Job Ad: Student – Field Research Assistant

Organization: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Division/Branch: Economic Development Division / Agriculture Development Branch

Position Title: Field Research Assistant (Field Crop or Horticultural Crop)

Job Term: Temporary, for up to 14 weeks, beginning spring 2021

Salary: $15.10 / hour, based on a 36.25 hour work week

Available Positions/Locations:       

Position FocusLocationContact Person
Field Crop PathologyRidgetownAlbert Tenuta
Horticultural Soil ManagementRidgetownAnne Verhallen
Vegetable Crop SpecialistRidgetownElaine Roddy

Are you serious about making your mark, getting hands-on work experience and learning more about careers in the Ontario Public Service? This position will provide an excellent opportunity for those interested in a career in field crop production, research or the agricultural service sector. This position will provide the opportunity to learn about diseases, insects, and agronomy on a wide range of vegetable crops and major field crops grown in the province.


  • Assist with summer applied research and demonstration projects conducted by OMAFRA Horticultural and/or Field Crop Staff.
  • Projects focus on production practices, e.g. soil health, weed control, pest management, fertility and others.
  • Field work could include field scouting, crop identification, identification and monitoring of insects, weeds and crop diseases, soil and plant sampling, and other data collection
  • Field work might include plot set up and maintenance, soil sampling, field scouting, trap monitoring, identification and monitoring of insects, earthworm, nematodes or diseases
  • Responsible for recording agronomic and pest data and other pertinent information from research plots, survey sites and trap locations
  • Develop and maintain databases for plot and pest information
  • Assist staff to gather existing literature and conduct new literature reviews, and develop written reports and presentation materials on key initiatives.
  • Assist in the coordination of events and programs (e.g. workshops, demonstrations, field days etc.), and set-up of field sites for events
  • Office work might include providing customer service assistance, research, data collection and database management, assisting with the production of technical information such as newsletters, updating web pages, blogs, scanning images, etc.
  • Will gain extensive knowledge in a variety of areas including: agronomy, entomology, and plant pathology.  Additional skills include plant or pest identification and monitoring/diagnostic techniques

What we are looking for:

  • Interpersonal skills to work within a multi-disciplinary team and participate in meetings
  • Observational skills and attention to detail to conduct research, field monitoring and data entry
  • Written communication skills to prepare a variety of documents (e.g. reports, factsheets, and articles).
  • Some proficiency with computer based software applications including MS Word, Excel, and database management software to perform data entry, conduct analysis, prepare reports, track and compile information. Experience with Power BI and/or Python programming desired though not required for one of the positions.
  • Ability to work in an outdoor environment with some light physical activity involved, including light lifting
  • Ability to work independently or as part of a team, plan, organize and prioritize work to meet competing deadlines
  • Familiarity with farming and crop/livestock production
  • Willing to travel to rural locations (frequently not accessible by public transportation)

Requirements for hiring:

  • Must have a minimum Ontario G2 Driver’s Licence
  • Must be a resident of Ontario and eligible to work in Ontario
  • Must be between 16-24 years of age (up to 29 with disability) on the first day of employment.
  • Must be currently enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary school, or have completed all academic requirements for graduation within 6 months of first day of employment.
  • For returning students: you may only work in the same position for two consecutive years

How to Apply:

  • You must demonstrate how you meet the eligibility criteria, skills and experience we are looking for clearly, completely and concisely. We rely on the information you provide to us.
  • Provide your cover letter and resume electronically in one file in any of the following formats: PDF, WORD, plain or rich-text format (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt and .rtf). 
  • Please submit your application via email to gabi.saldanha@ontario.ca. On the email subject line, please indicate which position(s) focus you are applying for.
  • If you have any questions about applying, or if you have a disability and require accommodation to apply, please contact Gabi Saldanha at 519-674-1690 or gabi.saldanha@ontario.ca

Closing Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2021

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