Job Info
Job Title: Research Trial Officer
Location: Salinas, CA
Job Number: 11295
Posted Date: 5/5/2020
Job description

The fourth-largest seed company in the world.  Limagrain is an international cooperative group created and directed by French farmers. As a creator and producer of plant varieties, Limagrain markets field seeds, vegetable seeds, and cereal products.

Vilmorin SA, Business Unit of Group Limagrain, a company headquartered in France; specializes in the breeding, production, and marketing of vegetable seeds and tree seeds for professional farmers worldwide. The diversity within our multicultural teams drives the company’s growth strategy through quality products, expertise, and commitments to excellence.

Purpose: The Research Trial Officer provides support for the advancement of experimental varieties as they progress towards commercial status. S/He plans and executes the External Trials for the Company’s key breeding programs (presently, Lettuce, Baby Leaf, and Cauliflower) in the production regions of Coastal California and the Desert Southwest, with emphasis on the essential functions listed below.

Essential Operational Tasks:

  • Be accountable for the seed that is allocated by the breeders for external trials. Maintain an accurate seed stock inventory, keep a record of seed samples dispensed, and destroy obsolete seeds at appropriate intervals.
  • Prepare the seed for planting by working with local seed enhancement suppliers to pellet and prime the seeds according to planting priority.
  • Meet with each breeder before the start of the production seasons to establish a strategic, External Trial Plan. The plan is to specify the target number of trials per variety, the plot size, planting date range, and locations, to reliably assess each variety's commercial potential.
  • Execute the External Trial Plan. Initially, with the support of the Local Product Promoters (LPP) and Sales Team, locate ground in commercial fields to plant the trials.  Layout and mark the trials carefully to ensure accuracy and good plant population.  Draw trial maps and distribute to the corresponding breeding team.  (Develop a direct relationship with growers to decrease dependency on LPP/Sales Team.)
  • Monitor the trials throughout their growing cycle, thin at the appropriate time, and evaluate when mature. As the trials near maturity, notify the Breeding, DV, and Sales Teams accordingly so they may participate in the evaluations.
  • Conduct trial evaluations using a breeder-approved, standardized evaluation form by crop, to assess the varieties’ commercial potential, competitiveness, and adaptation. Digitize and maintain the trial evaluations in a database accessible to the Breeding Teams and take photographs, when helpful, to document variety performance.
  • At the end of the production season, relying on the cumulative trial data, summarize each variety's performance, highlighting competitive advantages, disadvantages, planting slots and other relevant details.
  • Organize End-of-Season Review Meetings with the Breeding Teams and DV Manager to review the season, discuss variety performance, and present variety advancement proposals.
  • The Internal T3 Trials are the responsibility of the Breeding Team, but they offer the Research Trial Officer additional opportunities to observe the External T3 varieties and thus broaden his/her knowledge of the material.
  • During the Desert season, the Research Trial Officer is responsible for establishing the trial plan, preparing the seed for planting, and shipping it to the Yuma warehouse on time. Communication and a pre-season meeting with the Product Development Manager and LPP’s is imperative as they will provide support for items D - F above.
  • Travel to the Desert Southwest to share in the responsibility of planting and evaluating the external trials, and to assist in planting the baby leaf research trials at the University of AZ station.
  • Develop a general understanding of the seed market for the Company’s key crops (presently, Lettuce, Baby Leaf, and Cauliflower).
  • Participate in weekly Research Operations meetings.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in an agriculture-related field or 3 years vegetable crop production experience
  • Basic office environment experience and computer skills (working knowledge of MS Word, Excel, Outlook, Internet)
  • Comprehensive analytical skills
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record required
  • Previous trialing experience and working with commercial growers preferred
  • Spanish speaking a plus

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Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V.