Substrate Technical Grower

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0004892
  • Experience Years: 3-5 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

Driscoll’s operates a several research farms which form a critical part of the overall business. The Technical Grower supports the Farm Manager in growing high quality crops for the breeders and other researchers. Responsibilities include all aspects of growing operations for raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and strawberry substrate test plots for the Watsonville area. The focus of this position will be new technology implementation, irrigation, fertilization, environmental data monitoring, pest & disease management, and running an advanced irrigation system. Collaborating well with over a dozen breeders and researchers in performing the farming of their trials is key to this role.

Responsibilities

  • Lead the development of new technologies in the R&D substrate test plot farms. 
  • 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.
  • Review recipes and implement proper fertility program for the four berries.
  • Manage the implementation of new technologies in designated area of focus.
  • Gather vendor information and lead the decision-making process of selecting a provider of a new technology purchase. 
  • Oversee operation of complex irrigation system and support continuous improvement of this system.
  • Manage a team of technicians by giving guidance on irrigation fertility decisions, daily/weekly tasks, and long-term planning. 
  • Create and provide technical training to subordinate staff.
  • Ensure correct EC, pH and fertility are maintained in correct ranges through analysis of daily data collection and oversight of irrigation system maintenance.
  • Communicate weekly with internal customers (breeders, entomologists, plant pathologists, and applied researchers) on fertilization, pest/disease management, and other farming duties.
  • Support pest and disease control program, including scouting and coordination of chemical applications and working directly with pesticide application supervisor.  
  • 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.
  • Ability to work well with all supervisors and employees at a ranch level.
  • Follow operating budgets by purchasing, tracking, and coding farming expenses.
  • Comply with 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.
  • 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 jobs responsibilities.  At Driscoll’s, all our jobs include broad responsibilities for continually improving the processes we use to develop our products.

Candidate Profile

  • 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.
  • Proven ability to manage projects.
  • 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.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and collaborate with other crew members in achieving team goals. 
  • Pesticide Control Advisor (PCA) and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) is required.
  • Experience with research protocols; and knowledge of plant physiology, health and pest pressure assessment, knowledge of farming operation agricultural practices. 
  • Ability to work in the field, office and corporate settings, including the ability to perform repetitive physical work as necessary.
  • Ability to make fertility and irrigation decisions for berries with minimal guidance.
  • Self-starter, hands-on, ability to work independently and work well with teams. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency with computer programs (Excel, Word, Outlook) and Data analysis software is a must. 
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English) is required.
  • California Driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program 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.