The Farm Crew Chief executes a wide variety of fieldwork related to tree production, including but not limited to: pruning; digging; insect and disease scouting; applying nutrients and weed control products – often organic formulations; irrigation installation; harvesting; loading trucks and similar tasks. The incumbent supervises field activities whenever the Nursery Manager or Assistant Nursery Manager are not on the jobsite, ensures efficient and effective operations, directs staff as needed, and communicates challenges encountered to the chain of command. This position reports directly to the Assistant Nursery Manager, and interfaces with other department staff as needed. Finally, the Farm Crew Chief leads by example, serving as a point of reference for Farm Crew in the execution of their work.
Inspects trees for evidence of insects and disease and recommends corrective treatments
Monitors and empties pheromone traps; adjusting quantity and placement as needed
Applies varied pest and weed control products with tractor and air blast sprayer
Observes safety protocols in mixing, loading, handling, application and storage of products
Assists with training Farm Crew on correct practices/procedures of ornamental horticulture
Performs plant sap analysis (pH/Calcium/Potassium, etc.), relays result to the management team
Installs, maintains, monitors and manages irrigation systems
Assists in the inventory process as directed; works with the Administrative Assistant to verify counts and sizes of trees in the field
Confirms bill of lading is correct for quality, quantity, and size of all shipments
Oversees the proper loading and transporting of trees via truck, trailer, ATV's, track loaders, etc.
Maintains farm structures and performs routine equipment repair and maintenance
Promotes a safety culture by reducing hazardous conditions resulting from human error, equipment and machine operations that may lead to injury and/or property damage
Connects people to trees
Performs other duties as assigned
The incumbent has no direct reports but occasionally oversees field staff in the absence of the Nursery Manager/Nursery Assistant Manager and may at times coordinate small groups of volunteers.
The incumbent works primarily outside year-round in heat, cold and inclement weather and must have suitable clothing. Must be able to use equipment such as (not an exclusive list): tractors, track loaders, mowers, augers, tree spades, chippers, sprayers, tillage implements, seed drills, wood splitters, stump grinders, pumps, shovels, chainsaws, line trimmers, blowers, drills, saws, etc.
While performing the duties of this job, the incumbent is frequently required to sit, talk and hear.
The incumbent is constantly required to use hands and fingers to feel, handle or operate objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms. The incumbent is occasionally required to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl and walk. The incumbent is occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 80 pounds frequently and seldom up to 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, color vision, and the ability to adjust focus.
The physical demands and work environment described are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:
This is a full-time exempt position, 40 hours a week. Standard hours are Monday – Friday 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The incumbent must be able and willing to work evenings, weekends, and extended hours when needed.
Associates degree, or, an equivalent combination of education and experience
Valid driver’s license with clean driving record and experience and ability to safely drive work vehicles including a pickup truck and trailer
One (1) or more years of experience in tree or plant production or horticulture
Certified Pesticide Applicator license required within one year of hire
Good communication, organizational and interpersonal skills
Ability to work independently or as part of a team, and to manage multiple activities simultaneously
Bachelor’s degree, or, an equivalent combination of education and experience
Experience operating/maintaining farm machinery and equipment, power tools, hand tools, etc.
Two (2) years of supervisory experience managing field crews of diverse backgrounds and skill levels
Knowledge of organic farming and integrated pest management techniques a distinct plus