Montana State University Potato Lab has a summer seed potato disease testing program where jobs begin sometime around the last two weeks of June every year! Outdoor Leaf Pickers and Indoor Lab Crew workers are needed.

Leaf Pickers

Outdoor leaf picking work for the 2019 potato crop will begin sometime around June 19-21, depending on the weather and growth of the potato plants in the fields. Leaf pickers go to the fields in southwest Montana and pick leaves from the potato plants in a specified manner! Picking should be finished sometime around August 16.  The leaf pickers average 7 weeks of work at about 12 hours per day, 60 hours per week. Overtime is paid over 40 hours per week. The pay rate is $11.20 an hour. In addition, travel per diem is paid separately. Crews go to the fields in our vehicles around 6 am and work until 5-6 pm. There will be a few overnight trips to the Kalispell/Polson area as well as Dillon.

Leaf picking is not as easy as it sounds! Leaf picking is hard outdoor work that can involve many continuous hours walking bent over in fields in all kinds of weather-- Mainly hot and sunny! You need a healthy back and like to work outdoors! During your tenure with the potato lab, you would agree to miss no more than five working days for personal reasons. This leaves the crew shorthanded, so we would need to know in advance! Since tobacco can spread viruses to potatoes, smoking or other tobacco and smokeless products, are not allowed in the fields and in the vehicles!

Indoor Lab Crew

Indoor lab crew jobs will begin around June 24, depending on when the leaf pickers can start! The job will end around Aug. 16-18. The lab crew processes the leaves that come in from the pickers in a specified procedure. A workday consists of 8 hours. Last year for July and August, the lab crew averaged 7 weeks of work at 40 hours/week. The pay rate is $10.70 an hour.

During your tenure on the Potato Lab crew, you agree to miss no more than five working days for personal reasons. You agree to practice self-motivation and work as part of the team to get the leaves processed and to do your best to be careful, accurate, and clean up your work area after performing the assigned work.


If interested in any job, please see Steve in the Potato Lab-room 223, Plant Growth Center for an application! Or fill out the application below and email it to


Job Application