Overall Function: Kemin Industries is an international life sciences company providing a broad range of nutritional ingredients to the food, feed, 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 has established a specialty crop improvement program. The Field Agronomist will play a pivotal role in managing the daily interactions with Kemin’s network of contract growers; as well as managing advanced and pre-commercial test plots for the advancement of new, improved clonal lines. The Field Agronomist will provide technical support to 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 vice president, specialty crops.
Key Job Responsibilities: • Provide daily support and follow up to Kemin’s network of contract growers. • Execute standard operating procedures in the rosemary production manual for the field scale-up and overall field crop care of Kemin’s rosemary crop. • Establish statistically robust test plots at grower locations evaluate cultivation methods and relative clonal line field performance per the established advancement process. • Work directly with contract growers to assist in the establishment and expansion of new crop acreage to meet annual biomass production targets. • Identify and recruit new contract farmer candidates in order to diversify production locations. • Act as the technical liaison between propagation greenhouses and contract farmers. • Oversee the daily maintenance of the crop production operations necessary in producing high quality rosemary crops. • Establish herbicide and crop fertility trials. • Work closely with the breeding & selection team and participate in the rosemary advancement process for the nomination, pre-commercial testing and scale-up of new rosemary clonal lines. • 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 or M.S. degree in Agronomy from a U.S. university. • A minimum of 3 years of practical experience in supporting field crop production and providing technical support to farmers. • A working knowledge and familiarity with irrigation systems, planting and harvesting methods and equipment. • A familiarity with the Southwest region of the USA. • High energy level, strong self motivation and a high degree of problem solving skills. • 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. • The work is physical in nature (up to 50 lbs in lifting) • Excellent written and oral communication skills with a minimal English proficiency level of Intermediate High as defined in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. • A proficiency in statistical analysis.