Plant Breeder • Solanaceous Crops

Position Summary

The primary functions of this position are to develop proprietary commercial varieties of tomatoes and peppers to be marketed by Johnny's Selected Seeds (JSS) and manage collaborative breeding with other companies and cooperators. The position is based at the JSS R&D farm in Albion, Maine and reports to the Director of Farm Operations and Breeding. It is part of a larger integrated Plant Breeding and Product Development team that breeds and trials a large number of other vegetable crops. The Assistant Breeder and/or Breeding Technician for Tomato & Pepper report to this position.


  • Lead and manage all aspects of the variety development in the solanaceous (tomato and pepper) breeding program at JSS.
  • Together with cross-functional product teams at Johnny's, develop breeding objectives, target markets, methods, and strategies to create superior proprietary vegetable varieties that align with the JSS mission and that support Johnny's customers.
  • Coordinate and manage cooperative breeding efforts with other companies.
  • Maintain clear and accurate breeding records compatible with JSS data management guidelines and practices.
  • Manage the outsourced molecular marker and plant pathology support functions for the program as appropriate.
  • Provide genetically fixed parent lines to the Foundation Seed Program to initiate the seed production logistics for new varieties in line with Johnny's New Product Development (NPD) process.
  • Manage the off-station breeding nurseries and help coordinate product variety trials for the solanaceous Johnny's-bred products, along with the Regional Trials Coordinator.
  • Manage the solanaceous breeding program budget.


  • A university graduate degree in Plant Breeding is required.

Qualifications & Skills

  • Practical knowledge of farming and experience with variety development of vegetable crops are required.
  • Ability to design and manage all the logistics for a commercial plant breeding program to develop varieties suitable for Johnny's target markets
  • People skills necessary to be an effective team player in the company and to provide leadership to assistant breeders, product technicians and farm operators
  • Creative thinking, with good communication skills
  • Work ethic comfortable with hands-on activities in the field and in the greenhouse
  • Ability to bring a positive attitude to the job and enjoy working with a diverse group of people

Essential Physical Requirements

  • Ability to spend extended time in the research and seed production fields, walking on uneven terrain, in all kinds of weather.
  • Ability to spend time in a greenhouse.
  • Ability to travel as needed both domestically and internationally.
  • Ability to sit and work at a computer workstation for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to bend over and lift up to 50 pounds.


  • Health Insurance (HMO, PPO, HSA)
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (Medical & Dependent Care)
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan & Profit Sharing
  • 401(k)
  • 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, creed, 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.



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