ISU Seed Technology Program Offers Emerging Leader Short Course


The Iowa State University (ISU) Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business (STB) is launching a new short course designed specifically for emerging leaders in the seed industry. For the first time this fall, a unique two-part short course will be offered that addresses the rapidly changing advancements in agriculture from both a seed technology and a business perspective. Participants in the short course will have the opportunity to take part in “hands-on” demonstrations led by faculty experts from ISU’s Seed Technology and Business Graduate Program, Seed Science Center (SSC), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Business. Guest speakers, discussion sessions, and tours of ISU labs and a local seed industry facility are all planned to be a part of this educational experience.

“I talk with industry leaders regularly that express the desire for their managers to have more knowledge of all aspects of their companies,” says Gary Munkvold, Iowa State STB short course director and professor of plant pathology and microbiology. “Our STB graduate program is designed specifically to meet that need. But there are many professionals that are looking for this kind of information without committing to a graduate certificate or degree. By taking part in this short course, attendees will gain knowledge and tools that they can immediately apply in their own operations. They will also acquire an appreciation of how their role and the roles of others contribute to the overall success of their organization.”

The short course is divided into two parts. The first week is scheduled for Nov. 6 -10 and the second week will take place on February 5 – 9, 2018. Participants may enroll in either one or both sessions.

Part 1: Seed Science and Technology, November 6-10, 2017. Part I of the short course will focus on “Seed Life Cycle and Industry Technologies.” Stephen Smith (DuPont Pioneer, ISU Affiliate Professor) and Gary Munkvold along with other distinguished ISU faculty members in seed science and agronomy will discuss the lifecycle of seed and share information on crop improvement, seed conditioning and storage.

Participants will take an in-depth look at seed health, quality and variety testing with professionals from the ISU Seed Laboratory and the National Seed Health System (NSHS). In addition to classroom instruction, the week-long curriculum will feature “hands-on” demonstrations and facility tours on the ISU campus and at a local seed production facility.

Part II: Seed Business Management, February 5 – 9, 2018. Part II, “Leadership Skills and Business Strategies” will focus on the business side of the seed industry. Experts from the MBA program at Iowa State will be working with participants to increase their understanding of business-to-business marketing strategies, managing supply chains, and finance, and will develop skills in the areas of leadership, teamwork and negotiation.

Seed industry professionals, Greg Lamka (DuPont Pioneer, ISU) and Dave Langer (DuPont Pioneer), will be sharing first-hand knowledge and experience in research management, industry regulation, policy and trade. Guest Speakers, Mike Gumina (CEO, RiceTec, Inc.) and Jim Schweigert (President, Gro Alliance), will also contribute their unique perspectives concerning the challenges and opportunities facing today’s seed industry.

The Seed Technology and Business Short Course is the first of its kind to be offered at the Seed Science Center located on the ISU campus. The center houses the most comprehensive public seed testing laboratory in the world and is recognized globally as a leader in seed research, testing and education.

Registration is now open. For more information and to register, visit or contact us at or 515-294-6947.

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