Terviva is a California-based start-up that is commercializing Pongamia pinnata as a new horticultural tree crop. Pongamia is a legume tree producing an annual crop of seeds rich in inedible vegetable oil and protein. Pongamia is native to tropical and subtropical climates, with horticultural characteristics generally similar to other fruit and nut trees, and with market characteristics similar to soybeans (i.e., vegetable oil and protein for animal feed).
Terviva has a library of pongamia varieties sourced primarily from India and Australia. We are in early commercialization of acreage in both Florida and Hawaii. In Florida, we are working with 7 of the top, large citrus growers, who are exploring the use of pongamia as a drop-in replacement for abandoned citrus acreage. In Hawaii, we are planting acreage on the North Shore of Oahu, in partnership with one of Hawaii’s largest landowners and the US Navy. For more information, please see www.terviva.com, and our blog, ag2point0.com.
Job Description and Responsibilities
This is a senior Associate role that will assist with the operational aspects of Terviva’s nursery related activities in Florida.
Incumbent must possess an operational background tree horticulture and nursery operations. Strong empirical skills, data management, and attention to detail are necessary. The position requires travel within Florida and some travel to California and Hawaii. Good interpersonal skills are needed for interfacing with research partners, customers, business associates, government agencies, and other members of the TerViva team.
As a small company, Terviva does not operate along very rigid reporting lines. Instead, on an annual basis, we engage in rigorous goal planning and alignment of roles and responsibilities to those goals.
Incumbent shall have meaningful input into those roles and responsibilities, and it’s expected that every Terviva team member – from Director thru Associate, execute upon their responsibilities with significant individual effort.
On a day-to-day basis, incumbent shall interact most frequently with Terviva’s Director of Florida Operations, Peter McClure and Terviva’s Director of Tree Development, Dave Harry. Sometime in the next 12 months, Terviva expects to hire a dedicated Director of Nursery Operations, at which time it’s expected that the incumbent shall be working most closely with that person.
Summary of Responsibilities
• Cultivate internal understanding of propagation by documenting and explaining nursery activities and costs
• In collaboration with Terviva’s data management team, implement a nursery inventory tracking system(s) for monitoring inventory, projecting product availability, and quantifying costs
• Conduct on-going R&D activities essential to developing and enhancing propagation technologies
• Motherstock rejuvenation strategies
• Node origin and quality on subsequent tree form and vigor
• Relationship / quantification of verticality of motherstock and verticality of nodes
• Manage the establishment and on-going operations of Terviva-owned pongamia nursery for R&D, germplasm banking, and commercial production
Required Skills and Education
• Bachelor’s degree from recognized national university, with a strong GPA; masters preferred
• Relevant prior work experience
• Represents all four of TerViva’s core values on a daily basis: intelligence, hard work, integrity, and a passion for what we do
• Strong written and verbal communication
• Excellent time management and prioritization skills
• Ability to deliver on responsibilities with accuracy and attention to detail
• Sets and meets deadlines for complex work streams
• Strong familiarity with role-specific software and IT (e.g., GPS, databases, bar coding systems, etc), as well as basic computer software (Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
• Driver’s license and strong navigational skills (need to be able to navigate to various locations using coordinates, conventional addresses, Google map images, KMZ files, and other tools)
Incumbent will drive 2-3 times per week, on average, around Florida, to visit the nurseries and fields.
Outside of Florida, incumbent will make 2 trips per year to Hawaii, 2-3 trips to Oakland, and potentially
1-2 trips internationally. Travel expenses will be reimbursed. Incumbent will have the option of being reimbursed for mileage incurred while driving in Florida and/or having use of a company vehicle
Salary & Benefits:
• Between $52,000.00 and $64,000.00 annual salary, commensurate with experience.
• Health care insurance (employee premiums fully paid by company)
• Stock option grant, commensurate with experience and role
Eduardo A. Martinez
Director of Operations
TerViva Bioenergy, Inc.
436 14th Street
Oakland CA 94612
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