Overall Function: Kemin Industries is an international life sciences company providing a broad range of nutritional ingredients to the feed, food, pet food, nutraceutical and personal care markets globally. With many of the company’s products based on functional molecules and natural extracts of various botanical species, Kemin’s specialty crop improvement (SCI) program plays a key strategic role in driving innovation for its business units. The field agronomist position will play a pivotal role in managing field scale-up and acreage expansion of Kemin’s patented oregano clonal lines on company-owned and managed farms; and contract grower locations. The field agronomist will be involved in multiple components of the oregano program including managing greenhouse propagation, field transplanting, field management, irrigation management, harvesting; and provide technical support to strategic growing partners and contract farmers to optimize initial crop stands and maximize biomass production. The incumbent will be an active member of the field agronomy services section of the specialty crops team and will report to the crop production manager for oregano. The position will be located in Atascosa County in south Texas. Key Job Responsibilities: * Provide daily management and coordination of propagation, plug delivery and transplanting during the planting season in cooperation with the oregano crop production manager. * Provide daily support and follow up to Kemin’s strategic growing partners and growing network of oregano contract growers. * Manage field maintenance activities including scouting, weed control, irrigation and fertilization/crop nutrition. * Conduct routine growing operations including planting, harvesting etc. * Identify and recruit new contract farmer candidates in order to diversify production locations. * Act as the technical liaison between propagation greenhouses and contract farmers. * Participate in the germplasm advancement process for the nomination, pre-commercial testing and scale-up of new clonal lines and other germplasm adapted for production in south Texas. * Work in the fields during the planting phase and have continual follow up visits to assure the crops are growing accordingly. * Develop testing locations for other Kemin specialty crops in the territory.
Educational & Experience Requirements: * A B.S degree in agriculture, agronomy, plant biology or related discipline. * Practical experience in supporting field crop production is a must. * A working knowledge and familiarity with irrigation systems, planting and harvesting methods and equipment; and experience driving a tractor and other farm equipment. * High energy level, strong self motivation and a high degree of problem solving skills. * Tremendous flexibility. * Excellent communication and networking skills with proficiency in the English language. * A passion for crop production and working with novel plant species. * A passion for scientific investigation and creative thinking. * Excellent written and oral communication skills.