The Director of Agronomy leads the Company’s agronomic programs, including leadership of field activities, pest management programs, irrigation strategies, nutrient management, data collection, and oversight of research and development. This role will directly supervise regional senior agronomists and a research and development manager. In addition, this individual will provide support to on-farm agronomists and farm managers. Collaboration is key with the Vice President of Farming Operations and other Company leaders.
With operations in 12 states CSS Farms is one of the largest growers of chip, seed, and specialty potatoes in North America. We are a team-oriented company with a high trust, entrepreneurial culture. We value our employees’ opinions, we have a strong work ethic, and we are focused on growing great vegetables and developing our operations profitably. People who are most successful at CSS Farms are energetic, self-directed, and pragmatic.
Mission Statement: CSS Farms, a multi-state agricultural business, strives to provide innovative solutions and superior quality and service to our customers. We proudly and relentlessly continue to meet the highest standards of stewardship when it comes to the three things we value most: our land, our employees, and our communities.
The primary responsibility of this position is to support the agronomy operations through training and decision-making, so the company meets its goals relative to customer satisfaction and profitability.
Agronomic and Production Oversight
- Facilitate with sites the development and execution of pest management programs to ensure adequate disease and insect control
- Provide oversight for soil moisture management strategies and work with sites to ensure irrigation protocols are executed
- Develop soil sampling protocols, fertility recommendations, and in-season fertility amendments and coordinate with on-site agronomists for execution
- Assist farm managers and agronomists in developing crop and variety plans to ensure optimal fresh and storage deliveries
- Provide oversight for the planning and execution of all agronomic programs by location to ensure yield and quality targets are achieved
- Ensure agronomy programs promote optimal growth and quality such as field preparations for planting, seed handling and cutting, planter spacing accuracy, irrigation system application and uniformity and chemical application (coverage and timing)
Research and Development Management
- Initiate and monitor new variety evaluation including establishing variety specific agronomy at the sites (seed spacing, fertility, etc.)
- With the Manager of R&D, coordinate and execute research priorities and areas of focus for the business such as plant density management, disease and pest management, water use and fertilizer efficiency, etc.
- Stay current with up to date university and third-party independent potato research
Agronomy and Corporate Leadership
- Provide leadership and agronomic expertise for all locations by possessing a thorough understanding of potato production and potato agronomy
- Directly supervise regional agronomists and the Manager of R&D
- Provide a platform for learning best agronomic practices through training sessions, company meetings, webinars, scout schools, and regular on-site visits
- Conduct weekly in-season agronomy reviews either by distance communication or actual on-site visits to ensure proper execution of agronomic plans
- Coordinate pricing and rebates for inputs including chemicals and fertilizers with vendors
- Develop annual budgets for crop inputs by location
- Provide customers with agronomic updates and coordinate customer trials
- Provide leadership in agronomy database implementation and coordinate data collection to meet internal and external demands
- Conduct annual agronomy reviews with the management team and agronomists
- Other duties as assigned
Location of this position is negotiable and will reside at one of our main operation facilities or corporate locations.