Seed Business Management 2018-03-13T20:42:50+00:00

Week At A Glance: February 04 – 08, 2019

(Schedule is subject to modifications)
February 04, 2019
8:00 – 8:30 am Shuttle from Hotel (Best Western) to Seed Science Center
8:30 – 9:00 am Check-in and Registration
9:00 – 10:00 am Welcome & Course Overview
10:20 – 12:00 pm State of the Seed Industry – Guest Speakers:
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch provided
1:00 – 2:40 pm Research Management
3:00 – 4:30 pm Research Management
4:30 – 5:30 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel (Best Western)

February 05, 2019
8:00 – 8:30 am Shuttle from Hotel (Best Western) to Ivy College of Business
8:30 – 10:00 am Teamwork Barriers & Breakthroughs
10:20 – 12:00 pm Insights to Leadership, Followership, & Management
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch provided (Seed Science Center)
1:00 – 2:40 pm Laws of Social Influence
3:00 – 4:30 pm Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
4:30 – 5:30 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel (Best Western)

February 06, 2019
8:00 – 8:30 am Shuttle from Hotel (Best Western) to Seed Science Center
8:30 – 10:00 am Business t0 Business Marketing
10:20 – 12:00 pm Business t0 Business Marketing
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch provided
1:00 – 2:40 pm Supply Chain Management
3:00 – 4:30 pm Supply Chain Management
4:30 – 5:30 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel (Best Western)

February 07, 2019
8:00 – 8:30 am Shuttle from Hotel (Best Western) to Seed Science Center
8:30 – 10:00 am Regulations, Policy & Trade
10:20 – 12:00 pm Regulations, Policy & Trade
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch provided
1:00 – 2:40 pm Intellectual Property
3:00 – 4:30 pm Regulations, Policy & Trade
4:30 – 5:30 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel (Best Western)

February 08, 2019
7:30 – 8:00 am Shuttle from Hotel (Best Western) to Seed Science Center
8:00 – 9:40 am Finance
10:00 – 12:00 pm Finance/Business Strategy
12:00 – 12:30 pm Box Lunch provided (1/2 hour)
12:30 – 1:30 pm Business Strategy
1:30 – 2:00 pm Seed Quality Testing Lab Tour (optional)
2:00 – 2:30 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel (Best Western)

Course Overview

The seed business is a competitive environment where farmer/customers want the best products possible so they can maximize their yields. The research organizations in crop genetics are responsible for the creation and development of these ever-improving products. With this responsibility comes decision making and execution on multi-million dollar budgets. In this course we will discuss how seed companies and crop genetics research organizations decide what to work on and how to go about executing on a plan to create products that will make our farmer/customers successful.

Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation

This course provides an applied overview of organizational leadership, teamwork, and negotiation with special emphasis on the ability to successfully influence in a variety of contexts. We will explore leadership, followership, and management as a process, including understanding the differences among them. This course is designed to be relevant to a broad spectrum of negotiation problems that are faced by managers and professionals in organizations. Additionally, team work and team building is integrated to better understand interdependent relationships and processes. The four modules in this class include:

  1. Teamwork Barriers and Breakthroughs
  2. Insights to Leadership, Followership, and Management
  3. Laws of Social Influence
  4. Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Why do customers buy?  At first glance one may think they are buying a product or a service.  But what they are really buying are beneficial outcomes.  When a farmer or rancher buys a Ford F-150 pickup truck, she is certainly buying the ability to move things (bags of seed, tools, fencing materials), along with the assurance that comes from owning the #1 brand in the industry, the social approval that comes from staying within the Ford family, and maybe even the pleasure of hearing the exhaust rumble every time it starts.  The full package of beneficial outcomes that come from a purchase is called the value proposition.  All products have a value proposition that the company should manage, and that proposition is determined by many more factors than miles per gallon for a pickup truck or projected yield-per-acre for a corn hybrid.  The business-to-business (B2B) marketing session will explore the different dimensions of value, with an eye towards identifying action that companies, large and small, can take to have value propositions that are defensible and sustainable.  Topics such as market segmentation, brand management, and relationship management will be discussed.

The seed industry has experienced tremendous SKU proliferation over the past 2 decades.  This means conditioning and managing many types of green seed, and even more finished bags or totes of seed.  During this course, we will explore supply chain management in the evolving seed industry.  In particular, we will explore the integration of supply (conditioned seed) and demand (true on-farm use) and the uncertainty that encompasses the chain.  A strong channel to serve the end customer is critical, but high customer service comes at a high cost!  Leave this session with a few tools and some thought-provoking ideas on managing inventory and potential out-of-stock situations.

Regulations, Policy & Trade:

We will discuss the global seed trade and the need for formal national seed laws as well as their enforcement.  Other topics will include analysis tags, variety registration, and certification.   An introduction to intellectual property protection and access to germplasm will be discussed.  We will review the new global phytosanitary regulatory policy that has been approved and is currently being implement.  We will discuss how companies view seed treatments, how they are regulated, labeling, their phytosanitary role, and the stewardship guides available.  We will do a high level overview of GMO regulations and discuss their impact on the seed industry.  The ISF Rules for Trade in Seed for companies contracting seed production will be presented. Throughout the discussion we will be talking about the key stakeholder organizations that regulate or impact the global seed trade.

Intellectual Property:

Successful plant breeding mandates the most effective use of intellectual property protection to protect innovations and intellectual capital so as to encourage continued investments into research. IP is also essential to allow licensing of germplasm and technologies. Licensing is an essential component of plant breeding as no single organization can develop all the tools necessary to develop traits or to undertake research. The terms conditioning economic costs of accessing and using germplasm from genebanks have been discussed over the past several decades and are now beginning to be formalized. Germplasm diversity is a key raw material of plant breeding and by innovative research and product development can become even more of a potential competitive advantage. Knowledge of the regulatory environment to access germplasm and to help protect newly developed germplasm is ever more crucial. This session will include discussion concerning International Treaties (UPOV, WIPO, CBD, IT-PGRFA) and their interactions, along with forms of intellectual property protection available to plant breeders.

The finance module will include topics selected from the following: financial statement and ratio analysis, capital budgeting and project evaluation, cost of capital, the capital raising process and instruments, and mergers and acquisitions.

The Business Strategy module will examine how the external environment in concert with company resources define the boundaries of business strategy. The session will use traditional frameworks to consider the questions of: (1) what is a business strategy?  (2) How do you build and implement one?


Meet Your Instructors

Gary Munkvold, PhD
Iowa State University
Professor, Plant Pathology
STB Short Course & Grad Program Director

Dave Langer, MS
Research Management

Jim Summers, PhD
Iowa State University
Associate Professor, Management

Jose Rosa, PhD
Iowa State University
Professor, Marketing

Bobby Martens, PhD
Iowa State University
Associate Professor
Supply Chain Management

Greg Lamka, PhD
Iowa State University
Dupont - Pioneer

Stephen Smith, PhD
Iowa State University
Affiliate Professor, Agronomy

Travis Sapp, PhD
Iowa State University
Associate Professor, Finance

Sam DeMarie, PhD
Iowa State University
Associate Professor, Management

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Susana Goggi, PhD
Iowa State University
Professor, Seed Physiology

Alan Gaul, MS
Iowa State University
Seed Conditioning Specialist

Short Course – Home
Seed Science & Technology
Seed Business Management
Short Course Instructors
Registration Fees & Policies
Participant Information

Short Course Dates

Seed Science & Technology
November 05 – 09, 2018

Seed Business Management
February 04 – 08, 2019

Registration Fee

$3,850/person – both courses
$2,550/person – either course
Cancellation & Minimum Attendance Policy


Seed Science Center
Iowa State University
2115 Osborn Drive
Ames, Iowa 50011


Please contact:
Cindy Robertson
STB Short Course Coordinator

Educational Credit

You can earn CEU and CCA credit at this program.