Blueberry Variety Development Manager

  • Location: US - Arts Ranch, Oxnard
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0003723
  • Experience Years: 3-5 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

As a team member of the global blueberry breeding group, the Variety Development Manager – Blueberry Breeding is responsible for the breeding testing activities for the Southern California and Baja production area and the development of improved blueberry cultivars. This position will test, evaluate and select adapted germplasm in the test plots of Oxnard, ensure successful trialing through the coordination of data collection and management of breeding databases, participate in the design, and execute local phenotyping programs. Additionally, the position supports the trialing and commercialization of new genetics by interacting with Production Managers, Applied Research and other regional stakeholders (Local Commercialization Team) in Oxnard, Santa Maria, and Baja (Mexico). Analyze and report data and interact with other members of the global blueberry team.



  • Setting up blueberry breeding trials with Low Chill and De Novo selections. Using experience and judgment, evaluates the selections for horticultural characteristics, quality and post-harvest performance. Makes decisions about what selections graduate based on local variety adaptability and in conjunction with the global blueberry breeding group
  • Participates in the design of phenotyping programs and is responsible for its execution, data collection and analysis for the area
  • Supervise breeding seasonal technical staff located in Oxnard
  • Plans and supervises/performs post-harvest evaluations
  • Regular travel to Baja California required. Occasional domestic and international travel
  • Collaborates with regional Production Managers, Agronomy, Applied Research and District Managers (Local Commercialization Team) in Oxnard, Santa Maria, and Baja towards the testing and deployment of new blueberry cultivars
  • Work cooperatively with plant breeding and research staff to develop and maintain field trials on Driscoll’s test plots and any off-site test locations. 
  • Plans budget for labor needs, develops planting plans, estimates costs, and plans for technology needs
  • Prepare test plot summary reports, maps, and production curves from spreadsheets and database for each program currently in production, as well as a report for each applied trial in progress
  • Supports the Blueberry Global Breeding Team as required, with input about selection performance, reports and updates
  • Organizes Local Commercialization Team and grower Oxnard test plot visits, and hosts various visits from growers and colleagues from other regions
  • Determines the trials farming needs and works with the Research Farm Manager to ensure the trials are farmed as needed
  • Using good judgment and discretion, responsible for identifying abnormalities that will require further research when analyzing data points
  • Provide input as required for the preparation of the annual Oxnard/Santa Maria/Baja Breeding update/report

General Responsibilities

  • Ensures the confidentiality of Driscoll’s financial, proprietary and employee information
  • Represents Driscoll’s in a manner that demonstrates Driscoll’s Mission and Values in all interactions internally and externally
  • Performs other duties as instructed
  • Promotes a positive work environment

*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 or MS degree in Horticulture or Agronomy preferably. Other agriculture-related areas of emphasis may be considered with 1-3 years of experience in Plant Breeding
  • 2-3 years’ experience in Vegetable or Fruit Plant Breeding or Horticulture
  • Candidate must be disciplined, self-motivated and have strong verbal/written communication and the ability to effectively collaborate with others
  • Very strong organization skills
  • The ability to successfully work well independently as well as with a diverse cross-cultural team
  • Ability to exercise flexibility, initiative, good judgment and discretion
  • Knowledge in experimental design, statistics and data analysis
  • Research and analytical skills sufficient to analyze problems in a multi- faceted way and to develop and participate in implementing solutions
  • California driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program
  • A valid passport and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) will constitute a strong point of preference
  • Must be able to work both in a field and a fruit lab setting
  • Experience with database management, statistical software and Excel is desirable
  • Ability to travel regionally and internationally as required
  • A valid passport is 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.