Assistant Beet Breeder


Mount Vernon, WA



JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for assisting in performing and/or coordinating diverse tasks such as sowing, transplanting, crop maintenance, sanitation, harvesting, evaluation, record keeping, and seed extraction for the beet breeding program. Seasonal responsibilities collaborating/assisting activities in pumpkin breeding program.  Most activities will be performed at/from the Mount Vernon research farm and Burlington research station and be conducted in accordance with specific directions and protocols. This role is responsible for assisting in the evaluation, development, and identification of competitive beet varieties.  Some overnight travel will be necessary.


  • Maintains greenhouse plants for the beet breeding projects. Duties include sowing, thinning, watering, fertilizer application, plant training and pruning, daily examination for insect and fungus problems.
  • May assist in trial design. Prepares, packages, and labels all outgoing seeds for dealer samples, internal and external trials, and pathology tests. Maintains records of all trials.
  • Assists the project leader in their evaluation of hybrids and inbred or completes the evaluations, as required (overnight travel may be necessary).
  • Provides project leader with supporting data, photos, and notes from trials.
  • Assists in coordinating the harvesting and evaluation of designated selections.
  • To ensure that crops remain reasonably free of insect pests and foliar diseases (in cooperation with agents from scouting services and designated station personnel) this individual must make sure that crops are sprayed as needed with the appropriate chemicals.
  • Responsible for managing the delivery of the plants to the field and the accurate planting/transplanting of the entries to their map designated locations. Responsible for seeing to it that each entry is visibly labeled for ease at evaluation.
  • Sows and prepares seed for field trials.
  • Serves as a work leader for a group of field workers or technical employees by assigning work, providing technical direction and coordinating activities to assure timely completion of tasks. Checks and maintains the quality of their work.
  • Assists in the maintenance and development of the Plant Breeding Database. Maintains orderly inventory in seed storage areas and reorganizes seed as necessary.
  • Anticipates and avoids problems/dilemmas within program scope (field designs, greenhouse set ups, labor disputes, etc.).


  • Administrative duties may include organizing data, writing reports, and ordering supplies.
  • Supervises trainees and contract workers when necessary.
  • Purchases supplies with cost-consciousness.
  • Other duties as assigned by Plant Breeder.


  • Ability to do accurate detailed work under time constraints and deadlines
  • Must be able to keep accurate and timely records.
  • Ability to communicate well in written and spoken English. Bilingual English/Spanish desired
  • Must be able to use a spreadsheet, database, and word processing program.
  • Must be able to work extra hours or weekend duty as assigned.
  • Ability to handle stress especially when encountering necessary projects, deadlines and/or high workload.
  • Must be able to work under strict time constraints and requirements.
  • Basic knowledge of experimental design and data collection, management, and analysis
  • Basic knowledge of genetic concepts


  • BS or MS in a plant sciences field, preferably plant breeding


  • Plant breeding and/or agricultural experience desired.
  • Vegetable crop experience desired
  • Thorough competency in basic computing skills required. Experience with databases, spreadsheets, and statistical software preferred.


  • Must have valid driver’s license.


  • Must have ability to perform work in all necessary weather conditions.
  • Must be able to travel as necessary.
  • Must have ability to lift over 50 pounds on a regular/daily basis.
  • Must be able to work with chemicals and other irritating substances.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective gear when required.
  • Must be able to work in hot, cold, dusty, windy, and wet conditions.
  • Must be able to stand and/or walk for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to work with potential allergens, like pollen and dust

*To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty (as described above) satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

To apply, send resume to