This position reports directly to the owners of Champlain Orchards and the person will work closely with senior management.

Job Summary:

Key areas of responsibility will be EcoApple certification, organization and oversight of pruning, planting, fertilizing, spraying, thinning, mowing, harvesting, and storage of fruit. The individual must possess a high level of practical orchard operation experience, entomology & tree fruit knowledge; and must enjoy and be familiar with equipment operation, physical hard work, and working outdoors year round. They must be self-motivated, enjoy teaching and leading staff, and be able to work weekends and nights on occasions.

Responsibilities:

  • Oversee advanced IPM scouting and analysis of result and planned action.

  • Ensure overall health of fruit trees including pruning, thinning, tree-spreading, spraying, fertilization, rodent and animal control throughout the orchards, and adhering to EcoApple standards.

  • Monitor daily/weekly weather reports via NEWA website, and ensure appropriate action is taken based on the weather and pest information.

  • Communicate quality and productivity expectations for the orchard managers and staff, monitor success, evaluate, and implement changes to improve quality and productivity.

  • Ensure implementation, adherence to, and reporting of GAP, GMP, EcoApple, and organic standards to ensure certifications are maintained.

  • Maintain proper Records and reporting of key data – i.e.; crop estimates, bud counts, and Integrated Pest Management.

  • Create and implement standard operating procedures for the departments.

  • Train and supervise the staff employed under the department. 

  • Create and oversee opportunities for staff cross-training within the departments.

  • Attend weekly Managerial meetings with Owners.

  • Create a daily, weekly, and monthly work schedule for staff under their supervision.

  • Plan and lead public orchard tours and workshops.

  • Lead implementation of cutting edge modern orchard practices, techniques, and equipment.

  • Oversee the overall maintenance and care of all the various properties and all buildings located on them.

  • Make decisions about equipment use, maintenance, modification and procurement.

  • Ensure organization and proper storage of all tools and essential equipment and parts.

  • Oversee the overall mowing and maintenance of the orchard grounds, including brush chipping and mulching.

  • Oversee the harvesting of the fruit throughout the various seasons.

  • Ensure apples destined for cold storage arrive in a timely manner and are properly identified and entered in receiving computer system.

  • Plan, organize and oversee the ordering and planting of new fruit trees.

  • Research various ways to modernize/improve efficiency.

  • Oversee and ensure proper irrigation and drainage work installation and operation.

  • Ensure proper maintenance and installation of trellis.

  • Oversee maintenance and renovations of all buildings and surrounding grounds.

  • Oversee maintenance, repair, and replacement of all apple bins.

  • Ensure proper record keeping/guidelines for EcoApple certification and organic certification.

  • Attend various annual conferences and tours – such as: Cornell University, IFTA annual meeting/tour, EcoApple annual meeting.

  • Keep up to date on procedures pertaining to modern orchard maintenance thru periodicals, workshops, websites, and emails – such as those from Cornell University and NEWA.

Qualifications:

  • Must possess a high level of practical orchard operation experience, entomology & tree fruit knowledge.

  • Must enjoy and be familiar with equipment operation, physical hard work, and working outdoors year-round.

  • Proficient IT, technical and numerical skills

  • Strong project management skills

  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills

  • The ability to work under pressure and inspire/motivate a team of workers

  • The capacity to grasp concepts easily and think critically and creatively

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Superior communication and information dissemination skills

  • Strong negotiating and problem-solving skills

Working Hours:

  • 40 – 50 hours per week, on average.

  • Extended hours may be required to meet deadlines or introduce new systems.

 Please apply to hr@champlainorchards.com and attach your current, relevant Resume, 3 professional references and a cover letter.