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12 Jun 2020

West Coast PGO Specialist – California

Posted by Tara Schwartz, – Anywhere

Job Description

Job # 36554

Manage the genetic purity grow-out (PGO) program to ensure that all pre-commercial and commercial seed lots are grown out and field evaluated for purity. This process includes tracking all inbound receiving lots, preparing and scheduling samples for timely placement in designated grow-out locations, and managing the evaluations process.  This position will be located at our R&D site and expected travel up to 25%

Primary Duties:

Subject Matter Expertise

  • Work with the marketing and sales teams to learn all variety characteristics within the Company’s vegetable portfolio.
  • Work with breeders and the Production Manager to learn the characteristics of all parent lines.
  • Work with the Plant Pathologist and the Pest Control Advisor (PCA) to learn proper field inspection protocols and how to identify plant disease symptoms.

PGO Planning

  • Establish or maintain global PGO trial locations internally and externally. Establish contracts, pricing and agronomic practices that are suited for each crop.
  • Track all inbound material and develop planting schedules based on estimated arrival dates in advance of receiving.
  • Coordinate with Production Analyst and Inventory Management to finalize planting lists.
  • Manage the actual sample preparation and delivery to designated location.
  • Create field maps for all varieties to be planted in coordination with relevant colleagues.
  • Oversee the sowing and transplanting process of PGO trials
  • Work with field labor to mark and stake the fields in preparation for planting.
  • Work with farm managers to identify ideal agronomic practices per crop including: ground selection, planting, watering, fertility, pest and weed control to achieve optimal varietal performance.

PGO Execution

  • Manage field labor in the planting and maintenance of all crops. Activities include staking, tying, pruning, weeding, irrigating, harvesting, and others as needed.
  • Work with the field owner and PCA to create a weekly plan for pest control management, fertilization, and irrigation for the fields.
  • Inspect the fields weekly for any change in plant habit, growth, maturity and presence of plant diseases and pests. Communicate any observed changes to relevant stakeholders.
  • Evaluate the PGO trial taking detailed notes and photos of each variety/lot present in the PGO trial.

Data Evaluation and Entry

  • Perform or coordinate timely PGO evaluations (multiple readings) to obtain optimal expression of seed lot impurities (off-type plants).
  • Conduct timely reporting of impure seed lots to the Inventory Management and Production Analyst to determine quality and disposition.
  • Ensure PGO results are entered into the quality system (ABS) immediately after evaluation readings are performed.
  • Work with the financial team and develop an annual PGO budget. Manage expenses within the budget parameters.
  • Provide summary reports with trend analysis to the QA and Sales & Marketing teams
  • Provide detail analysis any customer complaints related to genetic purity.
  • Become the product expert of each variety and learn/teach specific plant characteristics that are unique to a given variety.

QC Data Entry

  • Assist as needed with data analysis and entry of all QC test results including:
    • Genetic Purity by DNA markers
    • Germination
    • Seed Health
    • Physical Purity

Safety and Compliance

  • Adheres to all Human Resource Policies and Procedures
  • Adheres to all Health, Safety and Environmental Policies and Procedures
  • Adheres to all Process Quality Policies and Procedure

Qualifications & Experience: 

  • A minimum of 3 years’ experience in seed production or crop trialing activities.
  • The ideal candidate will have a background working with agronomy with a focus of vegetable seed production or trialing.
  • The ideal candidate will have extensive experience with standard vegetable phenotypic traits and physiology.
  • The ideal candidate will have analytical and plot design skills.
  • Extensive knowledge and highly proficient in the use of manufacturing databases (SAP, Oracle, etc.) and Microsoft Office products.

Skills and Personal Traits 

  • Demonstrated success when faced with changing priorities or circumstances.
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal & written) for effective vendor & internal staff communication.
  • Attention to detail, drives tasks to closure efficiently with error‐free end result.
  • Excellent leadership and organizational skills.
  • Strong analytical and computer skills.
  • Strong team player, self‐starter, positive attitude and high integrity.


BS in Agriculture is required

Please contact Tara Schwartz,

Job Categories: Agronomy, Crop Science. Job Types: West Coast. Job expires in Endless.

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