Leadership Program for Plant Breeders

The Leadership Program for Plant Breeders course scheduled for December 13-15, 2022. The information below is from a previous course. Course curriculum, dates, and pricing are subject to change. 


Managing plant breeding and laboratory programs are becoming increasingly complex. This course is designed to enhance management skills of plant breeders and technical leads. Professionals directing these programs in agricultural research, in agribusiness development and those from the public sector will benefit from attending this course.

Course Curriculum:

  • How the plant breeding or research program fits within the organizations strategy
  • Establishing vision and goals
  • Defining key strategies and capacities
  • Budget management: controlling and tracking expenses
  • Managing capital projects
  • Reading and interpreting financial statements
  • Intellectual property and contract issues, treaties and agreements
  • Developing reports
  • Managing resources within the goals the organization
  • Learn to lead and manage employees towards common goals
  • Understanding human resource principles
  • Using conflict resolution to handle difficult situations
  • Learning to lead and manage employees towards common goals
  • Dealing with and embracing change to create a culture of innovation


Time TBA
UC Davis campus

Early Registration: $750.00*
Regular Registration: $850.00*

Tuition includes all course materials, lunches and breaks. Class size is limited so early registration is recommended.

*Course details (date, price, location) are subject to change until registration opens.



UC Davis Campus - More information will be available when registration opens.

Campus Parking information



Dr. Fred Bliss is a professor emeritus of the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. As a plant breeder he led improvement programs for cowpea, common bean, tomato, stone fruits and tree fruit rootstocks. He is an author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles, twenty book chapters and review articles and has released germplasm and cultivars of legumes and tree fruits. In 1998 he joined Seminis Vegetable Seeds as director of worldwide breeding. In 2010 he retired and became an active participant in research and development projects globally including work in Nigeria, Somalia, Honduras and Brazil.

Dr. Tom Francis has over 30 years of experience in the seed business. Dr. Francis began his career with Agriculture Canada as a Resear ch Scientist after obtaining his PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the University of Guelph. He joined Northrup King in 1980 as Research Director and held various roles within that company including General Manager for the Canadian division and Vice President of Research for the U.S.  With the formation of Novartis, later Syngenta, Dr. Francis had various roles of increasing responsibility including Global Head of Product Evaluation and Assessment. Dr. Francis has been an active member of the Canadian and American seed industry and served as President for CSTA and Vice President for ASTA. Though retired from Syngenta, he continues to consult to the industry and maintains a special interest in attracting and developing new talent within the seed industry.

Rale Gjuric, SBC Education Director, is also the President of HAPLOTECH Inc., a company specialized in technical services and consulting in plant breeding. Dr. Gjuric received his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, Canada; his M.Sc. from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia; and his B.Sc. from the University of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Macedonia. Previously, he held the positions of Breeding Manager of DL Seeds; Research and Managing Director of DSV Canada; all in Winnipeg Canada. Dr. Gjuric is an accomplished plant breeder with numerous canola varieties and hybrids released in his 15 years in the private sector. His current focus is in service to the plant breeding industry with special interest in organization and optimization of plant breeding programs.

Questions? Contact us at sbc@ucdavis.edu