Orchard Manager

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Job Description: 
Happy Apple Company is seeking to fill Orchard Manager position available on Happy Apple Orchards, a 250-acre property with traditional and high-density tall spindle apple orchards. This Assistant Farm Manager / Orchard Manager job requires an experienced horticulturist.
Happy Apples grows and packs fresh apples for the fresh market as well as our famous caramel apple factory.  At Happy Apples, you will find a progressive environment in which to grow both personally and professionally. We employ over 40 people seasonally and you will find a working environment in which to practice your craft and add value to a modern and ever evolving business.
Hours per week 40 to 60 depending on seasonal work load.
Responsibilities & Duties: 

The Orchard Manager's primary purpose is oversight and direction of day to day operations of our apple orchards and packing facility. This is a key position of our management team with a primary role of maximizing fruit quality, financial performance and company success.
As Orchard Manager, you are responsible for the field operations of an active farm. You will be coordinating and leading employees, compiling records on the crops; creating schedules for planting, irrigation, spraying and fertilizing; pruning, training and planting orchards; coordinating equipment readiness and harvesting; directing harvest operations and conducting off-season activities.
Responsibilities include scouting apple orchards for disease and pest issues, monitoring plant and soil nutrient levels and assisting in planning of applications, assisting in pesticide planning, maintaining pesticide and nutrient records, monitoring weather and recording data, managing and monitoring the irrigation system, participating in or leading various cultural practices as needed and keeping records of trees and planting blocks. The Assistant Farm Manager may be involved in operating packing line equipment, construction, maintenance and repair of buildings, roads and all related infrastructure as necessary.
Candidates must be able to work with mangers, foremen and laborers in a positive way, purchase supplies and prepare budgets and have a very strong desire to succeed and produce results, be self-motivated and competitive.
Field Duties:

  •  Oversee, communicate, manage, assess and direct staff who report to this position, while supporting and encouraging their success.
  •  Provide leadership in directing the field work force to ensure timely completion of necessary farming practices.
  •  Ensure correct training of workforce, assessment of skills and performance.
  •  Ensure the collection of all pertinent horticultural information.
  •  Review reports/analysis and provide summary to management.
  •  Be able to communicate English; Ideal candidates will be able to speak Spanish.
  •  Proven ability to effectively build and manage a team-oriented culture.
  •  Ability to plan ahead and to look at the whole picture.
  •  Ability to work independently or with minimal supervision.
  •  Be experienced with farming techniques, procedures, crop timing, chemicals, and basic ratios.
  •  Thrive in a fast-paced environment and handle pressure while managing multiple tasks.
  •  Assist in the direction and coordination of the overall operations of the farms, including farm development, planting, irrigation, application/pest management, pruning, training and harvesting.
  •  Manage a team of regular and seasonal employees.
  •  Report weekly orchard field evaluations to assist teams in planning spray applications, irrigation, fertilizer applications, mowing, pests and equipment care.
  •  Records information, such as production, farm management practices, and parent stock, and prepares operational reports.
  •  Inspects equipment to ensure proper functioning and coordinate maintenance or repairs with the Shop Team.
  •  Determine and authorize alternative procedures to accommodate variables, for example weather conditions, water supply, stage of crop or tree development, and new compliance issues.
  •  Be capable of working a flexible schedule, as workload requires.
  •  Must have a mechanical aptitude, irrigation knowledge, pruning and trellising experience.

Office Duties:

  •  Bid out major expenditures.
  •  Assist in creation of annual budget.
  •  Payroll review and timecard data daily to ensure accuracy.
  •  Maintain a culture of safety and safe work practices in the Orchard and associated property.
  •  Knowledgeable about agricultural safety laws. Assist with or conduct required safety training; monthly reporting; and following up on work related injuries/modified duty assignments.
  •  Member of Food Safety, GAP and Safety Committees.
  •  Accurate record keeping - pesticide and chemical usage and inventories data entry.
  •  Oversee and supervise completion and submission of appropriate reporting.
  •  Other administrative duties as needed.
  • Documented experience in production agriculture and management is required.
  • Have relevant fruit growing experience.
  • A horticultural bachelor's degree is preferred but equivalent experience can substitute.
  • Working knowledge and experience with Word and Excel.
  • Experience with GAP, PrimusGFS and Global GAP is desirable.
  • Possess a valid driver's license (CDL preferred) and a clean record.
  • Ability to build positive, constructive relationships at all levels of the company.
  • VA Private Pesticide Applicator License or ability to obtain one.
  • The ideal candidate will have documented and verifiable agricultural experience, preferably related to commercial horticulture.
  • Bachelor's Degree preferred.
Orchard Management, Horticulture, Nutrient/Pest Management, Human Resources, Regulatory Compliance, Fabrication, Equipment Maintenance and Repair, and Irrigation.
  • Agriculture
  • Driver's License (CDL preferred)
  • Clean Driving Record
  • Growing Experience
  • Bilingual preferred
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Health Insurance
  • 401(k)

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Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.

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