Farm Operations Manager
The primary function of this position is to manage the Johnny's Selected Seeds (JSS) field operations and ten farm sites. The farm sites are certified organic or managed as sustainable and low-input on a total of 85 farmed acres. The position is based at the JSS research farm in Albion, Maine and reports to the Research Operations Manager. The JSS farming operations are part of a larger integrated Plant Breeding and Product Development team that breeds and trials a large and diverse number of vegetable, flower, herb, and fruit varieties each year, as well as conducting in-use evaluation of tools and supplies. The JSS farming operations also support the seed production of many proprietary varieties and parent lines. The farm additionally manages a comprehensive Up-for-Grabs produce program for employees and charity. The Assistant Farm Manager, Farm Crew Supervisor, and Field Equipment Manager report to this position. The farm crew staff comprise approximately 30 part-time members annually, including a tomato trellis and tie crew.
- Manage the farming and field network of isolations to support all product development, breeding, and seed production activities.
- Work collaboratively as a team member with Breeding, Product Development, and Seed Production to grow breeding nurseries, seed productions, and product development trials to meet goals and objectives.
- Manage and follow the requirements for organic and sustainable low-input farming systems.
- Direct soil health management, including annual soil testing, cover crop selection and planning, and cover crop maintenance and destruction.
- Manage crop field preparations and clean-up, including activities such as cultivation, fertilization, pre-irrigation, and destruction.
- Maintain a diverse range of tractors, farm equipment, and implements in a professional manner.
- Monitor and manage crop growth and development throughout the growing season.
- Direct and manage irrigation schedules, from transplanting to crop destruction.
- Monitor and manage pests and diseases and direct the application of control products, with adherence to safety regulations and industry/company standards.
- Monitor and manage weed control.
- Assist in the forecasting, management, and adherence to Research operating budgets.
- Support seed production and seed conditioning activities as needed.
- Manage and coordinate the Up-for-Grabs program of free produce distribution.
- Inventory management of farm supplies.
- Purchase supplies and materials as needed.
- Support the development of farm crop plans.
- Support the evaluation of agronomic practices and development of recommendations.
- Follow crop protocols and management procedures.
- Support organic farm certification requirements.
- Maintain good interdepartmental communications and relationships.
- Staff recruitment and hiring.
- Management of direct reports and performance reviews .
- Promote Johnny's mission and R&D activities through public workshops and forums as needed.
- A college degree in horticulture, agriculture, or agronomy, or the equivalent experience.
- An applied knowledge of organic and sustainable farming operations.
- An applied knowledge of growing a diverse number of vegetable crops is required.
Qualifications & Skills
- Knowledge of, and five or more years of experience with organic and sustainable farming practices.
- Three or more years of experience managing farm operations of 20 or more acres.
- Five years of experience managing farm labor and farm crews of 15–30 or more members.
- Three or more years of production experience with fruity, leafy, root, and bulb vegetable crops.
- Knowledge of a variety of small-scale farming equipment and implements used on vegetable farms.
- Experience with irrigation management of vegetable crops.
- Ability to set priorities daily, plan accordingly, and direct activities is required.
- Experience working in a research environment is desirable.
- Good communication, negotiation, and listening skills are essential.
- Understanding of trial design helpful and preferred.
- A good work ethic and comfort level with hands-on activities in the field.
- A positive job attitude and enjoyment of working with a diverse group of people.
- Enthusiasm for farming and promoting a culture of continuous improvement.
- Ability to work in farm fields under adverse or extreme weather conditions.
- Ability to travel domestically as needed.
- Ability to freely access all areas and locations of the business.
- Ability to sit and work at a computer workstation for extended periods of time.
- Ability to bend over and lift up to 50 pounds.
- Ability to operate common farm equipment.
- Health Insurance (HNO, PPO, HSA)
- Dental Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Flexible Spending Account (Medical & Dependent Care)
- Employee Stock Ownership Plan & Profit Sharing
- Employee Discount
- 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
Johnny's Selected Seeds provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.