R&D Farm Manager

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Operations
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0004378
  • Experience Years: 5-10 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The R&D Farm Manager will manage R&D farms, provide leadership and mentoring to the team, ensure excellent operational standards, and follow on time and on quality farming models. As a team leader, you will be the contact point of all R&D Driscoll’s collaborators and have great communication skills to create an inspiring and efficient environment and ensure research farms are managed at the highest possible standards. This role will be accountable for footprint management, budget execution and compliance, resource and inventory management, as well as for the accuracy and quality for the data collected at the farms. This role will also develop and maintain a culture of innovation and performance excellence, and provide open and constructive collaboration and accountability with the Breeding and Research groups.

Responsibilities

  • Oversee the agronomy of all crops in substrate 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 plant breeding and applied research trials to guide commercial decisions accurately.
  • Lead and empower the team to 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 ethical and business-like 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.

Candidate Profile

  • A Bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years of experience, or a Master’s degree with at least 3 years of experience in Horticulture, Biology, Biochemistry or Agriculture, with comprehensive understanding of horticulture crops and agronomy, plant physiology and plant genetics required.
  • Experience in managing and inspiring large teams.  
  • Plan and manage budgets and prioritize 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 in agricultural research would be an added advantage.
  • Feel comfortable working in the field, office, and corporate settings, and able and willing to perform hard, repetitive physical work as necessary.
  • Availability to Travel around Driscoll's locations
  • California driver’s license and the ability to be covered under a company-sponsored vehicle insurance program are also required.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrate 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.
  • A collaborative attitude towards breeding, entomology, and applied research customers, with the highest level of service.

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.