Growing organic produce is our passion. We marry generations of experience with the latest in greenhouse and farming technology to grow produce that is beautiful, delicious and good for you.
The motivation for growing organic stems from our commitment to our employees and our belief that we are stewards of the planet. Eliminating harmful synthetic chemicals from the growing process protects people and the environment.
Wholesum has a vision to Beat Conventional agriculture and to achieve this goal we need to be competitive with conventional pricing by increasing organic yields equal to, or above, conventional yields.
The purpose of the R&D department is to design, develop and implement robust R&D processes, protocols and solutions to enable Wholesum to become the recognized leader in organic product development, pest and disease management protocols as well as complete nutrition solutions that supports optimum organic plant nutrition.
New Product Development and improvement of current products
Critical to the development of the function is to identify the best varieties for our production systems, though variety testing for: new products, better yields, excellent taste and shelf life. In developing new varieties, the department personnel will utilize cutting edge technology and environmental factors such as regional growing areas, climate, growing season and method of organic farming practices, and accounting for the financial viability of the development. These practices may include:
Pest and Disease Management
The department will also focus on the development of methods to identify and utilize beneficial insects to control and eradicate plant destroying insects in the various regions and farms. Understanding the entomology and behaviors of beneficial insects and the plant destroying insects will have a profound impact on the quality of our products and sustained sales growth. The function will also manage the relationship with suppliers of organic inputs, search for new organic products to improve integrated pest and disease management and direct the evaluation of such products via:
Nutrition and Fertilization
Research new mineral fertilizer offerings in the marketplace and new application technologies, to include new suppliers, vendors and specifications. Research and develop biological fertilizers such as compost teas that improve and supplement the assimilation of nutrients in the root zone.
- Development of new varieties and transfer new production techniques to commercial production.
- Work with private and public breeding institutions to obtain new promising varieties for testing.
- Manages and directs the research and development programs to meet organizational needs and to capitalize on potential new products.
- Develops and implements research and development procedures and techniques.
- Oversees complex research projects, analyzes results and provides recommendations based on findings.
- Manages subordinate staff in the day-to-day performance of their jobs.
- Implement protocols, screen and qualify new varieties to get more adapted varieties with high yield potential to support the business on cost reduction.
- Training and coaching of human capital; spread culture of teamwork and collaboration, sharing good practices, technical and business information to the Team.
- Manage the Ag Research Program, conducting research trials, reporting all technical advances, new technologies and products to generate solutions to our organic production system.
- Assesses the scope of research projects and ensures they are on time and within budget.
- Ensures that project/department milestones/goals are met and adhering to approved budgets.
Key Skills/Experience Required:
- For this position is important to have bachelor’s degree in agriculture or similar, strong leadership skills, technical and business knowledge.
- Ability to make decisions. To be successful as a research and development director, it is important to be able to see the big picture as you will have to envision projects from start to finish. At the same time, having a keen ability to pay attention to details is important, as the director need to closely supervise every step of the development process for new products or technologies.
- Leadership and managerial skills are also important in this role, as well as the ability to communicate well with directors, colleagues and lower level staff.
- A strong sense of creativity will also aid in thinking of new product ideas and solving problems creatively.
- The role requires balancing and juggling of priorities as it relates to both field and office work and the time spent between the two.
- Role can require extended hours, which can include weekend work and trips inside and outside of United States and Mexico.
- The position requires at least 10-year experience in agriculture industry focused on research.
Phone: (520) 281-9233