Investing in visionary founders, transformational technology and emergent ecosystems for a new world.

Innovation Endeavors
Innovation Endeavors

General Manager of Farm Operations



Chester, VA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2023

About Plenty

We are on a mission to grow plenty of fresh food for everyone, everywhere. We are building the world’s largest, most technologically advanced, indoor vertical farms. Using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need, our farms are designed to secure our food future.

Our people and teams are how we make our mission possible. We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously. We’re down to earth, we grow together, and we always find a way. Join us as we rewrite the rules of agriculture, and we’ll bet our berries you’ll be rewarded with innovative and collaborative teammates, a supportive environment, diverse career opportunities and meaningful work.

About the role

The General Manager of Farm Operations will lead the Virginia Plenty facility with functional responsibility encompassing farm operations, production scheduling, warehouse, sanitation, and maintenance. They will be responsible for delivering exceptional quality, setting up, running and continuously improving standard operating procedures that ensure rigor and consistency while at the same time creating and nurturing a culture of ingenuity and growth for the people who work in the farm. This role is responsible for producing the highest quality produce while keeping people safe.

As the General Manager of Farm Operations, the successful candidate will develop an operating cadence that includes daily interaction, hands-on leadership, and direction of operations. They will drive performance through cross-functional team meetings where collaboration, data analysis, and peer influence is paramount for executing actions that enable success. The leader will energize the farm with a dynamic style while operating with strategic urgency. They will articulate the performance of the farm through periodic all company meetings and set the short and long term range plans for manufacturing and the farm organization. This key leader will embrace ambiguity and complexity while creating an inspiring vision for the team and organization.

What you'll do

  • This will be a hands-on role where you will be leading high volume packaging and shipping of high quality produce to local retailers and distributors
  • Coordinate equipment uptime, processing tools, training and resource balancing to meet daily packaging and shipment schedules
  • Define and continuously improve a Plenty “Operating System” based on LEAN and Continuous Improvement Principles with a regular metrics-driven cadence driving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) improvement
  • Recruit, train, and grow a world-class farm operations team including ongoing development, detailed job definitions, leaders standard work, and career path development
  • Define requirements for and implement appropriate processes and supporting IT tools for effective farm operations
  • Ensure effective regulatory / EH&S compliance in each facility
  • Develop and manage deep partnerships with functions across Plenty, including R&D, Business Operations, Marketing, Sales, Quality Assurance, and EH&S
  • Establish and maintain a food safe environment and processes including daily cleaning with staff and farm associates
  • Conduct and plan for multiple shifts as required to meet delivery windows
  • Implement strict budgetary controls
  • Manage Daily Order Fulfillment
  • Perform other related duties as required

What you'll bring to the table

  • Dynamic leader who builds people, grows people, and stretches people
  • People-first, hands-on leader who practices active listening, servant leadership, and an on-the-floor management style
  • BS/BA in business administration, engineering, management, industrial technology, or food science
  • 8+ years prior experience in a leadership role: accountable for the successful operations of a manual/automated production facility and meeting performance metrics, experience recruiting, training, and leading technical talent
  • Scaling, and high automation: Deep experience scaling and operating a manufacturing facility that leverages a high degree of automation
  • Influence for outcomes: Exceptional influencing skills across functions of a company; ability to influence and lead individuals and teams including and outside of one’s direct reports
  • Mission Driven; Deep passion aligned with the Plenty mission, vision and values
  • The ability to create and articulate an inspiring vision for the organization, not only for the areas s/he is directly responsible for, but the enterprise as a whole
  • Experience with inventory management, warehouse operations, customer shipments, product quality, on-time deliveries and attention to cleanliness
  • Food Safety – understanding of processes, tools, cleaning techniques, worker clothing and behavior to meet and exceed food safety requirements for the proper work zone
  • Worker Health & Safety – demonstrated experience as a leader in safe work practices, caring about employees and leading by example
  • Preferred experience in post-harvest food processing environments: the machinery, systems, cleaning routines etc. to process fresh produce

Type of role

Full-Time, Onsite

What we can offer


  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive salary, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition

Food & Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply
  • Comply with GMP/GAPS in the Facility
  • Conduct monitoring activities to assure finished product comply with food safety and quality specifications
  • Assist in the maintenance of Food Safety and Quality system