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Agriculture Plant Scientist and R&D

Morning Star

Morning Star

People & HR
Los Banos, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2024

The Morning Star Company

Agriculture Plant Scientist / R&D Assistant

The Company:

The Morning Star Company and its affiliates operate three tomato processing facilities in Central California, processing over 1/3 of the California processing tomato crop, in addition to tomato transplanting, farming, harvesting and trucking operations. The company employs approximately 600 year-round and 2,500 seasonal colleagues.

The Morning Star Company is the largest independent producer of bulk tomato ingredient products (tomato paste and diced tomatoes) in the world. We also produce canned tomatoes, tomato products and specialty sauces in pouches for customers in the retail and food service markets. The company is known worldwide for its innovation and integrity.

We are organizationally structured through a system we term Mission Focused Self-Management™. Our company is operated by Colleagues without titles or an appointed hierarchy of authority. Authority relative to other Colleagues’ activities is lateral, with our Mission as our guiding principle of action, and respect, influence and success built based on each Colleague’s integrity, competency, effort, persistence, and straightforward persuasiveness. Although we have grown significantly, we intend to maintain a culture of individual responsibility and Mission Focused Self-Management™.

The Mission and Position:

The Mission of this Colleague is, “to research and refine agricultural practices, pushing our operation to the forefront of processing tomato breeding.”


1. Research and Experimentation: Conduct research to understand plant biology, genetics, and physiology. Design and conduct experiments to improve crop yield, quality, and resilience. Investigate new technologies and techniques to enhance agricultural practices.
2. Crop Development: Select and cultivate tomatoes using grafting technologies to improve crops performance.

3. Pest and Disease Management: Identify and study plant diseases, pests, and weeds affecting crops. Develop strategies for pest and disease control, including the use of pesticides, biological control, and integrated pest management. Research and implement sustainable and environmentally friendly pest control methods.

4. Soil Management: Study soil composition and structure to optimize plant growth. Develop soil management practices to improve fertility, structure, and water retention. Provide recommendations for appropriate fertilization and irrigation methods.
5. Sustainability and Environmental Impact: Work on sustainable agriculture practices to minimize environmental impact. Research and promote methods to reduce resource use, minimize waste, and enhance ecosystem services.

6. Data Analysis and Reporting: Analyze experimental data using statistical methods and other tools. Prepare research reports, publications, and presentations to share findings with the scientific community and stakeholders.

7. Collaboration: Collaborate with other scientists, agricultural experts, and stakeholders in academia, government, and industry. Work with farmers to understand their needs and challenges and provide practical solutions.

8. Education and Outreach: Educate farmers, agricultural professionals, and the general public about new agricultural technologies and practices. Provide training and extension services to disseminate research findings and promote best practices.


  • AS or BS degree in plant science, agronomy, crop science, or a related field is appreciated.
  • Background in plant biology and agriculture. Research experience, including designing, and conducting experiments is a plus but not required.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Effective communication skills for collaboration and outreach.
  • Basic knowledge in crop nutrition.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) is a plus.

Salary range: $65,000-$80,000 depending on experience.

Saul Alarcon / Research Agronomist

Morning Star Agriculture Research and Development

(559) 871-3706