dealing with farm food safety issues resulting in disease outbreaks, consumer complaints, etc., on short notice with effective results;
Extensive skills for technical writing, including the capacity to complete a complex grant application.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Direct Reports:
This role does not provide direct supervision to direct reports.

Benefits of Employment with the State of Indiana

The State of Indiana offers a comprehensive benefit package for full-time employees which includes:

Four (4) medical plan options (including RX coverage) and vision/dental coverages
Wellness program (offers eligibility into a discounted medical plan)
Health savings account (includes bi-weekly state contribution)
Deferred compensation account (similar to 401k plan) with employer match
Two (2) fully-funded pension plan options
Group life insurance
Employee assistance program that allows for covered behavioral health visits
Paid vacation, personal and sick time off
Competitive leave policies covering a variety of employee needs
12 company paid holidays, 14 on election years
Qualified employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
New Parent Leave

Equal Employment Opportunity

The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer