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Research Associate

Fort Pierce, Florida, US
Closing date
Sep 24, 2021

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About Terviva

Terviva is a food and agriculture company committed to transforming the food and agriculture industry by making food production more accessible and equitable to farmers, and more sustainable for our communities and our planet.

We develop and cultivate high yielding Pongamia trees that produce tasty and nourishing plant-based oil and protein food ingredients; hence our mantra is: Plant millions of trees to feed billions of people!

We value and strive towards diversity and inclusion as an essential part of who we are. We recruit teammates from all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives because we know our diversity makes us stronger.

Learn more at [


We are looking for an experienced professional for Tree Operations R&D, who will oversee and evaluate pongamia field and greenhouse R&D projects aimed at improving our understanding of pongamia as we grow to commercial scale. This is a newly created position as Terviva expands the depth and breadth of its professional staff.

The individual will have a strong background in designing and managing field and greenhouse trials. A large component of this work will be to evaluate techniques and growth characteristics to identify best practices to achieve desired results. This will include monitoring and manipulating vegetative, environmental, and reproductive phenology, pollination biology, seed maturation, disease and pest susceptibility, grafting environment, graft take rates, and cultural treatments (e.g. growth regulators, ripeners) to facilitate optimum tree growth and form. These activities will play an essential role in Tervivas tree cultivar evaluation and development program, specifically to identify high-yielding varieties and superior clonal rootstock.

The successful candidate will report to the Vice President of Tree Operations and will work closely with the other members of the tree operations development team to implement a program to build a best-in-class propagation and agronomic system. The candidate should have extensive experience in layout, execution, and oversight of field research, emphasizing horticultural or forest tree crops. The individual will also work closely with the Tree R&D team to execute and maintain necessary R&D field plantings.

Candidate will be expected to successfully train and manage field staff as well as mentor junior professional staff. Terviva requires excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the candidate will be expected to openly share plans, activities and results with peers, supervisors, and other team members.

The Research Associate for Tree Operations R&D will have a direct and daily impact on a core Terviva value: namely: making used farmland productive and profitable by developing the best Pongamia trees.

Job Responsibilities:

* Coordinate the design, set-up, and planting of greenhouse and field experiments to better understand pongamia propagation and field growth.

* Strong initiative and accountability to deliver against projected goals.

* Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.

* Pro-active problem solver, who can work well under pressure.

* High level of attention to detail and data accuracy.

* Excellent organizational and record keeping skills.

* Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

* Adaptable and able to multi-task and handle change well.

* Commitment to safety and teamwork in the workplace.

* Produce reports to share with stakeholders on a regular basis.

* Coordinate internal and external research activities and monitor collaborative projects.

* Manage day to day operations and trail caretaking in the field and greenhouses.

* Participate in regular crop walks with nursery and field staff.

* Perform other duties as assigned


Skills, Competencies & Experience:

* Proven skills in organizing and leading teams toward the successful completion of agriculturally-relevant field activities (including the production of written reports).

* Excellent scientific depth in fundamental agriculturally-relevant subjects (e.g., statistics, genetics, plant physiology, pathology, soils, etc.).

* Excellent curiosity-driven observational skills (plant growth and treatment effects, disease, insect infestation, damage severity/incidence).

* Excellent communication and documentation skills: team meetings, development of an open communications culture, management reporting, business correspondences.

* Focus on leadership, hands-on initiative, and results: ability to understand desired end results, motivate employees, lead by example, and organize, adapt, and manage resources to achieve goals.

* Candidate will be subject to a background check.

Education & Background:

* Bachelors of Science in Agronomy, Plant Sciences, or Horticulture or equivalent is required; advanced degree preferred.

* 5+ years professional experience in crop research-based industry.

* The candidate must be authorized to work in the United States without Visa support.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

* The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand and walk for periods of time, as well as climb ladders, and reach with hands and arms.

* The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

* Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision and depth perception.

* Primary work will be in an outdoor setting that includes dust, wet environment and cold and hot weather. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable Accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Working at Terviva offers you:

* The opportunity to make a difference in a fast-growing, mission-driven company that

* intends to make an impact on sustainability, climate change and inequality by partnering with farmers to plant millions of trees to feed billions of people!

* Competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience.

* Potential annual bonus.

* Stock options, commensurate with role and experience.

* Medical and dental, vision and life insurance (employee premium fully paid by Terviva.

* Generous leave package

COVID-19 Recruiting Process in Place:

* Remote interview process will be followed.

* Personal protective equipment will be provided according to current safety guidelines

* Temperature screenings will be required for all in-person interviews

* Social distancing guidelines will be implemented.

* Sanitizing, disinfecting, or cleaning procedures are in place.

* Terviva requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before reporting for work.

Next Steps:

To apply, please respond to the company position below.

Please include your resume and a cover letter telling us about yourself, your experience and why you are well suited for this job with Terviva.

_Terviva is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation or any other legally protected status or characteristic. Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy and all employment decisions are made based on qualifications, merit and business need._
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