Seed Savers Exchange

Greenhouse Manager

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Posted On: Monday, 17th December 2018
Location: Decorah, Iowa
3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, Iowa 52101
Job Type:
Full Time

Job Description:

About Seed Savers Exchange:

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization based in Decorah, Iowa focused on conserving and promoting America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations. Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Greenhouse Manager to join our team. The ideal candidate should have a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture or related field and professional experience in a greenhouse setting.


Position Summary:

The Greenhouse Manager will utilize their comprehensive knowledge and experience of vegetable crop production and greenhouse production to grow high quality transplants from over 40 different crop types each year. The Greenhouse Manager will also take a leadership role in SSE’s pollination program by managing insects for controlled pollinations. This position will also have a supervisory role in seed processing of collection regeneration grow outs (Preservation).


Position Responsibilities:

Greenhouse Management (Preservation and Seed house)

  • Oversee and perform all greenhouse tasks including, but not limited to, scheduling of seed sowing, seeding, watering, thinning, pricking out, fertilizing, scouting for pests/disease/phenotypic irregularities, implementing IPM strategies, hardening off, and record keeping
  • Accurately document and communicate relevant information on seed emergence, purity, and pest/disease problems to the Seed Production Manager or Preservation Director in a timely manner
  • Source, order, rear, coordinate and release beneficial insects into greenhouses
  • Prepare and administer organic pesticides in compliance with safe handling practices
  • Maintain, clean and sanitize irrigation systems, greenhouse facilities and greenhouse supplies
  • Maintain accurate documentation of protocols. Update greenhouse and IPM protocols yearly
  • Train and prioritize labor of seasonal staff and other employees as needed
  • Regularly monitor greenhouse equipment to ensure that it is in working order
  • Order and organize all greenhouse supplies and materials

Seed Production and Crop Pollination Responsibilities

  • Support overall seed production and field activities during peak times
  • Plan, source, rear, and coordinate all insects for controlled pollinations
  • Incubate and release beneficial insects into greenhouse and isolation cages according to strict schedules and regeneration needs
  • Perform hand pollinations when applicable

Seed Processing (Preservation)

  • Coordinate and perform seed extraction, fermentation, cleaning, drying and conditioning for fleshy-fruited (wet seed) crops
  • Oversee and perform all winnowing and final conditioning, both wet seed and dry seed crops
  • Maintain accurate harvest and processing records

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Supervise and train staff in greenhouse procedures
  • Supervise and train staff in seed processing procedures
  • Assist with hiring of seasonal staff

Other Responsibilities:

  • Represent Seed Savers Exchange at conferences, event, and workshops
  • Work with education staff to promote seed saving
  • Perform workshops and/or give tours at Heritage Farm events
  • Perform additional duties as assigned by the Seed Production Manager


Position Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in horticulture (or a related field) or have equivalent years demonstrated practical work experience and training in greenhouse production
  • A background in pathology and/or entomology is beneficial, but not essential
  • Exceptional planning and organizational skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexible attitude to prioritize competing projects
  • Good computer and record keeping skills are essential
  • Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skill

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to lift over 50 pounds
  • Ability to work in temperature extremes such as warm greenhouses
  • Ability to stand, walk, and sit for long periods


To Apply:

Please email a cover letter, resumé, and the contact information for three references to - include the name of the position in the subject line of your email. Applications may also be mailed to: Seed Savers Exchange | Attn: Alex Brandt | 3094 North Winn Rd. | Decorah, IA 52101


Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer and enthusiastically encourages people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to apply. Seed Savers Exchange does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law.

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