The primary qualifications for a master grower position are a bachelor's or master's degree in a field like horticulture or plant physiology and experience working in the industry. Most employers accept student research as experience. Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of this position requires familiarity with operating controlled environment agriculture systems, knowledge of plant growing and disease prevention principles, the ability to work with engineers and software developers to create new tools and equipment, and in some cases, familiarity with food safety protocols. Communication and planning skills are essential to success in this position, particularly because you must plant some plants weeks or months ahead of their harvest or sale time.
What Does a Master Grower Do?
As a master grower, your job is to manage a greenhouse or other plant-growing facility. This job often involves breeding new types of plants, checking each existing plant for diseases and other problems, and generally supporting the facility's production. Master growers usually focus on products for a specific industry, such as home horticulture or agriculture. In recent years, master growers have also taken on the responsibility of growing cannabis in states that allow the legal use of marijuana. Some details of this job vary by company. For example, master growers working in the food industry need to meet certain product safety standards, while master growers that focus on producing seeds for farmers usually emphasize product volume.
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A Master Grower must be well versed in all the details around cultivating cannabis. Understanding the stages of growth and propagation including cloning if being used, seeds, veg and flower stages are crucial. These are not terms that can just be tossed around. They are critical to the job and good production.
If you don’t have that level of education, it is still possible to become a Master Grower with a BA or certain other educational specifications along with at least 5 years or more of cultivating experience in a large legal grow company. This will change as more individuals enter the job marketplace.
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The two most helpful positions will be a bud trimmer and grow assistant. Bud trimmers offer hands-on experience in the company as well as with the product. Working with a product that has been harvested means you learn about it and the growing area. A bud trimmer manicures the bud that is going out to a customer.
A further step to be a Master Grower is being a grow assistant. This is someone who has moved up from bud trimmer or has some education or experience. An assistant works with other cannabis growers. This is a great job to work at to learn about growing and experiencing the processes. There is a lot to learn from the other growers.
Becoming a Master Grower means understanding the responsibilities that the job entails. Companies looking to hire a Master Grower are searching for someone who has a strong horticulture background but is also a good manager. Their skills need to include:
There is not currently a standardized Master Grower program or any set of universally recognized skills that a Master Grower must possess. There are also no accredited institutions of higher education that confer the title of Master Grower onto anyone.
Master Growers must not only be well versed and experienced in the growing of cannabis, but be generally educated in the fields of horticulture, agriculture and/or botany. Organizations and companies that hire Master Growers generally expect that they can handle every aspect of the grow from designing the space, figuring the equipment needs, composing the growing protocols, and may even be responsible for hiring all of the staff that would ultimately report to him or her.
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Likewise, a person can, with experience, assume the role of Master Grower among many other growers, unofficially, by simply taking charge of the grow and being the troubleshooter.
A proven combination of horticultural skills in the field or greenhouse setting, an acumen for making sound business decisions, and an understanding of growing cannabis will often substitute for any document touting one as a Master Grower.
The status of Master Grower may or may not be required by all companies or individuals looking to hire someone to oversee their growing operation.