Applied Research/Agronomy Associate, Nursery

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0002232
  • Experience Years: 0-3 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Applied Research(AR)/Agronomy Associate I will work directly with Nursery, Plant Breeding, and Test Plot Management assisting the Nursery Applied Research and Agronomy department implementing and executing various research projects for Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries. The position will spend 60% of their time in the field and greenhouses, working directly with growers and ranch managers while collecting data from various research projects, performing basic statistical analysis, field sampling, counting, scouting pest/diseases, evaluating and monitoring cultivar performance and assist with development of communication plans for cultural practices and new technologies. This position will also be responsible for tracking orders of plant material for applied research projects throughout the nursery and cold storage process. The agronomy component of the position will support the lead agronomists in collecting key agronomic management indicators such as irrigation timings and volumes, EC, pH, pest and disease presence, climate etc. This data will then be prepared in an easily understandable way in order to assist lead agronomists in providing feedback to site managers. The AR/Agronomy associate will also prepare the site visit reports that are compiled at the end of each farm visit by the lead agronomist. Over time this role will develop to conduct agronomic site visits independently. This position will require at least 30% travel to visit the various nursery locations.


  • Responsible for collecting field data for ranch and variety evaluation. Perform regular visits to field experiments to take observations, and ensure that data collection is complete and accurate, and processes are implemented.
  • Plan, lead and execute research trials as side projects with help from supervisor.
  • Work closely with ranch supervisors and growers at all test plots and ranches to determine the proper execution for field experiments and data management. Regularly visit production fields to understand production methods, cycles, and support growers with technical advice.
  • Regularly walk fields to scout for crop issues and coordinate with the test-plot/ranch manager to implement pest control, irrigation and plant nutrition programs.
  • Identify farming challenges and opportunities, propose and discuss solutions by implementing research projects, coordinating trial execution.
  • Assists with execute of appropriate experimental designs to address research objectives within practical constraints of field layout, irrigation system capabilities and farming practices.
  • Coordinate the recording of applied research test plot data and field pick plots. Improve data collection processes where possible.
  • Contribute to research reports and document best production practices, develop a communication and education plan to share findings with growers and key stakeholders.
  • Prepare trial reports and agronomic visit reports.
  • Keep detailed records of agronomic practices at container nursery locations, then visualize and assists in the analysis farm management data to be able to draw conclusions on best management practices.
  • Solves agronomic problems by consulting with internal/external experts, utilizing existing BMPs and relying on technical skill set to address basic issues.
  • Follow Company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like manner in all interactions with employees, government agencies, growers, customers, etc.
  • Ensures the safe keeping of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.
  • Perform other duties as instructed by supervisor.

*This job description is intended to describe the general nature of the work performed by employees in this job.It is not an exhaustive list of all the job's responsibilities. At Driscoll’s, all of our jobs include broad responsibilities for continually improving the processes we use to develop our products.

Candidate Profile

  • BS in Agronomy, Plant Sciences, Horticulture or equivalent preferred, or a two-year degree with relevant experience will be considered.
  • 0-3 years' experience in Horticulture, Agronomy or related field.
  • A passion for working outdoors with plants is essential.
  • Experience with substrate growing systems highly desirable.
  • Understanding of experimental design as related to field based research projects.
  • Capable of identifying/hypothesizing key physiological and genetic drivers when analyzing plant phenotypic responses.
  • Proficient internet and Microsoft Office computer experience, proficiency with management of large data files in Excel, including the ability to present data in charts would be desirable.
  • Bi-lingual (Spanish/English) with particular emphasis on reading and writing in a bilingual environment strongly preferred.
  • Capable of presenting scientific research to various audiences.
  • Strong organizational skills with ability to do multiple tasks and solve problems with a sense of urgency with minimal supervision.
  • Needs to be dependable, reliable, self-starter, and able to work independently as well as a member of a team.
  • Able to lift 40 pounds, ability to work in field conditions.
  • Travel to local and regional farms will be required on a daily basis, with overnight trips for occasional longer distance domestic and international.
  • California driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program are also required.
  • A valid passport and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions are also required.


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.