Production Lead (Tomatoes)/Operations Team Member

Status:  Full Time

Salary:  Dependent on experience

POSITION SUMMARY

Howell Farms is a diversified, second-generation family farming operation headquartered in central Indiana growing top quality tomatoes, pumpkins, corn and soybeans. Our team is innovative and our company is structured and positioned for successful growth today and in the future.  Our entire team is driven to continually increase production while preserving our most valued resource – our land.

We have an excellent team in place and looking to add another key person at our Middletown, IN location as a Production Lead (Tomatoes)/Operations Team Member. This role combines leadership, planning, organization, agronomy, field operations, and maintenance/repair work. This position is extremely hands on.  We are looking for a detail oriented and driven person with an understanding of the importance of managing crop issues with a sense of urgency.  We are looking for someone that is self-motivated to take ownership of their area of responsibility and work to improve this enterprise.  This person should understand that many important decisions and plans need to and can be made while carrying out regular day to day operations.  This position is a combination of approximately 75% in-field work with 25% in office management, research, and planning work.  This role requires a person that embraces the demanding seasonal schedule of producing and harvesting all crops and particularly a perishable crop.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

Production Leadership – Tomatoes

  • Lead planting of 450 acres of processing tomatoes
    • Communicate with processor regarding schedule and transplant supply
    • Lead all planting and support labor to efficiently stay on planting schedule
    • Coordinate field preparation with operations manager to meet the best interests of the tomato crop while allowing necessary work to be done in all other crops
    • Operate field and support equipment
  • Lead in season crop care
    • Scout and evaluate growing crop
    • Report, analyze, and learn to react to findings with various appropriate applications and practices
    • Plan crop input application schedule and adjust based on pests and growing conditions
    • Coordinate crop care tasks with operations manager and the rest of operations team
    • Operate field and support equipment
  • Lead harvest and delivery
    • Communicate with processor regarding harvest and delivery schedule and fruit quality
    • Lead harvest team to fulfill daily output requirements
    • Maximize fruit quality, efficiency, and reputation with processor
    • Lead service and repair of equipment to avoid costly downtime in a very time sensitive enterprise
    • Operate harvest and support equipment
  • Research and plan improvements in processes and inputs
  • Ensure dedicated equipment is field ready prior to applicable season
  • Manage any irrigation used in tomato crop
  • Collaborate with management team to plan enterprise budget
  • Report regularly on agronomic and operational status of enterprise to management team
  • Ensure accuracy and timeliness of all input application and harvest records
  • Professionally represent the company to the processor and peers in regular communications and at meetings and events

Operations Team

  • Crossover and work as a highly productive member of the team in field and general operations for all other crops where needed based on season and workload
  • Fulfill key equipment operating roles in all other crops when this is the best use of time for the overall success of the business 
  • Perform service and repair work
  • Maintain the same high level of accountability and motivation necessary to succeed in leadership role, while assisting operations manager and other team members in whatever general function is needed in the overall business

Qualifications

  • High School Graduate or equivalent required, further education or experience preferred
  • Proficiency in operations of large late model farm equipment required
  • 3-5 years farming, agricultural services or related experience preferred
  • Ability to be happy with a work schedule determined by weather and crop needs required
  • Ability to lead a team required
  • Ability to research, analyze and present data and opinion to management in a clear, organized manner required
  • Class A commercial driver’s license preferred
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