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Grow-out Operations Manager

Mook Sea Farm Walpole, Maine


Mook Sea Farm is a science-based company, employing an interdisciplinary combination of evidence-based, best practices coupled with the intuitive leadership of those who love to farm shellfish. The Grow-out Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring the health, growth, and quality of Mook Sea Farm’s oysters from the time the seed arrives from the hatchery until the oysters are harvested and handed off to the Packing Plant Manager. This includes supervision of all aspects of shellfish production: seed management, biofouling control, detailed record keeping, overwintering procedures, coordination of gear maintenance, and coordination of harvesting activities.

The Grow-out Ops Manager should also understand how the product is handled once it enters our packing plant, including health regulations, packing, and shipping. Mook Sea Farm is a collaborative workplace where a high value is placed on the sharing of knowledge and information.

Primary Responsibilities

Responsibilities include: planning, maintaining records, reporting, delegating, and having a bird’s eye view of the department while maintaining a culture of open feedback and accountability. Other responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring oysters are properly monitored and cared for based on an understanding of the different ecological conditions on each lease, broader environmental changes, and an understanding of the weather and other external conditions, such as gear type, manner of deployment and their impact on the shellfish. This includes understanding and following husbandry practices that yield the highest quality shellfish.
  • Maintaining an accurate inventory, projecting the numbers of market size oysters available for each season, and based on this information, developing and following a harvest plan. • In collaboration with the Director of Production, identification/development, trial, and assessment of new technologies/systems for growing shellfish.
  • Environmental quality on each lease and upholding the lease conditions and requirements imposed by the state of Maine.
  • Safe operation of all marine vessels.
  • The health and safety of the product for consumers by ensuring that all MSF, Maine DMR, and FDA policies, regulations and statutes are followed, including MSF’s HAACP plan.
  • Procurement and inventory of supplies necessary for operations.
  • Work with relevant colleagues to develop budgets and track expenses.
  • Attending events as company representative to promote brand and products as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities

A primary part of the Grow-out Operations Manager’s job will be to lead, manage, and hold people accountable (LMA). They should have experience successfully leading and motivating teams in a production environment and should be comfortable with and effective at delegating to foremen and collaborating with other managers, including outside of their department. Additionally, they will:

  • Ensure the safety of the crew.
  • Identify training needs of individuals for general farm work, new equipment, and new processes, and create training plans so that all employees are competent and confident.
  • HR duties include attracting and retaining talent, performance management, PTO requests, and payroll review.
  • Compliance with all Mook Sea Farm policies and procedures.
  • Carry out all work in alignment with the Mission and Vision of Mook Sea Farm.
  • Reports to: Director of Production.

Education and Experience

We are looking for candidates who have a fundamental understanding of the basic sciences, including the biology and ecology of the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) and other indigenous commercially important bivalves. Successful candidates should also understand currents and tides, and be proficient at safely handling small boats in Maine’s nearshore coastal waters.

  • Bachelor’s degree that includes strong science coursework is preferred.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of experience successfully managing grow-out operations at an oyster farm.
  • At least three years of experience leading or managing people.
  • Clear and consistent communication vertically and horizontally, both written and verbal.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • A collaborative approach to problem solving.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite & Google Workspace for Business.

Physical Requirements

While this is primarily a leadership position, successful candidates must be willing and able to do the work associated with farming oysters, including:

  • Having the physical strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and stamina necessary to complete jobs in various areas, including on the water.
  • The ability to lift, push and/or pull at least 50 pounds.
  • The manual dexterity as needed to operate a variety of equipment.
  • The interest in working in a range of weather conditions and ability to tolerate exposure to typical noises and smells associated with a farm.

Schedule and Pay

This is a full-time job. Daily shifts are approximately 8 hours, however, this position requires a flexible work schedule that may vary in the number of hours worked in a day, or in which the stop times may vary depending on workload and season. Weekend and holiday work may be necessary. Pay will be commensurate with experience and reflective of the crucial role this person will play in the success of the farm.

Benefits Package

The following benefits are offered to all full-time, permanent employees: Health, Dental, and Vision insurance, Paid time off, short term disability, and up to a 3% matching retirement contribution.

How to Apply

To apply please send a cover letter, your resume, and three references to Moira Foley ([email protected]). Applications are accepted starting immediately. Mook Sea Farm is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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