Every year, billions of dollars’ worth of agricultural products are shipped into or through California. Incoming shipments of items like seeds, plants, soil, fruits and vegetables can present a major risk to California’s agricultural industry, the environment, and our backyard gardens if the shipments came from areas that harbor pests or plant diseases we don’t have here in California. Incoming shipments of agricultural products are an easy way for insects, plant diseases, and weeds to hitch a ride into the State. The pest exclusion program provides protection to Tehama County by regulatory control. Inspections are conducted at various locations in the county, checking incoming plant material for cleanliness. Many harvested crops are exported to foreign countries, so Phytosanitary Certificates are issued declaring that commodity shipments meet the pest-free requirements of the other countries. Seed fields are inspected during the growing season to maintain a high standard of cleanliness for export. Agricultural shipments entering California are placed under quarantine and cannot be moved or sold once they arrive at their destination until the local county agricultural office inspects and releases them. This inspection program helps maintain the quality of our urban and rural environment by limiting the introduction of damaging pests, such as inspection of bee colonies returning from Imported Red Fire Ant infested areas.