Headquartered in Bakersfield, California, Grimmway Farms traces its roots to a Southern California produce stand opened by the Grimm brothers in the early 1960s. Grimmway is a global produce leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots. Grimmway also supplies more than 65 organic USA-grown crops, and brands include Cal- Organic Farms and Bunny-Luv. Grimmway is committed to caring for customers and employees, honoring sustainable practices and preserving natural resources for future generations.
WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
We are seeking a Director of Agronomy responsible for managing the Agronomy Department and work closely with the agriculture leadership team in the development of total crop management plans for all current and future crops associated with Grimmway Farms. The scope of responsibility includes all nationwide growing areas in both conventional and organic farming. The desired candidates is an experienced agronomist with a deep understanding of crop management and the factors that affect crop yield and quality, including pest and disease management, fertilizers, soils, soil water management, and plant/environment interactions. The Director will also address regulatory issues for the company and is involved with highly technical work, such as applied field research and assist with precision agriculture activities. This position reports to the General Manager of Farming.
Master’s degree in Agronomy or related plant or soil science field required. Ph.D preferred. Must obtain a Pest Control Advisor License and become a Certified Crop Advisor within one year of employment. Previous experience working on a production farm required. Must have at least 7 years of experience working with crops common to the Southeastern, Western, and Pacific Northwestern United States, with a preference for candidates with vegetable crop experience. Experience in organic agriculture required. Must be a critical thinker, have strong analytical skills, and be data driven. Field research experience and a firm grasp of agricultural research methods is required. Must be others-focused and have a successful record managing teams and holding leadership positions in prior roles. Skilled at building employee capabilities and potential, discerning their strengths and weaknesses, positioning employees for maximum effectiveness, and skilled at problem resolution. Must be a strong communicator and teacher, able to collaborate and interact effectively with employees at all levels and in various positions within the company. Must be able to translate complex ideas into laymen’s terms for others and educate, train, and support company personnel on agronomic issues. Must have strong verbal and written communication skills and deliver effective presentations to a variety of audiences. Must be comfortable with change and uncertainty, able to remain flexible and effective in an ever-changing environment. Must be a self-starter, a strategic thinker, and operate at a high level of understanding about all farm duties. Willingness to challenge the status quo and consider alternative methods and ideas. Must have a high degree of professionalism; strong fiduciary mindset; uncompromising ethics and integrity; ability to be trusted with sensitive, confidential, or privileged company information. Must be results driven and follow through with assigned tasks. Must be proficient at common computer and software applications, able to learn statistical and research software used in agriculture, and able to learn and use proprietary internal software systems used by the farming group. Must be able to travel occasionally both local and out of the area depending on business need. Remote work not available for this position. Must have a valid driver’s license with a clean DMV driving record. Must pass pre-placement drug/alcohol screen, physical, and functional capacity exam.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
The Director of Agronomy is a key member of the farming team and works closely with other Managers and Directors to plan, develop, organize, implement, manage, and evaluate the company’s overall agricultural function. The Director is directly responsible for all internal Agronomists, Pest Control Advisors, the Seeds Group, and any part-time help, and makes sure that their roles and responsibilities within the company are being fulfilled. Primary goals include aligning the Agronomy Department with company goals and objectives, assessing the needs of Farm Managers and other internal clients and providing solutions, and making sure that Department members maximize their potential with respect to finding answers and offering technical advice. Responsible for monitoring the execution and effectiveness of farm plans and makes modifications as required. Assessing farm plans requires close collaboration with others, including farm managers, who execute plans in the field and requires a significant amount of time in the field looking at crops. Collaboration may also include setting schedules for crop rotation, variety selection, cultivation, soil treatments, irrigation, harvest timing, and other aspects of crop management. The Director is also responsible for ground truthing reported problems and working towards a consensus opinion concerning the nature of the problem and potential solutions with internal staff and other members of the farm team. Responsible for maintaining productive working relationships with external industry members from universities, seed/chemical companies, and others in the private sector. Responsible for all third-party relationships related to outsourced trials/research, crop consulting, scouting, sampling, and others who have been hired to assist with crop management. Oversees all field trial work and agronomic research projects of Grimmway Farms and ensures that these efforts are conducted properly and are aligned with company needs. Works closely with Land and Water Director to evaluate new properties being considered for purchase, and existing properties that are being considered for new uses. Will also work cooperatively with other departments to meet existing and future regulatory requirements related to water, nitrogen, and fertilizer use in our farming systems. The Director works closely with the leadership team on farm budgets and due diligence efforts for new and existing crops and is involved is short and long-term planning in order to meet the company’s goals and objectives.
Must be able to remain in a stationary position throughout most of the working day. Ability to frequently move about inside the office. Ability to operate a computer and other office productivity equipment. Ability to work on uneven terrain both on foot and while aboard moving equipment. Ability to get on and off various stationary and moving equipment. Ability to continuously work with product and equipment at ground level. Must be able to move items weighing up to 30 lbs.