Forage Breeding Technical Manager

Salary Range

39683.00 - 75761.00


Technical Management

Job Description

Basic Function:

The appointee will be responsible for the planning, coordination, implementation and management of the forage breeding field programme at Oakpark under the direction of the forage breeder. The field programme encompasses thousands of plots and tens of thousands of spaced plants across 30 hectares, and all associated activities in the glasshouses, polytunnels and laboratory. The appointee will work with the Oakpark Research Centre farm manager and, have responsibility for supervising, managing and leading staff assigned to the field programme including technical, farm and students. The appointee will also have a significant hands-on role, together with the other team members, in completing the workload.



The Teagasc commercial forage-breeding programme was established at Oakpark, Carlow in the mid-1980’s. The programme has adopted a multispecies breeding strategy targeted at increasing animal production potential, improving animal health and welfare, and reducing the environmental and climatic footprint of agriculture. Our main emphasis is on breeding improved varieties of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), white clover (Trifolium repens) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) that will offer high yields of quality forage over a long grazing season together with high persistency and disease resistance. Breeding is based on the establishment, evaluation and crossing of thousands of plots and plants each year in the field and glasshouse.

Job Objectives

  • Liaising with the forage breeder to deliver the breeding programme.
  • Planning, coordinating, implementing and managing the day-to-day activities of the breeding programme in the field, glasshouse and laboratory.
  • Assigning daily work duties, supervising, training, managing and leading technical, farm and other support staff assigned to the programme.
  • Liaising with the Oakpark Centre farm manager.
  • Designing field sowing, planting, sampling, crossing and agronomy plans.
  • Day-to-day management of grass and clover agronomy and crossing in the field and glasshouse including sowing, planting, tillering, nutrition, watering, disease, pest and weed control, forage harvest, plant assessments and sampling, laboratory analyses, crossing, and seed production and processing.
  • Data collection and handling, and excellent record keeping.
  • Overseeing, calibrating and operating field research equipment including the forage harvester, plot combine, seeder and planter.
  • Organising and maintaining seed storage and inventory.
  • Significant hands-on role in assisting the team conduct all field, glasshouse and laboratory tasks.
  • Contributing to the teamwork and team spirit of the forage breeding programme.
  • To assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and Action Plan.
  • To actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) processes.
  • Fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of themselves, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.
  • Any other duties as may be assigned from time to time

* This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive.  It will be reviewed from time to time with the post holder.

Skills Requirement





At the time of applying, candidates must have

  •  A Level 8 degree in agriculture, plant breeding, biology or a related discipline.


  • Post graduate qualification.
  • Full clean driving license.


  • Grassland management and agronomy.
  • Field experimental techniques.
  • Experimental design and analysis.
  • Good laboratory practice.


  • Seed crop management.
  • Plant breeding techniques.



  • Agricultural science and/or plant biology.    
  • Grass and clover agronomy and evaluation.


  • Seed production.
  • Plant breeding.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Ability to lead, organise, supervise and manage staff.
  • Self-motivated with an ability to plan, prioritise and organise work by importance, urgency, plant growth stage and prevailing weather conditions.
  • Organised and methodical with strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to work to deadlines.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a team.
  • Flexible with an ability to adapt to changing requirements and priorities.
  • Have a logical, practical, pragmatic and driven disposition.
  • Strives for high quality of work and demonstrates commitment to the programme


  • Candidates must satisfy and continue to satisfy during employment with Teagasc, legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads.

 Note:  The ‘essential’ qualifications, knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies outlined above are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the selection process.


To Apply, please click here






734 27 May 2024

Company and Location


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