Have you ever experienced the disappointment of going home after shopping for hours, only to see on your receipt a charge that is greater than the “sale” price that was displayed on the counter at the retail store? What a let down!
Who would you call? Sacramento County Weights and Measures.
An inspector will visit the store to investigate and determine if this was a random accident or a regular practice. This is one of many functions that Michelle King fulfills as an Agricultural & Standards Inspector II at the County Department of Agriculture and Weights and Measures.
Michelle says, “Two components I like most about my job are my wonderful co-workers and the diversity of my job. Sometimes I am intercepting and inspecting packages at Fed Ex for exotic pests that can potentially ruin California crops, and at other times I am inspecting nurseries and pesticide companies to ensure that they are complying with laws and regulations that protect the environment, workers, and the public.”
Sometimes she finds herself greeting new residents who have transplanted to Sacramento from eastern states where the devastating Gypsy Moth has already gained a foothold. Michelle inspects to make sure the pest did not hitch a ride on their belongings, which could inadvertently cause an invasion of our own forests.
She regularly consults her Plant Quarantine Manual that is at least six inches thick, and lists the insects and diseases of concern for California from various states and territories.
“It takes training, experience and skill to intercept as many invasive pests as Michelle does,” according to Kevin Martyn, Michelle’s direct supervisor and Deputy Agricultural Commissioner. “She has a good knowledge of plant diseases and insects and a keen eye for spotting them.”
Michelle has her Bachelor’s degree from Chico State in Animal Science / Agriculture.
Away from the job, Michelle and her husband, Jimmy, enjoy gardening with their 10-month-old son, Jace. They are always accompanied by Ulysses S. Grant, their Pit Bull, and their Chihuahua, Louie, who “…loves to bark at the entire world.”