Our client is a multi - generation, family-owned farming organization. They pride themselves in maintaining a family-like culture, where employees are not just a number, and people are recognized for the contributions they make. Over the past 125+ years, their crops have increased and the business has become diversified. With this evolution, the spirit and work ethic of the family farm remains. They produce the highest quality products and invest in the communities in which they operate.
As this company looks towards more specialized crops, to offer premium products at premium prices, they have made an exciting acquisition. They recently expanded a 375- acre berry farm in Little Rock Arkansas that was once an amazing operation. The goal is to return the farm back to this level and beyond by growing blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and some other specialty crops to sell into retail markets. Once this is accomplished, there are plans, opportunities and acreage to further expand this business.
In order to make this farm great again, our client is looking for an experienced and entrepreneurial General Manager to join an established team and oversee the entire operation. The General Manager will report directly to the President of the parent company and be responsible for for providing oversight and leadership to all crop production and distribution operations during pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest activities.
This is a special opportunity to relaunch an entire farm with the security and resources of a large and stable company that offers excellent room for advancement, competitive compensation, exceptional bonuses for high performers and a supportive work environment.
- Leads all field operations including planning new field establishments, planting, irrigation, pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer applications, picking, pruning, etc.
- Develops and maintains accurate maps for field plantings for each production field.
- Oversee packing operations and cold storage facility
- Ensures that all equipment is properly maintained
- Manage shipping activities to deliver excellent customer service and quality
- P & L responsibility with significant focus on cost management
- Participates in budgeting and business planning processes
- Manages purchasing of supplies, equipment, and inputs
- Regularly communicates with senior management about farm activities, challenges and innovative solutions
- Leads team of full-time and seasonal employees providing direct supervision over staff with authority and responsibility to take/recommend personnel actions regarding employment in coordination with human resources and Company policy
- Interviews/selects employees with emphasis on maintaining staffing at the appropriate levels to operate at peak efficiency with continuity in key positions.
- Gives work direction, resolves problems, and sets deadlines to ensure timely completion of daily tasks
- Maintains accurate, detailed computerized records of field activities, employee timesheets, maintenance and usage records, and other required documentation.
- Ensures that employees follow all applicable government regulations regarding food safety, worker safety, environmental compliance, as well as all other Company policies and procedures; provides ongoing training and education to workers
Values and Sustainability
- Adheres to Company values at all times
- Ensures all operations are environmentally sustainable and that the farm is clean and orderly
- Maintains suitable onsite housing for seasonal workers
- Serves as the Company contact with the local public and community ensuring to maintain a positive image within the community
- Performs all other duties as assigned
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution required in agronomy, plant sciences, horticulture, business, or related field and 5 years of related experience; Or, equivalent combination of education and experience
- 10+ years of farming experience at the operational level- fresh produce a must, berries a plus
- Experience overseeing a warehouse/cold storage facility and logistics management
- Highly knowledgeable about and committed to food safety standards and compliance for fresh produce
- Strong leadership and communication skills with a collaborative team-oriented approach to management
- Bilingual (Spanish) with experience managing a migrant workforce is a plus
More information on the area and relocation is available for interested and qualified candidates!
Education and/or Experience:
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution required in agronomy, plant sciences, horticulture, business, or related field and 5 years of related experience; Or, equivalent combination of education and experience.
Physical/Cognitive Demands and Work Environment:
An employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job must meet the physical and cognitive demands and work environment described here. The associated tasks are representative of those that would be applicable but are not intended to be an exhaustive list. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties of the job.
- Vision – Adequate vision is required constantly for written communication, driving, observing employee behavior, identifying hazards, and visually inspect product;
- Hearing – Adequate hearing is required constantly for verbal communication and to identify issues with equipment;
- Mobility – must constantly be able to sit, stand, and walk; also must be able to frequently stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl to evaluate crops in the field and monitor other areas of the workplace;
- Dexterity – must constantly be able to use hands/fingers to handle or feel and constantly reach with hands and arms for written communication/keyboarding, product inspection, equipment repair, etc.
- Strength – must be able to lift and carry up to 25 lbs. frequently and up to 75 lbs. occasionally
- Cognitive Ability – must demonstrate sufficient ability to comprehend, remember, reason, analyze, and verbalize to communicate, process information, evaluate and solve problems, plan, etc. This is a safety sensitive position and employees must be able to perform the job without impairment.
- Work Environment – must be able to tolerate extreme temperatures for long periods of time and perform work outside in heat as well as work in cold storage facility; must be able to work in a dusty field environment with potential exposure to pests and thorns.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required to perform the essential duties of the job.
Industry Knowledge - Knowledge of agronomic practices and operational processes for berry production; knowledge of FDA and FSMA food safety regulations and protocols for fresh fruit; knowledge of pricing and marketing strategies; knowledge of USCIS H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker requirements;
Company/Job Knowledge - Knowledge of Company policies and procedures; knowledge of the Company’s businesses and functions managed with the ability to apply the knowledge to perform the essential functions of the job. Demonstrated ability to use available resources to obtain necessary job related information to achieve results;
Financial Management Skills – Understands business implications of decisions; Works within approved budget; Develops and implements cost saving measures; Contributes to profits and revenue; Conserves organizational resources;
Communication Skills - Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, employees, customers, and the general public;
Language Skills - Spanish/English fluency with particular emphasis on reading and writing in a bilingual environment highly preferred;
Computer Skills – Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office applications including advanced proficiency in Microsoft Excel with the ability to quickly learn other software as required;
Interpersonal Skills - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
Personal Leadership – Demonstrates strong work ethic and initiative taking ownership of work, doing what is required without being asked, and following through to completion. Effectively organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements. Establishes plans to achieve short and long term goals.
Team Leadership – Provides leadership to others in a way that gets results and, at the same time, builds individual cooperation and commitment. Able to inspire, influence, and enable others to achieve a specific mission. Drives for results in all initiatives. Provides clear vision and sense of direction for organization/department. Secures relevant information. Identifies key issues and sets priorities. Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed.
Developing Others – Demonstrated ability and commitment to enhancing the capabilities of others. Shares knowledge effectively for developmental gains maximizing talents and abilities. Constructive feedback (positive and negative) is given to employees and they are challenged to demonstrate ability to assume greater responsibility.
Decision Making/Delegating – Ability to make timely fact based, data driven decisions. When appropriate consults with and involves others in the decision making process. Delegates decision-making authority to the appropriate level. Delegates work assignments matching the responsibility to the person; Gives authority to work independently; Sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; Provides recognition for results.
Accountability/Transparency – Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Makes aggressive commitments and is willing to be judged against them. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Trustworthy with unyielding integrity. Appropriately and openly shares information and results with those who need to know.
Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations.
Project Management - Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Manages project team activities.
Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; Understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; Analyzes market and competition; Identifies external threats and opportunities; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.