JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating research and development activities of assigned species. Direction of assigned program is determined and implemented by the Senior Plant Breeder with respect to both Open-Pollinated and Hybrid Lettuce. Basic purpose is to develop or encourage the development of state-of-the-art proprietary products for Sakata Seed.


  • Develop, maintain, and improve Open-Pollinated varieties as well as hybrid varieties for domestic and international markets.
  • Coordinate and place trials in major market areas and travel to these areas for evaluation of entries.
  • Advance varieties via Sakata’s Product Life Cycle Management System. Write descriptions of varieties in Nomination Form.  Fulfill requirements for variety advancement through documentation of performance, documentation of resistance, and production of required breeder’s seed.
  • Assist in preparing market analysis and product profiles for product introduction and customer support. Work with Sales Department and/or Product Manager in designing and evaluating trials of advancing experimental varieties.
  • Plan crossing blocks and field trials; manage field selection and evaluation of assigned species.
  • Design breeding strategies and maintain breeding lines, including the collection and incorporation of new germplasm. Screen and select horticulturally acceptable and disease resistant material from breeding nurseries, laboratory and field screens.
  • Work with Pathology and Biotechnology department to develop linked markers for useful traits and to deploy these markers into a marker assisted breeding program.
  • Provide Production department with required amount of Breeder’s seed of parent line(s) of advancing varieties along with line descriptions. Coordinate plant selection for production of quality stock seed. Work with plant pathology to identify and implement reliable assays and ensure production of adequate quantities of disease-free basic seed.
  • Attend selected professional conferences and seminars and maintain networks with the scientific community to stay at the technological forefront in assigned species.
  • Develop and maintain current and accurate records of breeding program utilizing designated applications provided by Sakata.
  • Assist other breeding programs when necessary and/or assigned.


  • Mentor and train assistant breeder/junior breeder to assume breeding duties as time and capabilities permit.
  • Supervisory responsibilities for regular and temporary personnel within assigned project.
  • Interact and participate in project related efforts with Pathology, Biotechnology, Sales, and Production.


  • The developed ability to select for horticultural type. Must have some knowledge of all aspects of both seed production and commercial crop production. The ability to develop and implement a vegetable breeding program.
  • The ability to organize and plan effectively and to communicate effectively with personnel within the company, the public, growers, and dealers. The ability to disseminate information either verbally or through written reports.
  • The ability to keep abreast of state-of-the-art technology relating to breeding or pathology of assigned species. The ability to lead and to motivate assistants, technicians, and part-time labor in assigned species to achieve objectives. The ability to manage resources while implementing a plan and staying on budget.


  • PhD in plant breeding/genetics preferred. MS degree in plant breeding/genetics or an MS in another scientific discipline required.  BS degree will be considered if accompanied by at least five (5) years of work experience in plant breeding combined with some working knowledge of plant pathology related techniques.


  • A minimum of five (5) years of experience in plant breeding required.
  • Experience working with lettuce farming and or breeding desirable.


  • Must be willing to travel extensively
  • Must be able to work with chemicals and possible irritating substances.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment when necessary and/or required (back brace, sunscreen, hat).
  • Must be able to work under different weather conditions such as extremes of temperature (heat and cold) dampness, rain and sun exposure.
  • Must be able to work in dusty conditions.
  • Must be able to sit for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to work long and irregular hours.

*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