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Research Associate - Indoor Growing

Benson Hill

Benson Hill

St. Louis, MO, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2024

About Benson Hill
Benson Hill empowers innovators to develop more healthy, tasty and sustainable food by unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants. Benson Hill’s CropOS™ platform combines machine learning and big data with breeding techniques and plant biology to drastically accelerate and simplify the product development process. This platform allows for cost-effective and more efficient ways for companies to analyze and make improvements in plant genetics. Benson Hill brings a unique and holistic approach to our product and platform development, as we span a broader workflow involving trait and seed development, genome editing, and breeding all the way to creating better ingredients and varieties that tap a strong consumer demand for more flavorful and nutritious fruits and vegetables. More information can be found online at www.bensonhill.com. Follow us on Twitter at @BensonHillInc.

Our Purpose and Core Values

Our Core Values are a set of common principles we share that are fundamental to our company’s identity.

  • Be Bold! We redefine boundaries by providing new solutions to difficult problems. Together we are driven to transform the future and will not allow the fear of failure to prevent us from innovating. We voice our opinions, embrace change, and challenge each other to think creatively.
  • Be Inspired! We redefine boundaries by providing new solutions to difficult problems. Together we are driven to transform the future and will not allow the fear of failure to prevent us from innovating. We voice our opinions, embrace change, and challenge each other to think creatively.
  • Be Real! We understand who we are, what we want to achieve, and what it takes to get there. We hold each other accountable through timely, candid, and well-intentioned feedback. Together we engage in honest communication and healthy debate that leads to success through true alignment.

Position Summary

We are actively seeking a Research Associate (RA) to join our Crop Accelerator Team. The RA will be responsible for providing support to the Indoor Operations and Controlled environment through coordination and execution of production nursery grow-outs and additional research projects while exercising independent judgment and ensuring clear communication with team members. The RA will analyze and record data and communicate research progress with internal stakeholders. The RA will assist with oversight of plant care, IPM, environmental monitoring, fertigation, and irrigation. Collects technical data and information on plant growth and growth space and can help troubleshoot horticultural automation and optimize processes. Assists headhouse tasks such as automatic and manual flat/pot filling, transplanting, harvesting, drying, threshing, seed sowing, discarding, and sanitation to ensure the best plant care practices

You Will:

(Essential Duties and Responsibilities)

  • Execute growing activities at Crop Accelerator, with a focus on auto-irrigation programming throughout plant growth cycles.
  • Scout for plant disease symptoms, insect pressure, and other IPM considerations and apply pesticides as part of an Integrated Pest Management system.
  • Follow planning schedules and project forecasting to ensure maximum uptime of growth spaces.
  • Document standard operating procedures and ensure compliance to set standards.
  • Maintain clean and organized growing environments and chemical supply areas.
  • Troubleshoot equipment issues and fix minor problems.
  • Partner with Indoor Operations team within the Crop Accelerator to align best practices and project prioritization.
  • Communicate with Maintenance staff regarding equipment or facility issues.
  • Ensure growing areas are kept clean, pest-free, and visitor ready always.

You Have:

  • Strong growing and technical skills
  • An understanding of fundamental plant requirements, including irrigation requirements, fertilizer requirements, EC and pH management, and pest and disease identification/management and of how each of these impacts plant development and scheduling
  • Experience using indoor growing equipment, PPE, emergency procedures, transplant line/conveyor belt and sprayers.
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • High organizational skills & ability to multi-task
  • Experience in problem solving.

Education

  • 4-year college degree majoring in a science-related field
  • Experience
  • Must have 2+ years of experience growing for a large-scale indoor growing facility

Software/Skillset

  • Argus experience is highly desirable.
  • Computer skills with proficiency in MS Office Suite
  • Experience with Spotfire or AWS Quicksight desirable.
  • Other
  • Must have or be willing to obtain Pesticide Applicators license.
  • Previous plant cross-pollination experience is a plus.
  • This position requires rotational weekend work and portions of holiday plant care coverage.
  • Attention to detail, analytical skills, and willingness to learn new skills.
  • Collaborative and positive outlook.
  • Agile and adaptable in new situations and circumstances.