Job ID: 103333

Plant Science Operations Manager

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

  • Feb. 7, 2018
  • Plant Science Operations Manager
  • Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
    San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Open until filled
  • Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Plant Pathology
    Agronomy/Plant & Soil Sciences
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Plant Science Operations Manager

Department: CAFES-Horticulture & Crop Sci (100500)

College/Division: CAFES-College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Salary Range: Salary commensurate with background and experience of the individual selected. Cal Poly offers excellent fringe benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance, retirement participation in the Public Employees' Retirement System and educational benefits for eligible employees. All rights associated with the appointment are governed by the Management Personnel Plan adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees.

Position Description:

The Horticulture & Crop Science Department (HCS) is in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences (CAFES). Department is comprised of department head, 9 full-time faculty, 10 part-time faculty, 275 undergraduate majors, 6 support staff, and student-assistants. This position will have dual reporting responsibilities. 1) to the HCS Department Head and 2) to the Dean of CAFES.

In consultation with department head, Manager will assume responsibility for the tasks and daily operation of Crops and Horticultural Units. Incumbent will have overall management responsibilities for HCS agricultural production fields and greenhouses. Manager will ensure that Crops and Horticultural Units and all field operations are running smoothly, efficiently, and safely. Manager will advise and oversee technicians and students and will work directly with faculty to facilitate specific instructional and field research activities. Optional on campus housing.

In consultation with the Dean, incumbent will serve as the lead in strategic planning and management for college's plant production lands. Incumbent will work with leads in animal production operations and Agricultural Operations along with directors or department heads of related centers, institutes, and academic departments to provide input to Dean on land use issues. This includes ensuring sufficient land resources for teaching, research and outreach activities of the college.

  • Incumbent will directly supervise, assign, schedule, establish priorities, and review daily work assignments for staff.
  • Foster a culture of service excellence and serve as role model and mentor to motivate staff to improve their quality and responsiveness of service.
  • Provide and establish required and recommended trainings for all assigned staff in areas of daily facility operations, safety, and procedures.
  • Evaluate employee performance and provide feedback, support, training, correspondence, and administer progressive discipline when applicable.
  • Manage farmland and controlled-environment facilities (and associated support facilities) for conventional and certified organic production of row, agronomic and tree crops, including managing all aspects of the production and cultural care of these crops.
  • Work with faculty to schedule and coordinate instructional, production, and research needs.
  • Oversee and schedule cultural operations required to establish and maintain crops, including land preparation, irrigation and fertilizer applications (including fertigation) and pest management.
  • Oversee hiring, training, scheduling and supervision of student assistants.
  • Oversee all aspects of safety related to managed production areas and support facilities, including but not limited to: Food safety (FSMA); Pesticide use (records, safety training); and OSHA standards compliance.
  • In coordination with faculty, set up and support labs for instructional needs of Department.
  • Provide technical support, maintain and submit all paperwork required by CDPR for pesticide use; maintain organic certification, including preparing for and participating in inspections; coordinate with Cal Poly Farm Manager requirements for Regional Water Quality Control Board; maintain appropriate service records and files; manage purchase orders; and track inventory and storage.

Minimum Qualifications (Staff Only):


Bachelors' degree from an accredited university, preferably in the field of agriculture (horticulture, agronomy, entomology, plant pathology, soil science, or similar field). Five years of increasingly responsible farming experience including crop production, row agronomics and/or fruit crop production.


Possession of a valid driver's license or the ability to obtain by date of hire.

Required Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated farming operation skills in crop production, row agronomics and/or fruit crop production.
  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisory skills with experience working collaboratively in team environment.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective management principles and possessing the ability to apply the principles and practices of effective supervision.
  • Ability to use tact and diplomacy to effectively handle a broad range of high-level and sensitive interpersonal situations involving diverse personalities, and to respond appropriately to conflicts and problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to operate, calibrate and do minor repair on equipment related to agricultural operations.
  • Ability to coordinate support services (e.g. Farm Shop, Facilities) to meet a comprehensive variety of needs.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain records, produce reports and required documentation including but not limited to applicable certifications (e.g. Farmers Market, Organic Certification, pesticide use, etc.).
  • Ability to initiate, establish, and foster communication and teamwork by maintaining a positive, cooperative, and productive work atmosphere in and outside the university.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within a diverse population and with those from various cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to interface and maintain good relations with the agricultural industry.
  • Excellent communication skills; ability to effectively communicate information in a clear and understandable manner, verbally, and in writing using English with correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality.
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills with the ability to set priorities to coordinate multiple assignments with fluctuating and time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency with a variety of computer applications including word-processing, spreadsheets, databases, on-line systems, the Internet, as well as online calendaring and email.

Working knowledge of or ability to quickly learn and apply University infrastructure, policies and procedures.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated skills in an institutional/educational environment utilizing a customer-oriented and service-centered attitude.
  • Experience in providing instructional support.
  • Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, or obtaining the Certificate within the first year of employment
  • Agricultural Pest Control Adviser (PCA) license, or obtaining the license within the first year of employment

Special Conditions:


  • Ability to lift heavy objects up to 50 pounds and wear a backpack sprayer weighing up to 50 pounds.

  • Seeing to read a variety of materials.
  • Sitting or standing for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to lift, carry, push, or pull objects.
  • Must be willing to travel and attend training programs off-site for occasional professional development.
  • Must be able to work additional hours, occasional holidays, and adjust working hours to meet the requirements of special jobs. May be called back periodically to perform work as needed on an emergency basis.
  • The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.
  • Must be able to successfully pass a pre-employment background/fingerprint check.
  • Full-time MPP employees are required to disclose outside employment at time of hire or within 30 days of taking additional outside employment subsequent to time of hire.
  • This position classification has been defined as "Exempt" and is not subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Retired CalPERS members selected for this vacancy must request and be approved for reinstatement from retirement prior to the start date. Employment of retired CalPERS members will typically be for 90 days or less and must be for work requiring specialized skills or for a bona fide emergency to prevent stoppage of business.

The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and wellbeing, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

Review Begin Date: 02-23-2018

Requisition Number: 104720

To Apply: All applicants must apply online at:

About Us
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive public university. Founded in 1901, the 6,000-acre campus is nestled in the foothills of San Luis Obispo, along California's scenic central coast and midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. With a budget of $168.5 million, the university has a student enrollment exceeding 17,000 students and employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff members. Cal Poly is part of the 23-campus California State University system.

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly's values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

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