Certificate in Seed Science and Technology 2018-07-06T21:55:25+00:00

Seed Science and Technology Certificate Program

The objective of this Seed Science and Technology Graduate Certificate is to provide a graduate-level study in the science and technology used in the seed industry. This certificate is oriented toward individuals with a business background who want to understand the technical side of their industry in more depth so they can better apply their knowledge, skills, and experience. Seed science, in this case, includes not only the science associated with seed production and use; but also plant breeding and plant biotechnology. The course in Quality, Production and Research Management will address special aspects of operational management of the technical side of the business.

The Seed Science and Technology Certificate content represents approximately half of the content of the Master of Science Seed Technology and Business program or 19 credits. The certificate may be either the final objective of the student or an intermediate stop on his/her way to a master’s degree.

For information about tuition and fees for this certificate see our Tuition and Fees page.

Admissions Procedures

Similar to our master of science candidates, we will require certificate candidates to fill out an application for admission and submit a resume and essay answers. See our Admissions page for more information.

Seed Science and Technology Graduate Certificate Courses

Nineteen credits are required to complete this certificate. The courses in the certificate program are offered by the same professors that teach in the Seed Technology and Business masters program. In many cases, the students will be in the same sections.

Introduction to the Seed Industry (1 Cr. Hr.) This introductory course is a quick overview of the academic program and the seed industry. It provides: an introduction to the seed science and technology topics; characteristics that differentiate seed from other businesses; categories of seed businesses; and a summary of the nature of seed regulations and their impact on the structure of the industry: public and private research and extension, intellectual property rights, conservation of biodiversity, and the regulation of biotechnology. Students will be shown the major ethical systems, including those associated with regulations. The student will understand the justification for the use of standard MBA business courses; the role of seed business in economic development; and the applications of the basic management functions to seed businesses.

Quantitative Methods for Seed (2 Cr. Hr.) — Quantitative Methods for analyzing and interpreting agronomic and business information for the seed industry. Principles of experimental design and hypothesis testing, regression, correlation, analysis of variance, and graphical representation of data. Use of spreadsheets and statistical software for manipulating, analyzing and presenting data.

Crop Improvement (3 Cr. Hrs) — This course on crop improvement includes basic genetics and application of biotechnology to cultivar improvement: applicable molecular biology, gene identification, DNA manipulation, creation of vectors, cell and callous culture, transformation, selection of events, regeneration of plants, testing of events, creation of DNA markers, sequencing, and functional genomics. The course will address the statistical analysis of variance as an introduction to variance components which will be used in the study of heritability. The course includes the basic principles in the classical genetic improvement of crop plants and methods of cultivar development in self-pollinated and cross-pollinated crop species.

Seed Physiology (2 Cr. Hrs) — Brief introduction to plant physiology. Physiological aspects of seed development, maturation, longevity, dormancy, and germination. Links between physiology and seed quality.

Seed Physiology (2 Cr. Hrs) — Brief introduction to plant physiology. Physiological
aspects of seed development, maturation, longevity, dormancy, and germination. Links between physiology and seed quality.

Seed and Variety, Testing and Technology (2 Cr. Hrs.) – Reference to basic statistical concepts. Concepts from seed science are applied to seed testing. The course provides: seed testing procedures; sources of variation in seed testing results; and factors in selection of vigor testing procedures. Variety evaluation procedures are presented: wide area testing in small plot trials; strip plot trials; and pre-commercial comparisons. Students will understand the function of the agronomist in seed business organizations: providing information for customers, providing information for internal decision making; and the integration of official trials into variety advancement plans.

Seed Conditioning and Storage (2 Cr. Hrs.) – The topics of seed morphology, growth and physiology are applied to seed harvesting, conditioning, storage, and enhancement. Students learn operational principles of seed equipment; management of quality and quantity of individual machines; principles of seed plant organization; organizing and managing processing teams; and design and the process of balancing variable and fixed cost with quality. Students will learn procedures for choosing between alternative technologies and sizing plants for expected sales.

Seed and Variety, Testing and Technology (2 Cr. Hrs.) – Reference to basic statistical concepts. Concepts from seed science are applied to seed testing. The course provides seed testing procedures; sources of variation in seed testing results; and factors in the selection of vigor testing procedures. Variety evaluation procedures are presented: wide area testing in small plot trials; strip plot trials; and pre-commercial comparisons. Students will understand the function of the agronomist in seed business organizations: providing information for customers, providing information for internal decision making; and the integration of official trials into variety advancement plans.

Quality, Production and Research Management (3 Cr. Hrs.) — [Required to take STB/AGRON 595 or STB AGRON 596X]
This course presents the management and use of quality information, including the process of organizing seed quality data for use by management. The students will learn about the application of total quality management for seed laboratories and seed businesses. They will learn about the production planning process; planning for operating capital constraints; advancement systems; and using the entire organization to anticipate customer need s.The course will describe the components of research management: selection of goals for breeding; the characteristics of a good breeder or station manager; metrics for breeder performance; assignment of territory and projects; and balancing resources for selection and testing. Students will learn: the structure of research activities; the nature of interaction among programs; and the process of allocating resources to associated activities: winter nurseries, intellectual property, breeder’s seed, data management and others. They will study the relationships with other parts of the business; time patterns of annual expenditures; time patters for annual decision making; and the process of communicating the status of the program to marketing managers.

Innovation Management in the Seed Biotechnology Industry (3 Cr. Hrs.) — [Required to take STB/AGRON 595 or STB AGRON 596X]
Biotechnology implementation in crop variety development, testing, and production; organizational structure and Total Quality Management principles applied to seed production and research laboratories; policies, laws, regulations, and Intellectual Property Rights impacting seed biotechnology Research & Development (R&D); relationships between R&D and other parts of biotechnology companies.