Field Agronomist – Field Agronomy Services, Specialty Crops
Kemin Industries, Inc.
Location: Hereford, Texas
Type: Full Time
Preferred Education: Masters
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 proprietary germplasm on company-managed farms; and contract grower locations. The field agronomist will be involved in multiple components of field agronomy services 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 and target molecule 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 vice president, specialty crops. The position will be located in close proximity to the commercial crop production area(s).
Provide daily management and coordination of propagation, plug delivery and transplanting during the planting season.
Provide daily support and follow up to Kemin’s strategic growing partners and growing network of contract growers with field advice and recommendations.
Manage field maintenance activities including scouting, weed control, irrigation and fertilization/crop nutrition.
Conduct routine growing operations including planting, harvesting etc.
Work collaboratively with the breeding & selection team on the advancement of new rosemary germplasm.
Assist the phytochemical extraction team with experimental field mass balances.
Identify and recruit new contract farmer candidates in order to diversify production locations.
Act as the technical liaison between propagation greenhouses and contract farmers.
Work in the fields during the planting phase and have continual follow up visits to assure the crops are growing accordingly.
Coordinate with the drying facility during harvest.
Develop testing locations for other Kemin specialty crops in the territory.
Read equipment manuals in order to operate, maintain and repair equipment if necessary.
ESSENTIAL SKILLS & EXPERIENCES:
Knowledge and experience with crop production systems.
A working knowledge and familiarity with irrigation systems, planting and harvesting methods and equipment.
A familiarity with the target growing 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 is a plus.
PHYSICAL EFFORT NEEDED:
High level, must be able to lift >50 pounds, be on feet all day, work in heat and cold environments with a high degree of flexibility.
ADDITIONAL DESIRED/TYPICAL SKILLS, EXPERIENCES, AND FUNCTIONS:
Driving license (CDL is a plus)
TYPICAL NUMBER OF DIRECT REPORTS:
None but will be responsible for managing third party greenhouse operators and commercial growers.
WORK ENVIRONMENT: Allfarm environments, moving daily between office, shop, equipment cabs, and outside field environments in all seasons. The Field Agronomist is an Exempt-level position likely working from their home-office, and be located in proximity within easy traveling distance to Kemin’s current contract growers in the target growing region. A full size pick-up truck will be provided.
Exposed to dust, dirt, mud, rain, high temperatures, high humidity, high decibel sounds, exhaust fumes, petroleum fuels and solvents, metal grinding, welding, exposure to extreme mechanical hazards associated with PTO and hydraulically driven equipment; exposure to steam distillation process.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:
Safety toed shoes, Safety glasses, dust masks, ear protection, various types of gloves and spraying PPE.
TRAVEL: This position will be expected to travel 2-3 days a week between growing operations. Some more extended travel may be necessary during planting or harvesting campaigns; and international travel may be a possibility when COVID-related restrictions are lifted.
In Kemin’s culture, this position may be required to perform additional duties as needed. The above noted document is not intended to describe, in exhaustive detail, the multitude of tasks that may be entailed with the position, but rather to give the team member a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations. As the nature of business demands change, so too do the essential functions of the position.
Kemin is an At Will Employer:This document is not meant to be an offer, contract, or promise of future or continued employment. For more information, contact Human Resources.