Vine Mealy Bug Internship

Website Puma Springs Vineyards

Puma Springs Vineyard

Note: This internship description is written for prospective SRJC college students. Students from other colleges, universities, or trade schools are also eligible to apply and we will work with the internship requirements of your academic institution. 

Puma Springs Vineyards is a small 15 acre certified organic and certified Biodynamic vineyard in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, CA. Since Fall 2017, the vineyard has experienced pest pressures from Vine Mealy Bug which has decreased our yield and increased respective time to manage vine health. As part of our organic farming approach, we have developed and refined an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan. We are seeking an Intern to assist with the implementation of this Plan.

Puma Springs Vineyards will outline our pest management approach, provide a general orientation on vine stage growth and cover crop function, deliver specific training in the agroecology of target insects, and provide necessary details on techniques, products, and tasks to be utilized throughout the internship. The position will include direct supervision under the Farm Manager but will also include the need to work independently and manage and report back on assigned tasks. It may also involve working with in house part-time farm staff and vineyard contractor staff.

We are currently seeking an Intern with the basic qualifications:

·        Enrolled college student with a defined interest in the field of agriculture,

·        Proof of coursework completion that demonstrates academic progress,

·        18 years of age or older,

·        Prior employment history and work-related references,

·        Ability to commit to a minimum of 75-150 hours (1-2 units) over the semester,

·        A proven record of punctuality, attendance, dependability, and good communication,

·        A professional demeanor

·        Ability to work independently as well as with diverse small teams,

·        Clean DMV

The desired qualifications will include:

·        A strong interest in Agriculture as a career

·        Prior experience working with plants or livestock emphasizing visual observation skills/ response

·        A track record demonstrating safety skills/experience with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

·        Following training, ability to maintain focus and efficiency with repetitive field work, tedious at times, as well as prepare short technical reports and map treatment approaches in various blocks of the vineyard.

·        Ability/Affinity to demonstrate critical thinking to understand and analyze the impact of specific treatments and the indirect reactions among a host of soil plant and pest biota.

·        Bilingual skills– Spanish/English

The Intern position will include some portion of the following activities:

·        Pre-Season field monitoring and experimental block set up

·        Field identification and recording of vine mealy bug/ ant presence

·        Flagging vines

·        Trending insect development and maturation

·        Deployment, maintenance, and mapping of ant bait stations

·        Interventions deemed necessary, including but not limited to:

o   Preparation/deployment of organically approved low toxicity insecticides

o   Fabrication/installation of ant bait traps

o   Application of sticky barriers to vine canes

o   Release of beneficial insect larvae and adults

o   Hand weeding flower habitat to attract beneficial insects

o   Review of data reports and studies

o   Participation in field meetings related to insect pressures

o   Maintenance and flock care for experimental mobile chicken coop

 

This Internship will be held during normal business hours appropriate to agriculture, M-F, with rare exception. The duties include the ability to lift 50lbs without assistance, agility to work in uneven terrain and hillslope, visual and auditory acuity to conduct field monitoring/scouting, sustain outdoor work within the range of weather conditions common to this area, operate on-farm vehicles, work with safety as first priority.

The Intern will be required to complete the initial goal setting and check-in as required through the SRJC Internship Class requirements, and to work with the Farm Manager (Rick Kaye) to ensure progress towards those goals for mutual benefit.

This internship requires a pre-screening process that includes a DMV print out and will involve a background check.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and include contact names/phone for two employment related references to Rick Kaye at rkaye@pumasprings.com. A college instructor may also serve as a reference in lieu of one work reference.

This is a paid internship. Salary DOE.

To apply for this job email your details to rkaye@pumasprings.com