Head Grower, Charleston, SC, Vertical Roots, January 2021 – August 2023
- Manage daily growing operations and the R&D efforts for all 3 sites across 2 states by working directly and remotely with a team of up to 11 direct report growers.
- Design and oversee daily and research data collection, maintain plant health, all aspects of propagation, integrated pest management (IPM), and ensure all environments perform optimally.
- Identify limiting factors in the controlled environment, develop improvements, and implement with appropriate teams to improve plant health and yield while reducing input costs.
- Developed from the ground up the grower and assistant grower roles, multiple key standard operating procedures critical to successfully running the farms, and the R&D structure for plant research.
- Participated in the startup of the second and third remote sites both before production started through training the team on systems operation and best practices.
- Increased yields by 20% between Q1 ‘21 and Q4 2022. Identified potential increases to yields by another 30% by Q4 ‘23 through primarily variety selection, growth time, and other process improvements. The 20% achieved improvements resulted in a nearly 1 oz improvement at each plant site and 3,404 more pounds per container per year on average. Physical design changes have also been identified that can contribute to further yield improvements as well.
Lead Grower, Charleston, SC, Vertical Roots, July 2019 – January 2021
Grower, Charleston, SC, Vertical Roots, February 2019 – July 2019
Graduate Work Experience
Staff Development Coordinator, Tucson, AZ, University of Arizona – ASUA SafeRide, May 2017 – May 2018
- Interviewed, hired, and trained over 30 new student staff over 2 hiring periods.
- Revised hiring practices, standard operating procedures, and the policies and procedures documents.
- Supervised up to 11 student staff during shifts.
Greenhouse Assistant, Aquaponics, Research, and Hops, Tucson, AZ, University of Arizona – Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, August 2016 – February 2018
- Maintained fish, biofilter, and plant environment for both research and production in aquaponics
- Conducted a propagation trial for nursery to field transplants involving lettuce, broccoli, and kale
- Tested the viability of hops production in a greenhouse and carried out all labor for the production
Engagement and Awards
Controlled Environmental Agriculture Center Lettuce Workshop, December 2017 – November 2019
- A Controlled Environmental Agriculture Center (CEAC) workshop focusing on lettuce production in indoor and greenhouse operations. Participants ranged from individuals completely new to the industry to companies currently operating looking to improve their operations.
- Assisted in multiple courses while in graduate school. Primarily answered questions of participants, demonstrated various techniques used, assisted and lead tours, and general administrative help.
McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, New Venture Development Program, April 2017 – May 2018
- Participated in a year long business development program designed to have students develop a working business plan as part of an interdisciplinary team of 4.
- Two time Microsoft Social Innovation Award winners.
Controlled Environmental Agriculture Student Association (CEASA), August 2016 – December 2017
Rooftop Garden Design Competition, February 2017 – April 2017
- 3rd place of 24 Interdisciplinary teams designing rooftop garden models for the Student Unions.
Boy Scouts of America, 2002 – 2010