Seed Technology and Business Short Course Overview

Hands-on Learning! The Iowa State motto is "Science with Practice". Outstanding Seed Technology and Business faculty from Iowa State University (ISU) and seed industry experts are ready to share their knowledge and experience with you by developing this hands-on continuing educational experience designed for the seed industry professional. Hands-on demonstrations, case studies, discussion sessions, guest speakers, and a local seed industry tour are all planned to be a part of this unique educational experience.

Part One, in this two-part short course, will cover topics in Seed Science and Technology and runs Monday, November 06 - Friday, November 10, 2017. This introductory course focuses on the current state of the industry, lifecycle of seed, crop improvement, seed production, along with health, variety, and quality testing, post harvest management, and seed conditioning technologies. The goal of this course is for each participant to establish a comprehensive understanding of seed science and lay a firm foundation for future Seed Technology and Business short course offerings.

Part Two is scheduled to run Monday, February 05 - Friday, February 09, 2018. The second half of this two-part short course will focus on Seed Business Management. This part of the short course will highlight research management, leadership, teamwork, and sharpen your negotiating skills. Sales and marketing, logistics, finance, and business strategy, along with seed regulation, trade, and policy will be covered by Iowa State University business faculty and seed industry experts ready to share their personal career experience.


Who Should Attend? 

This Two-Part Short Course is designed for the seed industry professional that desires the knowledge to advance their career and pursue a position of leadership in their field.


Registration and Fees:

Registration opens August 1, 2017.

$3,850 covers tuition for both Part One and Part Two. These short courses are designed to build upon each other to provide a comprehensive picture of the seed industry. Participants are highly encouraged to attend both Part One and Part Two. 

$2,850 covers tuition for either Part One or Part Two.

** Please check back soon for more information about:  Registration   |   Lodging & Transportation   |   Future Short Courses

Part One: Seed Science and Technology Short Course

November 6 - 10, 2017


Topics Covered:

Seed Lifecycle:

Seed companies invest significant amounts of time and money to conduct research and development in the creation of superior products. One of the most important decisions a company makes is which products to commercialize. Once a product is commercialized the most significant variable cost to the company is undertaken during seed production. Since it may take up to 10 years to develop a new product the extent of the life cycle of that particular product, in terms of the number of years it will be produced and sold to customer/farmers is critical to the financial success of the company. Plant breeding continues to create new and better performing products which tend to shorten the life cycle of seed products. This along with the advent of biotechnology traits – which has created a proliferation of the number of products, makes the management of product life cycle a critical aspect in the success of a seed company. 

Crop Improvement

Variety Testing

Seed Production:

This in-depth course provides a hands-on approach to turning the potential provided by Research into the reality of a high quality product that can be sold with confidence. Beginning with a historical perspective and covering topics that inlcude the Production of Parent Seed Stocks, Production of Commercial Seed, Harvesting the Seed Crop, Seed Conditioning, Quality Assurance, Warehouse Storage, Logistics and Distribution, as well as Qulaity Management Systems.

Seed Health Testing & Conditioning

Post Harvest Management

Seed Quality Testing


Part Two: Seed Business Management Short Course

February 5 - 9, 2018 

Topics Covered:

Research Managment

Leadership, Teamwork, Negotiations

Logistics, Sales, Marketing

Finance, Business Strategy

Regulations, Policies, Trade



Cindy Robertson

STB Short Course Coordinator

(515) 294-6947