Test Plot Supervisor

  • Location: US - Florida
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0001987
  • Experience Years: 3-5 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

*Located in Dover, Florida* We are looking for an ambitious Test Plot Supervisor who wants to become part of our R&D Farming team and commercial blueberry operation. R&D Farming is responsible for the execution of research trials designed by breeders, plant physiologists, nursery, and applied research. The Test Plot Supervisor will be responsible for the day-to-day farming of our blueberry test plot and adjacent commercial acreage. Through optimized farming, the Test Plot Supervisor will grow the highest standard flavor and yield crop as it is critical to ensure full expression of the potential of new genetic material. The Test Plot Supervisor will bring value to the enterprise through their expertise in blueberry management application of innovative growing practices and supporting the development and deployment of proprietary blueberry genetics.

Responsibilities

  • Be a key member of the test plot team and blueberry grower partner operation.
  • Occasionally manage temporary field workers within test plot, motivating crews to ensure work is conducted to required standards and ensure adequate resources and training to perform their duties.
  • Work closely with our grower partner to implement best management practices and ensure test plot crops are grown to the highest possible standard of agronomy.
  • Connect with global R&D Farming operations as well as local industry and academic resources to innovate and adapt new growing techniques to improve quality (flavor and yield) of the crop.                                                       
  • Visit growers to improve understanding of commercial best practices and maintain awareness of changing practices within the industry.
  • Collaborate with test plot stakeholders in the design of trials ensuring the best possible execution to maintains the overall appearance and to improve cultural techniques for new varieties.
  • Participate in test plot farming meetings and generate a clear work strategy for weekly and monthly farming of the crop.
  • Support and assist other trials and the Applied Research Team with pest and disease control and in harvest data collection in blueberry and strawberry test plots.
  • Design and manage blueberry fertility programs based on the efficient use of fertilizers, working with the irrigation team to ensure crops are receiving optimal nutrition for each stage of plant growth and crop development.
  • Monitor and manage irrigation to optimize plant growth, and minimize excess water.
  • Regularly monitor well and irrigation water chemistry, amending as needed to maintain proper parameters and submitting soil, water, and plant tissue samples for periodic analysis (implement changes based of the interpretation of results).
  • Regularly walk the test plots and commercial fields for pests and diseases to ensure timely deployment of control methods.
  • Implement control strategies when a problem is detected.
  • Develop written Standard Operating Procedures for all test plot activities.
  • Stay up to date on effective biological and chemical tools for pest and disease management and maintain a technical record of relevant applications.
  • Coordinate closely with the breeding team, test plot harvest crew, and grower partners to carry out necessary chemical applications with minimal interference to harvest or evaluation schedules.
  • Plan and manage practical test plot operations including planting, weeding, tunnel maintenance, pruning, and other crop husbandry activities.
  • Develop variety-specific pruning strategies in alignment with harvest period, yield, plant vigor, fruit quality and pest management, and demonstrate to commercial crews as needed.
  • Reference and build upon an existing blueberry management guide with annual test plot and commercial management activities.
  • Communicate equipment and labor needs with our grower partner and ranch managers to carry out test plot and commercial management activities as needed.
  • Order growing supplies as necessary and coordinate the service, maintenance, and repair of farm equipment.
  • Maintain a safe work environment for all those working within test plots and adjacent blueberry operation.
  • Domestic travel may be required up to 10%.
  • Represents Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like professional manner in all interactions with growers, co-workers, suppliers, customers and the business community at large.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate is a team player with an open-mind and flexible attitude towards working additional hours due to the seasonal nature of the crop. The candidate should have great attention to detail, good organizational skills,  be a self-starter, independent, and natural problem-solver. The candidate should also have the ability to manage different projects across the enterprise with an open attitude to try new systems and new technologies in farming. Excellent communication skills are a critical trait  due to the work with our test plot crew, grower partners, and peers from the breeding, farming, and applied research teams.

Requirements

  • Bachelor of Science in Plant Science, Agronomy, Horticulture, or a related field.
  • 3 to 5 years of experience working with horticultural crops.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) speaking proficiency with excellent verbal and written English language skills.
  • Able to work in the field, office and corporate settings, including the ability to perform physical work.
  • Licensed to operate tractor-mounted equipment and to apply pesticide.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with blueberries, berry crops, irrigation systems, and tunnel management are strongly preferred.
  • Experience managing large teams on commercial farm operations with demonstrated management skills.
  • A team player who responds positively to different opinions and personalities in a fast-paced production environment.
  • An organized and proactive individual who can balance the sometimes differing management needs of R&D test plots with commercial grower operations.
  • Florida driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with computer programs (Excel, Word, power Point, Outlook).

About Driscolls

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™.


Driscoll's es el proveedor líder en la comercialización de Fresas, Frambuesas, Zarzamoras y Arándanos Azules en el mundo. Con más de 100 años de herencia en agricultura y cientos de productores independiente alrededor del mundo, Driscoll's es una compañía apasionada por cultivar Berries frescas, hermosas y deliciosas. Nuestros valores de humildad, pasión y confianza han guiado nuestra misión de deleitar a los consumidores en el mundo.

Las variedades exclusivas de Driscoll's han sido desarrolladas a través de años de investigación usando sólo métodos de mejoramiento natural. De la granja a la mesa, nos enfocamos en ofrecer una experiencia de alta calidad con apoyo de nuestros socios de la cadena de suministro.

Driscoll's es la marca de confianza de sólo las mejores Berries.