R&D Farm Manager - Driscoll's - Oxnard, CA
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R&D FARM MANAGER
Location: US - Oxnard Arts Ranch
Job Family: Operations
Time Type: Full time
Job Requisition ID: R0004891
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY
Driscoll’s operates several research farms which form a critical part of the overall business. We are looking for a qualified leader to join our R&D Farming Team to provide effective guidance and team development and berry management (four berries) on our Farming team based in Oxnard, CA. The R&D Farm Manager will provide leadership and mentoring to the team and will be responsible for growing the crops to the highest possible standards. As a team leader you will be the contact point for all R&D Driscoll's collaborators and will possess great communication skills to create an inspiring and efficient environment. Oxnard is home to a very important program with unique genetics. It is crucial to have great organizational, decisiveness, relationship building, problem-solving, creativity, motivation and mentorship skills. This is a great opportunity if you are someone who possesses strong leadership skills, loves working collaboratively, is able to deliver results on time, and can motivate and inspire people.
- Oversee the agronomy of all crops, both in substrate and soil production systems, working with the existing research farm teams to grow the crops to best commercial practice.
- Develop and implement sustainable research farm systems to deliver high quality data for both plant breeding and applied research trials so they can accurately guide commercial decisions.
- Lead and empower the team and improve the overall technical knowledge of the research farm staff and strengthen the knowledge base of the research farm teams. Mentor and onboard new research farm staff and foster development and collaboration.
- Ensure the research farms operate within the approved budgetary targets by managing and monitoring expenditures accordingly, including larger capital purchases.
Contribute to the strategic planning of the research farms and ensure implementation of plans in alignment with plant breeders and applied research.
- Develop, design and implement high-quality processes and improvements in research farms and lead the development of new technologies in the breeding research farms.
- Oversee the team’s pest and disease scouting and management. Ensure weed management with a clean and organized area.
- Accountable for equipment maintenance and worker safety.
- Manage land leases and landlord relationships.
- Develop land plans and rotations with collaborators.
- Design and implement systems to efficiently manage labor and equipment.
- Follow Company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like manner in all interactions with employees, governmental agencies, growers, customers, etc.
- Ensure the security of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.
- Other duties as assigned.
- A Bachelor’s degree (with at least 8 years of experience) or a Master’s degree (with at least 5 years of experience) in Horticulture, Biology, Biochemistry or Agriculture, with comprehensive understanding of horticulture crops and agronomy, plant physiology and plant genetics.
- Experience managing large teams.
- Plan and manage budgets and prioritizing expenditure within set guidelines.
- Knowledge of the agronomy of horticultural crops from seedling to harvesting.
- Berry production knowledge including direct experience with soft fruit production would be highly desirable.
- Practical experience of farming practices including equipment operation and management, irrigation management, tunnel management and pest control.
- Knowledge and experience of agricultural research would be an added advantage.
- Feel comfortable working in field, office and corporate settings, and able and willing to perform hard, repetitive physical work as necessary.
- Availability to travel to Driscoll's locations.
- California driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company sponsored vehicle insurance program are also required.
- Bilingual (English/Spanish) strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated proficiency with computer programs (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook).
- Ability to work with key stakeholders and manage multiple projects across the enterprise, including growers and other customers.
- Open attitude to try new systems and new technologies in farming.
- Collaborative attitude towards breeding, entomology, and applied research customers, with the highest level of service.
Driscoll's is the global market leader for fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage and hundreds of independent growers around the world, Driscoll's is passionate about growing fresh, beautiful and delicious berries. Our values of humility, passion and trustworthiness have guided our mission to delight consumers around the world.
Driscoll's exclusive patented berry varieties are developed through years of research using only natural breeding methods – meaning, no GMOs. From farm-to-table, we focus on delivering a high quality, premium berry experience with our many supply chain partners.
Driscoll's is the trusted brand for Only the Finest Berries™.
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