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Director of Agricultural Operations

Apply now Job no: 515027
Work type: Management (MPP)
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: MPP, Administrative, At-Will, Full Time
Position Description

Job Summary

The Director of Agricultural Operations is responsible for a full range of day-to-day maintenance and operational support management of the agricultural operation lands, units/centers, and field laboratories in support of and coordination with department heads and their academic programmatic goals. This position also is responsible for management oversight of a team of staff members. While this position reports directly to the Dean of the CAFES, it also works closely with various members of the dean’s office, college, and University including but not limited to Associate Deans, Department Heads, Unit Managers, Director of Financial Operations, Director of CAFES Facilities, and University Facilities.

Department Summary

The Agricultural Operations (Ag Operations) department is a major support unit within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) and is responsible for providing operational support for CAFES. Students within the college attend class in laboratory facilities at the farm, or work on enterprise projects associated with various units, senior projects and various undergraduate and graduate student projects taking place out on farm facilities. Areas and lands to which the Ag Ops team provide support are: Central Farm Operations, Peterson and Serrano Ranches, Escuela Ranch, Walters Ranches, Chorro Creek Ranch, and Bartleson Ranch. Additionally, the University has Swanton Pacific Ranch near Santa Cruz, California at which some Ag Operations staff is occasionally assigned to work. Specialized facilities which are maintained by Ag Ops in conjunction with college unit managers and department heads include, but are not limited to: Dairy Production Unit, Swine Center, Poultry Center, Sheep and Goat Unit, Beef Center, Beef Cattle Evaluation Center, Bull Test Center, Meat Processing Center, Animal Nutrition Center, Oppenheimer Equine Center, The Cotton Rosser Rodeo Complex, Wine and Viticulture Center, Horticulture and Crop Sciences,  Farm Shop, compost facility, associated gravity and pumped irrigation systems, five irrigation ponds (on campus), and seven wastewater ponds.

Key Qualifications

  • Demonstrated leadership skills in a maintenance or farming operation utilizing customer oriented, service centered demeanor
  • Demonstrated leadership skills to operate, calibrate, and do repair on equipment related to agricultural operations
  • Knowledge and experience with tools and equipment necessary to the operation of a farm or ranch including: backhoe, bulldozer, tractors and associated tillage equipment, harvesters, and balers, and other hand and power tools

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, management, or related field
  • Minimum 5 years of experience managing a diversified farming and/or ranching operation, feed or food processing enterprise, or related experience

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with the background and experience of the individual selected.

Cal Poly offers a best-in-class benefits program, including health, dental and vision insurance, retirement participation in the Public Employees' Retirement System, and educational benefits for eligible employees. See our benefits website for additional information. 

Cal Poly

Cal Poly is a nationally-ranked public university located in San Luis Obispo, California, and known for its Learn by Doing philosophy. Each year more than 20,000 top-tier students come to San Luis Obispo to put knowledge into action, taking their learning outside the classroom as they prepare for careers in engineering, agriculture, science, business, humanities and the built environment. Cal Poly’s hands-on philosophy, small class sizes and close student-faculty mentorships result in graduates ready from day one to impact their communities, California and the world. For more information, visit

Diversity Statement

At Cal Poly, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly's values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. Cal Poly is an equal opportunity employer. 

Supplemental Information

CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so.  Any candidates advanced in a currently open search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement. The systemwide policy can be found at and questions may be sent to

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive.

The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

This position may be "Designated" under California State University's Conflict of Interest Code. This would require the filing of a Statement of Economic Interest on an annual basis and the completion of training within 6 months of assuming office and every 2 years thereafter.

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo is not a sponsoring agency for staff positions (i.e. H-1B visas).

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