FARM JOB: Cowichan & Comox Valley, BC – Bonnie’s Bugs IPM, Farm Scout

Posted by Michalina Hunter on April 19, 2021

Bonnie’s Bugs IPM in Cowichan and Comox Valley, BC is seeking a Pest, Pollinator and Beneficial Insect Farm Scout!

ABOUT Bonnie’s Bugs IPM

Bonnie’s Bugs IPM provides monitoring and support to farmers on Vancouver Island. We survey berries, tree fruit and vegetable crops for pest insects as well as pollinators and beneficial insects, in order to assist growers in making evidence-based pest management decisions.

Position summary:
The farm scout will support a new Vancouver Island-wide farm monitoring project by providing farm scouting activities in the Cowichan and Comox Valleys during the 2021 season. The scout will work independently and interact professionally with growers, walking fields, collecting data, checking traps and reporting directly to supervisor.
The ideal candidate is excited about supporting agriculture and is a self-motivated learner who is interested in many different agricultural insects. They are observant, can work well independently, problem-solve on the job, and are very organized. Flexibility and good communication with growers and supervisor are required.

Required Qualifications

  • Valid Class 5 BC drivers license, willingness to provide a drivers abstract
  • Have reliable transportation (milage will be reimbursed)
  • Physically fit and able to complete field work under all weather conditions
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and problem solve
  • Excellent organization and communication skills
  • Ability to adapt to new monitoring techniques as target pests change over the season
  • Eagerness to learn monitoring techniques and insect identifications
  • Experience with entering data into spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel)
  • Access to a computer and the internet for the purpose of uploading data
  • Cellular phone for coordinating with growers and supervisor, and taking pictures for insect and habitat documenting

Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledge of and experience in agriculture
  • Knowledge of insect pests, including but not limited to spotted wing drosophila, coddling moth, apple maggot, aphids, caterpillars, carrot rust fly, cabbage maggot and blackheaded fireworm.
  • Knowledge of pollinators and beneficials insects is a strong asset
  • Experience in insect collecting and identification
  • Experience in field work / monitoring
  • Experience in Integrate Pest Management
  • Post secondary education in a related field (agriculture, entomology, biology, horticulture, etc)
  • Based in the Comox or Cowichan valley is preferred, however candidates based in locations between the two are also accepted.

Bonnies-Bugs-IPM

Responsibilities

  • Provide 2-3 days of scouting per week, in berry, tree fruit and mixed vegetable systems.
  • One day per week will be based in the Comox Valley, and one day will be based in the Cowichan Valley.
  • Walk fields looking for pest and beneficial insects, following monitoring procedures
  • Set and collect insect traps for pests, beneficial insects and pollinators
  • Accurately count and identify pest insects in the field and in traps, work to improve insect identification skills throughout job term.
  • Collect voucher samples of insects to confirm IDs
  • Collect and kill insects in order to produce useful baseline data for future research
  • Clearly record monitoring data on data sheets, input data into computer spreadsheets at the end of the day
  • Accurately label and track collected trap samples, deliver samples to Comox Valley location
  • Spend 7-8 hour days on farms, actively moving, in all weather conditions. Expect to be bending, squatting, swinging nets and picking. Expect rain, sun, heat and cold. There will be limited lifting and carrying, but loads will not exceed 40 lbs.
  • Communicate with growers on arrival at farms, and before entering fields. Take note of and relay any important information from growers to supervisor.
  • Communicate daily with supervisor, reporting any issues and reporting on pest progression.
  • Travel regularly, with your own vehicle between the Cowichan Valley and the Comox Valley.
  • Some microscope and insect sorting work may be required
  • Work alone and with minimal in person supervision
  • Maintain an iNaturalist account, and photo document pest, beneficial and pollinator species seen on farms using this platform.
  • For the right candidate, provide training in insect monitoring techniques / IPM / pollinator and beneficial insect ID to growers.
  • Follow all public health orders and Covid 19 protocols

JOB DETAILS

Required dates: May 24 – August 31, 2021. There is a possibility that some work / training could start as early as May 10th, and go as late as September 31st.

Hours per week: 16-24 hours per week. There is flexibility on which week days the work occurs on, however, each farm should be visited on the same day each week. Farm visits will occur between 8 am and 5 pm, but some long days may be required due to travel time between regions.

Rate of pay: $18-$26 / hour, based on experience

TO APPLY

To apply for this job, please submit a cover letter and resume including 2 references with contact information to BonniesBugsIPM@gmail.com

The posting closes on April 30, 2021, only those candidates who are selected for an interview will be contacted.

When applying, please mention you saw this posting at youngagrarians.org

View more Farm Jobs and Apprenticeships on our Job Board

[DELETE] Contact email: BonniesBugsIPM@gmail.com
Contact name: Bonnie Zand

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