Director of Breeding & Proprietary Product Development

Position Summary
The Director of Breeding and Proprietary Product Development is focused on managing all aspects of the organization's vegetable breeding programs and proprietary product development, including collaborative efforts with independent breeders, to bring to market new, differentiating, and innovative varieties for their vegetable, flower, and herb product lines.

The Director of Breeding and Proprietary Product Development is a full-time position at the research farm in Albion, Maine. This director will work closely with our product managers and research farm team as well as our marketing and operations departments. The position provides a unique opportunity to coach a team of creative breeders, technicians, and research assistants. The Director of Breeding and Proprietary Product Development reports to the CEO.

  • Develop short-, medium-, and long-term goals and objectives of the breeding programs in conjunction with the breeders.
  • Manage and develop employee-owners involved in plant breeding, including breeders, plant breeding technicians, and research assistants.
  • Develop and secure proprietary products, expanding Johnny's ability to bring the best products to market and fill the niche needs of our commercial and home gardeners.
  • Collaborate with team to identify new market opportunities and plant breeding targets
  • Develop internal methods and processes for the new product development pipeline and product introductions.
  • Collect and analyze data from breeders and other stakeholders in the product development process to create and prepare technical and research reports.
  • Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups, departments and individuals to encourage cooperative management strategies.
  • Ensure that all team members follow company standards (health, safety, and environmental).
  • Prepare operational and capital budget based on activities and projects to be undertaken.
  • Provide feedback and coaching as necessary while maintaining a positive and encouraging work environment.

  • Advanced degree in the sciences, PhD or Masters in Plant Breeding or Genetics preferred
  • Working plant pathology knowledge
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources

Qualifications & Skills

  • Success in developing new varieties and taking them to market within the vegetable seed industry
  • Expert in the vegetable seed industry and product line management
  • Experience with/knowledge of specialized agricultural/horticultural practices and techniques of trialing and breeding
  • Ability to ensure and monitor continuous training for breeders in new technologies/methodologies
  • An understanding, appreciation, and enthusiasm for the challenges and opportunities involved in decentralized production by direct-market farmers and avid home gardeners
  • Understanding of using logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approachable problems
  • Analytical and creative problem solver to evaluate options and implement solutions
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to convey information effectively
  • Ability to monitor/assess performance of yourself, other individuals, or the organization to make improvements or take corrective action
  • Ability to build consensus/function as part of a team

Physical Requirements
  • Capable of physically working outdoors, often in less-than-ideal weather conditions
  • Ability to work at a computer 50% of the time
  • Ability to travel to research fields

  • Health Insurance (HNO, PPO, HSA)
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (Medical & Dependent Care)
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan & Profit Sharing
  • 401(k)
  • Maternity/Paternity/Adoption & Foster Care leave
  • Company Paid Life insurance
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Pet Insurance
  • Company Paid Short & Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Educational Assistance
  • Employee Discount



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Our mission is helping families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service.