Seed Business 101
Attracting and retaining talented new employees is a critical challenge for the seed industry. The Seed Business 101 course was created, with input from industry executives, to accelerate the careers of promising new employees and young managers.
By selecting and sponsoring employees to attend this course, companies acknowledge past performance and invest in accelerated professional development.
The course also offers invaluable insights and perspective to seed dealers and companies offering products and services to the seed industry, including seed treatments, crop protection, seed enhancement and technology, machinery and equipment, etc.
The goal of Seed Business 101 is to enhance each participant’s career performance and help them avoid costly mistakes. The course is designed to focus on the optimum operations of the five major functional areas of a seed company.
- Plant Breeding Research
- Sales and Marketing
The course offers participants a broad understanding of the major aspects of a seed company’s operations and a cross-departmental knowledge of best practices for profitability. Four case studies have been custom designed to immerse each participant in decision making roles in all five functional areas of a fictitious seed company. The course is designed to maximize interactive participation and team building.
Participants are introduced to the fundamentals of genetics and plant breeding, variety life cycle, supply chain and production planning, profitability, financials of the seed and trait business. The context for the case studies is provided by introducing the company history, organizational structure, sales history and financials. The first case study is dealing with marketing/sales is introduced in the afternoon.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Participants will be divided into several working groups for Cases II, III and IV to study critical processes in a seed company’s daily life:
- inventory management
- gearing up to enter a new market
- decision on the future of the Company
Additional information on production, operations, production research, inventory management, R&D and budgets, specific to the company activities is introduced with the additional case studies. Guest speakers, industry experts in the areas of the case studies, present before the group work. At the end of each case study, each group will present the optimum strategy, followed by discussion and instructors’ recommendations.
An off-site visit will be made to a local seed company, a university or other business related to the seed industry on one of these days.
Team presentations on the last case study and instructor critiques are conducted, followed by a course recap, final Q&A and course evaluation. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to each successful graduate.
SB101- Field Crops Instructors
This course emphasizes field crops as examples in the curriculum.
SB101- Horticulture Instructors
This course emphasizes flowers and vegetable crops as examples in the curriculum.