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Responsible for assisting in performing and/or coordinating diverse tasks such as sowing, transplanting, crop maintenance, sanitation, harvesting, evaluation, record keeping, and seed harvest and cleaning for the melon breeding program. Most activities happen at the Woodland Innovation Center and are conducted in accordance with specific directions and protocols, analyze data, develop crossing blocks, and planting lists, and travel for melon evaluations. Assistant Breeder is responsible for assisting in the evaluation, development, and identification of competitive melon varieties.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES*:
- Assists in evaluation of trials. Takes detailed notes during the crop development in nurseries. Assists the project leader in his evaluation or completes the evaluation as required. May complete the evaluation as the crop further develops. Assists project leader in inbred line selections and other daily tasks. Assumes responsibility for these tasks as needed in breeder’s absence.
- Maintains field trials for the melon breeding project. Creates cage placement plans and arranges cage blocks in the field. Purchases and grows pollinators needed for pollinating melon plants.
- Coordinates the labor and manages the harvest and cleaning of seed. Duties include the management of sowing, thinning, weeding, watering, fertilizer application, and daily examination for insect and disease problems. Maintains good control of cage growing conditions throughout the life of the crop.
- Performs and supervises routine plant breeding tasks associated with the melon breeding project; these include preparing and sowing seed for trials, sending seed sampling for trials as needed, harvesting, packaging seed, and maintaining an orderly inventory in seed vault and reorganizing as needed.
- Assists in writing summary reports for each trial. Provide project leader with supporting data, photos, and notes.
- Assists in the development of documentation to support the advancement of products according to Sakata’s product life cycle system.
- Assists in coordinating the harvesting and evaluation of yield data for designated entries.
- Assists in coordinating the harvesting and cleaning of the seed made in cages.
- To ensure that crops remain reasonably free of insect pests and foliar diseases (in cooperation with agents from scouting services and designated station personnel) this individual must make sure that crops are sprayed as needed with the appropriate chemicals.
- Assists in crossing block design when experience permits. Opportunity to manage a project of the melon breeding program as experience permits.
- Prepares seed for pathology testing and makes sure the pathology department receives the seed in a timely manner
- Apply chemical treatment to all seed sown in nurseries for root selection.
- Apply chemical treatment to all roots transplanted in cages for seed production.
- Must develop proficiency in the software tools used by SAI for plant breeding.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Ability to do accurate detailed work under time constraints and deadlines
- Must be able to keep accurate and timely records.
- Ability to communicate well in written and spoken English. Bilingual English/Spanish desirable.
- Must be able to use Microsoft Office programs.
- Must be able to work extra hours or weekend duty as assigned.
- Ability to handle stress especially when encountering necessary projects, deadlines and/or high workload.
- BA/BS degree in agricultural related field or equivalent in work experience required
EXPERIENCE AND BACKGROUND:
- Minimum 4 years seed, agriculture experience and/or crop experience required.
- Farm background desirable.
WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
- Must be willing to work overtime hours, including some weekends and holidays, as requested.
- Must be able to work with chemicals, pesticides and other possibly irritating substances.
- Must be able to wear protective equipment when necessary and/or required (e.g., lab coat, gloves, respirator).
- Must be able to stand or sit for several hours at a time (up to 70% of time).
- Must be able to do some lifting of items (< 50 lbs.)
CERTIFICATES, LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS:
- Must have valid driver’s license.
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