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Apples Berries Pest Management

Job Ad: Student  – Horticulture Assistant

Are you serious about making your mark, getting hands-on work experience and learning more about careers in the Ontario Public Service?

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Economic Development Division / Agriculture Development Branch
Position Title:
Student – Summer Research Assistant
Job Term:
Temporary (up to 6 positions) up to 18 weeks
Ontario Crops Research Centre – Simcoe, Ontario
(Norfolk County, on the north shore of Lake Erie, 2 hours southwest of Toronto)
$16.35/ hour based on a 36.25 hour work week

Are you serious about making your mark, getting hands-on work experience and learning more about careers in the Ontario Public Service?  These positions at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Simcoe Research Centre will provide an excellent opportunity for those interested in a career in research, science, or agriculture. These positions will provide the opportunity to learn about diseases, insects, and agronomy of the major field horticulture crops and specialty crops grown in the province. They will also give students practical experience with conducting biological research and various technology transfer opportunities that will apply to horticulture but can also be extended to other science and public service careers. Students working at the Research Centre will have exposure to the widest range of field-grown horticulture crops of any research site in the province. Crops covered by specialists in Simcoe include berries, apples, ginseng, lavender, haskap, hops, hemp, hazelnuts and chestnuts, peanuts, sesame, culinary herbs, sweet potatoes, and obscure fruit crops like pawpaw and persimmon.


  • Assist with summer research and demonstration projects conducted by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Horticulture and Specialty Crops Staff.
  • Activities may include the set-up and maintenance (weeding, planting, etc.) of research plots focused on production practices, soil health, weed control, pest management, and fertility etc., collection/entering of data and preparation of written reports.
  • Field work may include farm tours, field scouting, identification and monitoring of insects, weeds and crop diseases.
  • Assist staff with the collection and analysis of on-farm samples and data for research projects.
  • Assist staff to conduct literature reviews and develop written reports and presentation materials on key initiatives and industry issues.
  • Assist in the coordination of events and programs (e.g. workshops, demonstrations, field days etc.) working with key stakeholders and clients in delivery of programs and information.
  • Training will be provided on research methods, technology transfer, and working in the public sector
  • Collecting, archiving, and organizing digital photos of key growth stages and major pests of various horticultural and specialty crops
  • Office work may include assisting with the production of technical information such as newsletters, updating web pages, blogs, scanning images, etc.

Please review the qualifications for this position. What we are looking for: 

  • You apply your interpersonal skills to work within a multi-disciplinary team
  • You apply your observational skills and attention to detail to conduct research, field monitoring and data entry
  • You apply your written communication skills to prepare a variety of documents (e.g. reports, factsheets, and articles).
  • You are familiar with computer-based software applications including MS Word and MS Excel to perform data entry, conduct analysis, prepare reports, track and compile information
  • You can work in an outdoor environment with physical activity involved
  • You work independently or as part of a team; you plan, organize and prioritize your work to meet competing deadlines
  • Familiarity with plants, farming and crop production is an asset but is not required. Training will be provided in these areas.
  • You are willing to travel to rural locations (frequently not accessible by public transportation)
  • You must have a minimum Ontario G2 Driver’s License

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.
  • You must be a resident of Ontario on the first day of employment.
  • You must be legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • You must be at least 15 years of age on the first day of employment.
  • You 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.
  • You must provide your cover letter and resume electronically in one file to in any of the following formats: PDF, WORD, plain or rich-text format (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt and .rtf).  Or you could provide your cover letter and resume on paper to:

Erika DeBrouwer, Tree Fruit Specialist

Simcoe Research Centre
1283 Blueline Road, Box 587
Simcoe, Ontario N3Y 4N5

You should receive confirmation within 2 business days if your application was received. If you do not receive a confirmation in that time, please call, text or email Erika DeBrouwer.

If you have a disability and require accommodation to apply, please contact

Posting Date: January 18, 2023

Closing Date: February 21, 2023

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