JOB FILLED - Director of Seed Research and Development - #7584S - Joe Produce | Produce Jobs, Produce Careers, Agriculture Jobs, Agriculture Careers

JOB FILLED - Director of Seed Research and Development - #7584S

Job Description: 

Are you driven by success in seed breeding plant varieties in both open-field and CEA? Are you a hands-on leader that thrives in a collaborative environment where you can make a difference globally? 

Join this predominant leafy green seed producer and breeder in the central coast of California as they continue to grow and develop varieties that dominate the leafy greens market and a few other categories domestically and internationally. This successful seed company is focused on row crops and CEA and is looking for a Director of Seed Research and Development to lead their mighty seed breeding organization. 

The Director of Seed Research and Development role is made up of specific components: grower and customer relationships and engagement, understanding of seed breeding process and procedures, and ultimately leading your team. The Research and Development team brings their own expertise to the table and are passionate about the work  that they do and the care that they provide for their plants. This department lead will work closely with all cross functional teams as well as the leadership of the company to plan and create their market plan. This individual is responsible for  ensuring that research projects are carried out and communicated effectively, working in the marketplace globally, to meet deadlines and milestones. 

This is a tremendous growth opportunity for the right individual. Working closely with all stakeholders, including the leadership team, the R&D team, production, fulfillment and of course customers. This is a hands-on collaborative group  who works together in a very positive environment. There are no silos. 

To be clear, this is a commercial seed breeder and supplier. This role is incredibly rewarding and dynamic for a talented pro who can balance R&D, customer (sales and service) interaction, production, leadership, and extensive travel. This  role is not for the person who wants to focus solely on R&D or publishing papers.

Responsibilities & Duties: 
  •  Evaluate the progress of seed breeding research projects to ensure that they are meeting deadlines and  milestones throughout their marketplace domestically and internationally 
  • Team mentorship in systems design and development 
  • Ensures that the R&D team maintains compliance with all regulatory guidelines 
  • Responsible for compiling data about research topics that are popular among consumers 
  • Manage the creation of new varieties that meet customers’ needs 
  • Coordination of breeding and research activities 
  • Develop a stock seed maintenance program that ensures both genetic and physiological quality for commercial  production 
  • Consistent communication with breeding teams to ensure proper records are maintained and inventory is  updated 
  • Evaluation of R&D trials and nurseries 
  • Lead every decision from strategic planning to tactical activities related to seed breeding, trials and the customer  experience 
  • Acts as key scientific liaison/interface with regulatory bodies, quality assurance groups and customers 
  • Proposal review and approval for research funding 
  • Establish and manage relationships with universities, research labs, and other organizations that conduct  research in areas related to the organization’s interests
  • Development of budgets for research and development departments and plan to drive cost efficiencies 
  • Work closely with sales and marketing to develop new product and innovation strategies 
  • Promote a positive company image while supporting research, product development and marketing efforts 
  • Consultant to customers, understanding their needs and objectives 
  • Work hand-in-hand with sales and customers on site domestically and internationally to develop, evaluate and  produce deliverables 

  • 10-15 years’ experience in the seed (vegetable) breeding industry with at 3-5 years of successful leadership  experience 
  • Must have the ability to travel extensively to grower locations domestically and internationally throughout the  year (this is not a seasonal driven role) 
  • Master’s degree in plant breeding and/or physiology 
  • As the head of the department, this individual must be a people leader, provide direction and execute the  objective of the company 
  • Excellent verbal, written and face-to-face communication and relationship skills 
  • Very hands on leadership expertise working closely with teams and thriving in a boots on the ground  environment 
  • Must be able to have empathy, this role involves leading cross functional teams who are very passionate  about the work that they do 
  • Bilingual (Spanish) would be ideal but not required

This Job has a $1,000 Referral Reward!


If you would like to discuss this job opportunity in 100% confidentiality with a Joe Produce Search Consultant, please call Recruiting at 855-563-7763, or email

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