Director, Growing Operations
South San Francisco, CA
At Plenty, we’re on a mission to give people in local communities everywhere access to the freshest, most amazing tasting produce possible. And to do so in a way that’s better for the planet.
The candidate will find three overlapping phases to the work at Plenty:
Arrive, get a handle on production systems, teams and practices. Work closely with the current growing team to understand their daily activities, and the problems that they’re solving.
Take ownership of problem solving in the farm, giving guidance to the team, prioritizing issues and addressing them cross functionally.
Looking forward to future farm designs, the Grower will work closely with the engineering and plant science team to plan operational processes, modify designs to improve performance. The grower will also recruit, train and deploy growers to the growing network of Plenty farms.
In the arrival phase, the Grower will have to grasp and audit farm mechanical, software and cultural systems quickly. Plenty farms are the most intensive production systems on the planet, yielding multiples over the most intensive greenhouse systems. This intensity inherently brings with it increased complexity, sensitivity and unique vulnerabilities. These variables can all be managed but require a manager who has deep technical expertise, and the management skills to prioritize tasks and problem solving for the team in a way that increases their effectiveness and manages the tension between difficulty and importance. This phase will require understanding our systems and applying prioritization frameworks to them. All phases will require first principles rather than by rote thinking about farm problems and solutions due to the unique nature of the Plenty farm, and the unique nature of the Plenty business model. Expect to spend much of your day in the farm, working directly with crops and growers.
In the ownership phase, this candidate will have to take charge of growing team and begin to effectively guide them to solve problems and operate the farm effectively. Simultaneously the Grower will have to deeply integrate with company management to help drive the integration of engineering and plant science into these solutions. This will require a grower that is collaborative and capable of working and interacting with a diverse leadership/management team. All phases will require first principles rather than by rote thinking about farm problems and solutions due to the unique nature of the Plenty farm, and the unique nature of the Plenty business model.
In the forward looking phase, the Grower will work closely with Engineering and Plant Science to improve future farm designs and performance. This will require thoughtful analysis of existing designs and practical advice on how they can be improved to improve company economics. This phase will require collaborative, creative thought engagement with Engineering, Plant Science, Project/Program Management and deployment teams. All phases will require first principles rather than by rote thinking about farm problems and solutions due to the unique nature of the Plenty farm, and the unique nature of the Plenty business model.
Type of Role
What We're Looking For
7-10-years' experience as a grower in commercial controlled environment agriculture (CEA) plant production
4-5 years of that experience as a team lead or facility manager
Experience driving efforts to collect more/new data; uses intuition and deep domain expertise to improve data collection and analysis
Experience looking at complex data sets and drawing conclusions and taking action
Excited to develop new ways to growing plants, utilizing innovative approaches in plant growth and engineering.
Creative, critical thinker, willing to depart from the conventional approach, first principles thinker
Strong cross-functional skills with the ability to work effectively with plant scientists and engineers to create new equipment and operating procedures.
A leader excited about challenging the status quo and building new things who has both strong institutional and conventional experience, but has taken chances and stepped outside of the typical career path for growers.
First principles thinker. A leader that doesn’t solve problems by rote memory but instead by solving from the fundamentals. Capable of complex problem solving outside of the standard greenhouse fare.
B.S. or M.S. preferred in horticulture, or similar field.
Plenty is here to change the way people eat, making extraordinary flavor and nutrition more available in a way that's better for people and the planet. We build farms that can put craveable flavor first while delivering exceptional yields. And our produce is always pesticide-free and grown using less than 1% of the land and 5% of the water of outdoor farming.
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