One of the nation's top turf programs looking for a manager of its 30-acre Valentine Turfgrass Research Center.

Job opportunity with Penn State Turf program

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences seeks a qualified person to manage a 30-acre turfgrass field research facility. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing and/or renovating research areas maintained as putting greens, fairways, sports turf, and lawns; as well as construction and establishment of new research areas; purchasing, operation, and maintenance of equipment; supervising salary and hourly personnel; managing the operating budget; coordinating field demonstrations; record keeping; and ensuring facilities and personnel conform to federal, state, and University regulations. Specific duties include, but are not limited to, working with research faculty to develop and implement daily mowing programs for research putting greens and all other turf areas; operation, calibration, and maintenance of turfgrass maintenance equipment and irrigation systems; determining water requirements for turf areas and programming an automated irrigation system; monitoring for turfgrass pests (diseases, insects, and weeds), facilitating pest control measures that conform with research protocols; and implementing soil cultivation, topdressing, and fertilization programs in accordance with research protocols. Mechanical skills, such as reel/blade sharpening and repair of small engines and electrical/hydraulic systems, are highly desired for this job. Other duties/requirements include operation of equipment used in turfgrass renovation and light construction; weather station management, troubleshooting, and data collection; proficiency in use of computer programs required for record keeping, management of inventory, and data acquisition; conducting field labs and equipment demonstrations for students in Penn State turfgrass degree and certificate programs, conferences, and tours of field facilities. Typically requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher plus four years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Degree in turfgrass science or a related field, or a certificate from a University turfgrass management program. The candidate must have related field experience, ideally in a managerial capacity. A valid Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator Certification in core and category 18 is required and must be obtained within 90 days from date of hire. The candidate must possess excellent organization and communication skills (will be expected to communicate regularly and effectively with faculty, staff, and students). The candidate will supervise an assistant farm manager and be responsible for hiring and training hourly employees. The candidate is expected to develop and maintain strong relationships with other Departments/programs within the University, alumni/financial supporters, and with turf equipment/product distributors and manufacturers in PA and nationally. Periodic weekend work will be necessary during the growing season. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.