SEP Head Grower/Trials Manager


Salinas, CA



JOB SUMMARY: Manage growing activity at our Salinas facility in support of Sakata Sales & Marketing, Research and Development, and Production Departments. Key responsibilities include coordinating flower and vegetable trials, quality control grow-outs, data collection, record keeping, greenhouse maintenance, purchasing of materials and services, labor tracking and NAK-t related activities for maintaining elite certification. Daily activities include operation and management of greenhouse and support facilities, assisting with the development and implementation of grow plans for both ornamentals and vegetables, and supervising support staff employees and monitoring their performance.



  • Plans, organizes, and coordinates Flower Trial events, including spring greenhouse trials (CAST), R&D evaluation trials, summer field trials, AAS trials, demonstration trials, cut flower trials and special internal trials/demonstrations in collaboration with supervisor.
  • Identifies issues impacting overall plant quality and successful grow-outs and coordinates solutions with supervisor.
  • Coordinates grow plans and prepares CAST backroom displays.
  • Prepares and submits CAST related invoicing.
  • Assist R&D and PD team in organizing and implementing product development trials, varietal evaluations, and development of recommended cultural techniques.
  • Assist Sales & Marketing staff with trial planning and display design to optimize selling potential and proper messaging of product features and benefits.
  • Data collection, evaluations, photos, documentation, and record keeping of bothFlower and Vegetable product development trials (PD).
  • Conducts new variety evaluations and selections together with the Elite Production Manager.
  • Implements integrated pest management program, including insect and disease monitoring (scouting) and pesticide applications as necessary and under the direction of supervisor. Ensures the compliance of the SEP team with pesticide related laws and regulations, continuing education for pesticide applications and pest/disease identification.
  • Monitors all cultural aspects of growing including daylength, supplemental light, temperature, fertilization, E.C. and pH management for trials and serves as back-up for elite crops.
  • Implements weekly production schedules and manages inventory requirements needed for greenhouse production for all trials and grow-outs and serves as back-up for elite crops.
  • Monitors quality of all products and reports any problems or concerns to immediate supervisor along with recommended corrective action(s).
  • Responsible for monitoring showcase greenhouse maintenance issues and back-up for elite greenhouse. Coordinates repairs or replacements to address problems as they occur. Involves immediate supervisor when needed.
  • Provides landscape plant material for Salinas flower beds and WIC if requirement is within capacity.
  • Maintains labor tracking, time management and reporting to HR.
  • Provides employee training for propagation, pesticide safety, and other company related employee issues and policies.
  • Purchases supplies and services for operations and regular maintenance.
  • Backs-up the Elite Production Manager in True-to-Type Testing, evaluation, and reporting.
  • Coordinates SEP order processing and shipping in absence of Vegetative Coordinator.
  • Backs-up the NAK-t coordinator (lead) for: SEE elite plant renewal, SEE Testing and SEE propagation, the NAK-t audit, the internal audit, bioassays, and virus testing for candidate varieties, keeping the QRS record updated with complaints and resolutions, disease testing coordination for import permits.



  • Must have working knowledge of horticulture production techniques.
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Demonstrates ability to accurately attend to detail.
  • Must have pesticide applicators license and training in safety procedures.
  • Ability to handle stress especially when encountering necessary projects, deadlines and/or high workload
  • Must be able to work under strict time constraints and requirements.
  • Strong character traits required including emotional stability, adaptability, ability to handle stress, cultural and gender sensitivity, and honesty.
  • Must be able to operate research and production agriculture equipment, such as soil mixers, spray equipment, garden tractors, rototillers, pH meters, etc.
  • Must be bilingual in Spanish
  • Efficient in the use and development of computer spreadsheet files.



  • B.S in plant science, horticulture, or related field required. Educational requirements may be substituted in-part by related work experience.



  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience working in greenhouse production and/or other growing environment is required.



  • Must be able to work with chemicals and other irritating substances.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment when required.
  • Must be able to travel overnight and to work irregular hours including weekends.
  • Must be able to lift 25lbs



  • Salary: $80,000 – $104,000 per year
  • Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance coverage for employees and their families
  • Basic Life & AD&D Insurance
  • 401k program with company match
  • Profit Sharing program (via 401k)
  • Holiday & Performance Incentive Bonus program
  • Paid Vacation: 10 days per year to start, increases with tenure
  • Sick Leave: 1 hour accrued per 30 hours worked for first 30 days, 6.67 hours per month after.
  • 14 paid company holidays, 2 floating holidays & birthday off
  • Paid Family Leave: 15 days after 12 months of service for FMLA qualifying events
  • Company provided EAP
  • Company provided subsidy for health/fitness clubs & apps


*To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty (as described above) satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable Individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.


To apply, send resume to