Product Development Assistant Manager

Hiring Organization: Spring Meadow Nursery Inc.
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Grand Haven, MI
Application Deadline: December 17, 2019

The ideal candidate will have at least two years of relevant experience in plant development, growing, and/or plant trialing, as well as a 4-6 year degree in Horticulture or a related field.

Product Development Assistant Manager

will develop, conduct, and maintain ongoing plant evaluations to determine potential new plant introductions and communicate results with internal staff and external breeders. This position will communicate regularly with external breeders, updating them on the progress of their plants in the trials stage, and on sales trends if in production. Responsible for overseeing the collection of new plant data. Assist the Product Development Manager (PDM) in finding and acquiring potential new plant varieties. Represent and promote the nursery and new products in the trade press and at tradeshows and conferences.

Primary responsibilities:

· Manage formal plant evaluations

1. Work with R&D Trial Grower to create and maintain plant evaluation forms specific to each plant species/trials

2. Work with R&D Trial Grower to collect, organize and analyze plant evaluation data from container, garden, and field trials to help identify the best potential introductions

3. Seek out and acquire comparison plants (controls) for trials, competitor’s new introductions

4. Meet weekly with the R&D NewPlant Committee to review trials and to recommend new introductions

· Systematically and regularly communicate with external plant breeders

1. Update progress of the plant(s) in trial (2x/yr)

2. Update progress of plants in production(1x/yr)

3. Inform them when a plant is accepted or rejected

4. Maintain up-to-date contact information

5. Manage the completion and collection of Plant Inventors Forms and trialing/licensing agreements

· Assist the Product Manager in the global search for breeders and potential new introductions.

1. Research potential new plant breeders and plant breeding programs

2. Visit breeders to evaluate work and to sell Spring Meadow as a partner

3. Collect seed and new and interesting germplasm for the breeding staff

4. Attend plant society meetings (i.e.Holly Society, Lilac Society, etc.) to make connections and collect germplasm

· Assist in the documentation of new varieties

1. Collect information for plant database

2. Assist with the collection of plant patent descriptions and photos

· Assist with government regulations and the importation of new plants

1. File for and maintain up-to-date import permits

2. Work with NPD/Stock Manager on inspections and clearance

3. Maintain an updated list of plant beans and quarantines

4. Lobby state governments to gain invasive plant ban exemptions for sterile cultivars

· In conjunction with sales, provide customer service in plant care solutions

· Promote Spring Meadow genetics by writing plant articles for industry trade magazines and making presentations at tradeshows and conferences

· Assist sales with customer phonecalls and correspondence; attend tradeshows

· Act as a resource to other department managers for problem-solving, internal research projects, and the development of new techniques

· Plan / schedule / evaluate /follow-up work progress and prioritize work activities

· Responsible for written documentation of all related policies and procedures

· Maintain equipment in good working order

· Travel Requirement: approx. 40%

· Perform special projects as assigned

· Assist Product Development Manager as requested


Education/Experience 4-6 yr. Horticulture or related degree and two to five years of increasing relevant experience in plant development, growing, and/or plant trialing. Must be passionate about ornamental plants. Organizational, interpersonal, and computer skills.

Performance requirements:

1)Must maintain a level of performance equivalent to company standards, that being a “Meets Expectations” in all areas of your performance evaluations (self and management reviews).

¯ The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.

Job Type:



  • relevant: 2 years (Required)


  • Bachelor's (Required)

Additional Compensation:

  • Bonuses

Work Location:

  • One location


  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Professional development assistance


  • Monday to Friday

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