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Foundation Seedstocks Director

North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND
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Job Type
Full Time

Job Details

Position Information


Description & Details:

The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (NDAES) is hiring a director for the Foundation Seedstocks Program to ensure the production of high-quality Foundation seed of commercially viable varieties developed and released by the NDAES. An assistant director and hourly labor support are available to support this position. Cooperation with plant breeders, plant pathologists, entomologists, food scientists, extension agents, Research Extension Center (REC) directors, Agronomy Seed Farm (ASF) director, seed industry, commodity groups, and regulatory agencies is essential.

This position includes the following responsibilities:

A. Provide leadership for the Foundation Seedstocks Program.
  • Maintain compliance with state and federal seed laws and regulations.
  • Organize and schedule seed pricing committee meetings for spring and fall seeded crops.
  • Determine seed quantities needed for pre-release and release stages of all new varieties.
  • Coordinate state program for Wheat Quality Council's Spring Wheat Quality Program trials.
  • Work with neighboring states to test and certify ND varieties under their state programs.
  • Serve as a resource for NDSU Extension and other partners on the Foundation Seedstocks Program, seed laws, seed certification and related subject matter.
  • Manage commercialization of new varieties to ensure compliance with Federal Seed Act and seed certification eligibility requirements.
  • Serve as liaison to NDSU Research Foundation.
  • Maintain cold room and manage distribution of seed.
  • Inspect and rogue seed fields to ensure purity.

B. Coordinate production of Foundation seed with plant breeders.
  • Work closely with plant breeders to coordinate Breeder seed increases.
  • Inspect Breeder seed increases and work with plant breeders to rogue new experimental lines to ensure high quality Breeder seed is available for first Foundation seed increase.
  • Maintain communications with breeders regarding seed purity issues.

C. Coordinate production of Foundation seed at seed production locations (ASF/RECs).
  • Communicate with location coordinators the progression of new experimental lines from NDSU breeding programs.
  • Coordinate planting plans and target acreage requirements with location coordinators.
  • Monitor progress of field inspections, review North Dakota State Seed Department (NDSSD) field inspection reports and identify any purity issues that would require purification of varieties.
  • Monitor NDSSD Seed Lab analysis reports for quality and work with location coordinators and certification agencies to resolve purity issues.
  • Monitor third-party analysis reports to ensure seed lots meet standards for adventitious presence of biotech traits.
  • Communicate information about new releases from neighboring AES breeding programs to identify potential opportunities.

D. Collaborate with North Dakota Crop Improvement & Seed Association (NDCISA) for distribution of newly released varieties.
  • Consult with NDCISA to determine seed supply needs when developing planting plans and acreage requirements with location coordinators.
  • Assist NDCISA with promotion and marketing of new varieties.
  • Serve as a resource to counties participating in county seed increase program.
  • Coordinate large scale testing of pre-released varieties in on-farm trials.
  • Cooperate with NDCISA for production of varieties licensed from out-of-state genetics providers.

E. Manage Foundation dry bean seed production, sales and distribution.
  • Determine production plan and states where seed will be produced.
  • Coordinate transfer of Breeder or Foundation seed to contract producers.
  • Communicate variety eligibility/objective descriptions and seed lot eligibility to certification agencies where seed is being produced.
  • Manage sales and marketing of Foundation dry bean seed.
  • Organize distribution of Foundation seed to producers.
  • Manage commercialization of new varieties to ensure compliance with Federal Seed Act and seed certification eligibility requirements.

F. Manage business transactions for ancillary USDA programs.
  • Manage financial transactions for USDA-ARS Sunflower Genetics Program and distribute germplasm.
  • Manage financial transactions for USDA-NRCS Bismarck Plant Material Center Grass Program.
  • Maintain and manage separate accounts and disburse funds when needed.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • B.S. degree in agronomy, plant sciences, horticulture or related area.
  • Experience in seed production and processing.
  • Experience working effectively and collegially with university faculty, Extension staff, farmers, producer and commodity groups, the media, and/or the public.
  • Demonstrated effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in operating software computer applications and technology to meet position requirements.
  • Willingness and ability to travel distances that require overnight stays to perform position duties.
  • Ability to work with multiple stakeholders, including growers, industry, commodity groups, and government entities.
  • Strong teamwork, interpersonal, problem solving, decision making, management, and organizational skills.
  • Valid US driver's license or equivalent.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • M.S. degree in agronomy, plant sciences, horticulture or related area.
  • Experience with Northern Plains agriculture or crops, including but not limited to tillage systems, tile drainage, fertility, variety selection, seed production, and/or cultural management practices.
  • Experience with social media, virtual delivery platforms, and other technology to provide information on new varieties to ag audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience providing educational programs for Extension agents, Extension crop specialists, producers/farmers, or crop advisors.

The position offers a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience.

Application Deadline:
Initial screening of applicants will begin on April 1, 2024 and continue until a suitable candidate is selected. Applications received by the screening date will be ensured full consideration.

Special Instructions to Applicants:
Applicants must submit:
  • A one-page cover letter stating how the candidate might meet the minimum qualifications;
  • A detailed curriculum vitae;
  • Contact information (i.e., names, phone numbers, institutional addresses, and email addresses) of three current references from the most recent positions held.


NDSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes single or family health insurance coverage with premiums paid for by the university - with an effective date for new employees the first of the month following date of hire. Other benefits include: wellness benefits, basic life insurance, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual leave, EAP, sick leave and holiday pay. Optional benefits include: supplemental life, dental, vision, long-term care insurance, flexible spending account, and supplemental retirement plans.

About Us:

North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student focused, land-grant, research university. We educate leaders who solve national and global challenges by providing affordable access to an excellent education that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment.

NDSU is in the highest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, R1, granted to the top research institutions in the country.

NDSU has offices across the state of North Dakota, and the main campus is in Fargo, on the Minnesota border. Along with Moorhead, Minnesota, Fargo forms one of the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle. The community is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live.

No Smoking Notice :

As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

EO/AA Statement:

North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable.

Diversity Statement:

NDSU strives to be a community of belonging, recognizing unique differences as strengths of our university. We seek to recruit and retain a diverse workforce that supports a community in which diverse populations and perspectives will know and learn from one another. NDSU values candidates who are committed to our core values of respect, inclusivity, community, creativity, excellence, impact, innovation, integrity, resilience, responsiveness, and transformation. Successful candidates will be committed to and help advance our strategic goal to create and maintain an open and respectful environment to promote inclusivity and diversity as a cornerstone of education, research, and outreach.

Veteran's Preference Notice:

This position is subject to North Dakota Veteran's Preference requirements.

Reasonable Accommodation Information

North Dakota State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact Human Resources at 701-231-8961 or .

Land Acknowledgement

We collectively acknowledge that NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands. We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region. (see ).


NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities.

North Dakota State University is an employer of choice with a commitment to offer a well-rounded benefits package for employees and their families.

NDSU is listed at 95 among 404 public universities based on the university’s research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. In addition, NDSU is listed in the National Science Foundation’s top 100 in several areas, including: agricultural sciences; business management and business; communications; materials science; natural resources and conservation science; social sciences; sociology, demography, and population studies; and visual and performing arts.

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