Managing Director of Agricultural Research Operations
Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY

Matthew J. Grieshop PhD
Associate Professor | MSU Entomology
Director | MSU SAFS/EFFS program
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From: Thomas Björkman <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2021 5:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Job posting: Managing Director of Agricultural Research Operations Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY

Colleagues in cutting-edge agricultural research,

We at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva are trying again to fill this position. It has been reworked somewhat to be clearer. Please help the person who should take this job find the notice!

My personal thought is that this is really a nice job. Both researchers and research-farm staff are eager to work with the person who takes this position. As an organization, we are not stressing about what the state or university leadership will do next; our efforts are supported at every level.

Prospects are welcome to contact me to get a better feel for the situation.



Thomas Björkman
Professor of Vegetable Crop Physiology
Section of Horticulture
Cornell AgriTech
Geneva, NY

Managing Director of Agricultural Research Operations
Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY

Do you enjoy growing things and are you interested in helping New York farms become more profitable and sustainable? Cornell AgriTech serves an evolving agricultural sector that remains an economic engine for New York. Cornell AgriTech, located in Geneva, New York, seeks a knowledgeable, experienced, and creative individual to lead the management and further development of 900 acres of research farms and indoor plant growth facilities in support of our research, extension, and teaching functions. You will lead and supervise farm and plant growth facility staff and help manage facilities that include 140 pieces of equipment, an on-site repair and fabrication shop, a pesticide facility, a radio- and cellular-based GPS infrastructure, and a new 27-acre fully organic farm. You’ll also work with more than 300 researchers to safeguard New York’s production of fruits and vegetables, develop new crops, enhance food safety for consumers, and promote economically viable farming solutions. We grow just about everything here, and we welcome you to grow with us.

The Research Farm and Plant Growth Facilities Leader will ensure that we have state-of-the-art facilities and the personnel to work with our scientists and students.  The person we seek will:

  *   Provide advice, guidance, and support to researchers regarding their inquiries relating to farm operations and best practices, evaluate and prioritize work orders from various research units and assign personnel and material resources to complete tasks in an efficient and timely manner.
  *   Manage daily performance of staff in terms of productivity, teamwork, personal development, and following Cornell values; provide guidance to farm staff on how to best accomplish work goals and develop staff by assessing capabilities, finding, and assigning training; provide mentorship and guidance; balance use of overtime and seasonal labor to meet needs of a busy growing season.
  *   Oversee day to day spending pertaining to farm and plant growth facilities operations and make spending decisions – e.g. with equipment purchases. Plan, develop and direct the operating budget of the farm and plant growth facilities in conjunction with Cornell AgriTech leadership and make periodic recommendations to senior leadership on facility operations and needs.
  *   In coordination with AgriTech leadership, assist in the development of long-range plans for the farm and plant growth facilities, including facility improvements, to ensure AgriTech’s continued role as a world leader in agricultural research.
  *   Evaluate equipment resource needs to both make efficient use of on-hand equipment and plan future purchases.
  *   Work with Cornell Environmental Health and Safety to ensure safe operation of the farms and plant growth facilities, provide guidance and enforcement on questions of PPE use and safe operation of equipment. Ensure regulatory compliance in areas such as pesticide use and operations.
  *   Constantly evaluate, prioritize, and manage farm and plant growth facility infrastructure needs.
  *   Provide leadership within a culture of sustainability to serve as a model with respect to environmental stewardship and sustainable agricultural practices.
  *   Collaborate with other AgriTech, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell units, including faculty, facilities personnel, and the offices of communications, environmental health and safety, finance, and human resources. Also engage with an array of external audiences, including private businesses, state and federal agencies, and other academic institutions in New York and beyond.
  *   Ensure responsible farm and plant growth facility operations in compliance with federal, state, and local laws/regulations, Cornell Environmental Health and Safety guidelines, and college and university requirements including infectious disease protocols.

Activities that will expand your knowledge and skills:

•     Day-to-day involvement in cutting edge research agriculture; working with leaders in ag research, education, and industry.
•     Farm operation in a wide variety of annual and perennial crops including vegetables, grapes, and orchards.
•     Opportunity to build a newly initiated organic program.
•     Interaction with municipal authorities on issues of land management, utility infrastructure, and environmental compliance.
•     Work with emerging technologies including GPS and drone usage.
•     Budgeting, planning, and management of a 900-acre farm.
•     Opportunity to work with agriculture researchers from around the world.

Who we are:

At Cornell AgriTech we grow things. We grow fruits, vegetables, and the industries they support. Our renowned scientists conduct ground breaking, interdisciplinary research and discovery in our laboratories and research farms. The work of our faculty, staff and students covers a range of food and plant research from farm to fork, from plant pests to biofuels, and from food security to climate change. Whether it’s apples or broccoli or industrial hemp, we grow crops to test our ideas first-hand.

Cornell AgriTech is an integral part of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second-largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy, and environmental resources; and social, physical, and economic well-being.

We require a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline and five or more years of increasing responsibility in management and field operations; knowledge of best management practices for crop, soil, and pest management; previous work experience in a research environment; proven success as a personnel manager, leader of teams, and change agent.

To Apply:
Please go to:<;!!HXCxUKc!gqpLSkn4-yh7_VNxBuAdsGqXzz9PJxOnX-Jiedc-cTTcJKLnX5TuIbOvtqobJtQ$> to apply.  You can also search for the position by: WDR-00024655 on the Cornell Careers Homepage.