Breeding Assistant at Planasa USA - Joe Produce | Produce Jobs, Produce Careers, Agriculture Jobs, Agriculture Careers

Breeding Assistant

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Job Description: 

Planasa, LLC is seeking a Breeding Assistant for our Watsonville, CA location.

Job Description:

The Breeding Assistant reports to the Research and Development Manager and is responsible for the hands-on management of experiments, facilities, and workers at Planasa’s R&D farm. Initial employment is seasonal with an opportunity for continued employment upon successful completion of the first growing season.


Manages strawberry field trials at the R&D farm in Watsonville. Manages the daily activities of the field crew. Coordinates bi-weekly strawberry harvests. Measures BRIX, firmness, post-harvest etc. of selections growing trials. Maintains irrigation schedules in the tunnel complex using a Famidan fertigation unit and in open field using manual pumps and valves. Propagates strawberry plants in soil, pots, and hydroponic substrates. Monitors plants for signs of disease and nutrient deficiency. Maintains plant health using an integrated pest management approach which includes regular applications of beneficial organisms, pesticides and fertilizers.

Essential Functions:

  • Cultivates, propagates, waters, fertilizes, and chemically treats plants.
  • Collects and records field data using a spreadsheet application on an iPad.
  • Maintains irrigation schedule for plants growing in open field and in hoop houses.
  • Assists in evaluations is selections growing in trials.
  • Helps organize and provide supplies including potting mix, pots, tools, labels, etc.
  • Calculates formulas and measures fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
  • Cleans, organizes, and evaluates work areas as needed.
  • Monitors plant health, including plant pests and development of IMP strategies.
  • Maintains necessary records and labeling practices.
  • Assists with oversight of equipment and with repairs when needed.
  • Works independently to prioritize tasks and work schedule.
  • Demonstrates effective written and oral communication.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bilingual/Biliterate English/Spanish required.
  • Associate’s degree and two years' experience, or bachelor's degree in biology, horticulture or related field required.
  • Familiarity with greenhouse practices preferred.
  • Ability to work safely with equipment and chemicals required.
  • Ability to maintain and develop irrigation systems required.
  • Ability to learn and use computer software.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and amicably.
  • Ability to perform physical duties required, including lifting (50 lbs. regularly), digging, carrying, etc.
  • Ability to perform careful, thoughtful, and detailed work required.
  • Proficient reading ability and accuracy with details.
  • Willingness to periodically work overtime.
  • Valid driver’s license required.
  • Ability to drive a manual transmission preferred.


  • Two years’ experience in horticulture/agriculture preferred.
  • Some research experience preferred.

Salary: $23.00 to 25.50 per hour

Working Conditions:

Open field and hoop houses set in a costal climate. May handle fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals. May work with or around large equipment. Must be physically able to get around an 11-acre site.

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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