Agricultural Ops Manager in Rhinelander, WI

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Job Description

Job Summary:

This multi-functional agricultural operations manager position housed within the Department of Plant Pathology UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) provides support to the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program (WSPCP). The position is responsible for providing leadership and research support in the program’s greenhouses, specifically operating, monitoring and coordinating daily operations and practices to run the potato minituber hydroponic and pot culture systems. The greenhouses are located on the UW-Madison Lelah Starks Elite Foundation Seed Potato Farm in Rhinelander, WI. The WSPCP, established in 1913, focuses on providing high quality, healthy seed potato stock without varietal mixture and aids Wisconsin Seed potato growers to ensure seed potato stock continues to be of high quality and without varietal mixture.

The incumbent oversees and performs preparation of multiple greenhouses for production, transplants potato plantlet stock, provides crop care, ensures timely harvests, and properly stores minitubers. In addition, the position supports overseeing and performing as needed greenhouse daily operations including nutrient solution mixing, system/mechanic checks, diagnosing system malfunctions, appropriate record keeping, sanitation of facilities facets and ordering (along with potential assembly) of equipment/supplies.

The incumbent is also a backup support to supervising, training, and working alongside greenhouse staff and assistants to ensure optimal greenhouse production while also providing support to monitor and apply chemical application for pest and disease prevention.


Directs unit operations, may supervise and train agricultural staff, and operates equipment to maintain institutional agriculture in support of the institution’s teaching, research, and outreach mission.

  • 40% Monitors and directs daily operations of research, field activities, and agricultural practices to ensure alignment with strategic goals and unit objectives
  • 15% May exercise supervisory authority, including hiring, transferring, suspending, promoting, managing conduct and performance, discharging, assigning, rewarding, disciplining, and/or approving hours worked of at least 2.0 FTE or equivalent employees
  • 15% Operates, cleans, and repairs basic and complex agricultural machines and equipment to ensure safety and operable functionality and to adhere to established rules, policies, and regulations
  • 10% Coordinates repair of major or specialized equipment
  • 15% Inspects seed potato acreage for commercial growers to ascertain varietal purity and incidence of disease
  • 5% Participates in program research projects to improve seed quality and diagnostic services.

Institutional Statement on Diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.


H.S. Diploma
With relevant experience required.

Bachelor’s Degree
Background in Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Entomology, or other relevant fields preferred.


  • 1-3 years experience in field/greenhouse operations is preferred.
  • Greenhouse hydroponic experience is preferred, but not required.
  • Comfortable following UW safety policies and procedures (SOPs).
  • Comfortable assembling equipment and diagnosing and/or remedying mechanical issues is preferred, but not required.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to interact and work with a diverse clientele (including UW-Madison faculty, staff and students, UW-Extension agents, educators and staff, agricultural producers, green industry professionals, and public).
  • Excellent computer skills, including use of Microsoft Office software.


Drivers License – Valid and Meets UW Risk Management Standards

Pesticide Applicator – State Licensure
Incumbent will be required to apply pest and pathogen chemical applications in the greenhouse. A active pesticide applicator license is preferred but training material will be provided to obtain an applicator license.

Work Schedule:

  • Occasional day and overnight travel within the State. Potential to travel to work-related conferences.
  • Occasional weekend and/or evening hours are required.

Work Type:

Full Time: 100%

It is anticipated this position requires work be performed in-person, onsite, at a designated campus work location.

Appointment Type, Duration:



Minimum $22.12 HOURLY
Depending on Qualifications

Additional Information:

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) is committed to maintaining and growing a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equity, believing that these values are foundational elements of our excellence and fundamental components of a positive and enriching learning and working environment for all students, faculty, and staff. At CALS, we acknowledge that bias, prejudice, racism and hate have historically occurred in many forms that cause significant and lasting harm to members of our community. We commit to taking actions each day toward a college that is inclusive and welcoming to all.

Applicants must become an approved UW-Madison driver through UW-Madison’s driver authorization process. This requires meeting established driver authorization criteria listed at:

How to Apply:

To apply for this position click “Apply Now” and upload a current resume/CV, a cover letter briefly describing your qualification relevant to the position, and the names and contact information of three professional references as one document.


Candice Butler
Relay Access (WTRS): 7-1-1. See RELAY_SERVICE for further information.

Official Title:

Agricultural Ops Manager(FP003)



Employment Class:

University Staff-Ongoing

Job Number:


The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, including but not limited to, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, or status as a protected veteran and other bases as defined by federal regulations and UW System policies. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department.

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