Head Grower

Date Posted: January 30, 2019 - Date Ends: March 31, 2019

  • Job Type: Full-time
  • Location: Schomberg
  • Company: Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd.
  • Contact: Brea Reid
  • email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Phone: 416-518-3506
We are looking for a Head Grower to oversee all crop production at Schomberg, including building production plans, overseeing potting, irrigation, fertilizing, IPM, crop spacing, pruning, and winter prep. The Head Grower will also build, develop, and lead an effective production team that supports organizational goals, and develop future expertise and capability so that we can increase our product offerings and optimize production.

BTN Schomberg is a production oriented nursery growing a variety of traditional trees, shrubs, and perennials. These products are predominantly shipped to large retailers across Canada. BTN has six production farms across Canada, with Schomberg being the main farm. The Head Grower is responsible for planning and executing the day to day production and crop care activities on all crops at Schomberg. Working closely with the Schomberg Division Manager, you report directly to the National Production Manager (NPM) to build a local production plan for Schomberg that supports our national production needs that meets BTN’s standards of timing, cost, and quality.

You will establish, supervise, and execute all crop production and care activities as we pursue our vision to become the Canadian market leader in the production of plant goods. Success in this position will be met by achieving high quality and low shrink while meeting budgets. This is a combined management and working position. While the position will focus primarly on planning and oversight, the Head Grower will be expected to conduct physical work inside and outside, rain or shine, alongside supervisors and crews as needed particularly during peak season. Assisting with other departments may be required from time to time due to the seasonal nature of the business.

• Develop a local production plan that supports the national production plan
• Plan efficient, accurate and cost effective methods for executing that plan on time and to BTN standards
• Along with HR, recruit, hire, train, and develop a high quality support team to help supervise day to day production activities on the nursery
• Provide input to the National Production Manager and National Purchasing Manager to procure proper inputs for crop production
• Oversee crop production to ensure efficient and timely completion of production to BTN standards
• Monitor and apply irrigation to all crops in a manner that achieves optimal crop growth and uniformity
• Oversee any on site propagation and rooting out processes
• R&D other propagation opportunities of nursery stock
• Plan and prepare space for incoming plants
• Implement/oversee incoming crop inspection process to ensure only clean, quality plants are accepted into the production stream, and file discrepancy reports as required • Maintain required sanitation protocols to prep greenhouses and grounds for receiving crops
• Maintain clean, organized production areas
• Maintain accurate crop labelling in production areas and inventory counts as required
• Plan and implement timely crop spacing
• Plan and implement timely and accurate topdressing and generally fertility programs to ensure we are growing crops to spec on time
• Develop and oversee all pruning activities to ensure they are done accurately and enhance product quality/timing
• Develop and implement an effective IPM program within budget
• Develop and implement a property-wide weed management program within budget
• Research and develop increased capability in our crop production practices. For example, risk reduction on challenging crops, improving water/soil/fertility quality, reducing production times, improving quality, cost reduction, process simplification, etc.
• Oversee and participate in daily crop care activities to ensure they are done correctly and efficiently
• Monitor EC/PH levels in crops and irrigation water to maintain optimal crop conditions
• Collect and submit samples to soil suppliers and local extension offices as required to conduct analyses
• Liase with suppliers, government agencies ie. CFIA, and industry experts as required
• Directly supervise all crew work related to all aforementioned activities as required
• Assist with other areas of the farm as required
• Provide support/input to BTN Wholesale re: product care as required

• 3+ years experience growing containerized trees & shrubs, with experience in managing crop irrigation, fertility, pruning, spacing, etc.
• Horticulture degree preferred but not required with 5+ years of grower experience
• Read, write, speak excellent English. Spanish an asset but not required
• Excellent arithmetic and basic calculating skills
• Proficiency in Excel, Word, Outlook required
• Excellent management skills, able to organize and direct large teams through other supervisors, exercise good judgement in a fast paced environment, and inspire and lead people
• Able to clearly communicate instruction, monitor, follow up, and correct as required
• Able to walk, stand, kneel, lift 50 lbs, and perform other physical duties over long days reasonable to a nursery working environment is required
• Proficient in the basics of crop care – irrigation best practices, nursery stock fertility and monitoring, pruning and spacing techniques and timing, and other general plant care techniques reasonable to a position of this nature
• Competency using spray and drench equipment such as Dosatron required
• Ability to safely drive equipment (ie. ATV’s, gators)
• Pesticide Applicator’s license required

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