Job Opportunity: Oregon Seed Certification Service
Seeking a Seed Certification Manager
The Oregon Seed Certification Service (OSCS) is seeking its next manager, following the retirement of Dennis Lundeen at the end of 2017. Amidst an abundance of scenic beauty, Oregon supports a diverse seed economy in several agricultural regions. Seed growers, conditioners, producers, breeders, and marketers, supported by a comprehensive agricultural industry, produce and ship seed throughout the world. Oregon seed is recognized and respected internationally; most seed produced in Oregon is shipped out-of-state to national and international markets. Oregon Seed Certification Service certifies around 240,000 acres annually. Thousands of individuals gain their livelihoods in the seed trade, ranging from small family farms to international companies. History & Evolution
Seed certification activities began in Oregon in 1916; since then, eight individuals have led the program, maintaining a constant focus on varietal identity and seed quality. Seed Certification and Seed Testing were codified in state seed law in 1937 and were established in the Oregon Agricultural College Extension Service; that action formally established the activity now identified as the Oregon Seed Certification Service at Oregon State University (OSU). Since the early years of inspections in potatoes, small grains, and bentgrasses, a large array of programs have evolved in partnership with the seed industry to serve the needs of diverse growing areas, cropping systems, seed conditioning challenges and market opportunities. Today, seed of approximately seventy crop kinds and several more native species is certified, and certification standards are maintained for many more crops previously produced Oregon.
Scope of OSCS Staff
To meet the challenges of the Oregon certified seed industry, OSCS employs a workforce of 25 professionals who develop and deliver technical expertise integral to the program, including two full-time IT staff. The OSCS manager supports this team in:
developing certification standards and procedures in collaboration with OSCS advisory committees and the Seed Certification, Foundation Seed and Plant Materials Board;
reviewing and entering new varieties into seed certification;
reviewing documentation for field applications;
performing field inspections for seedlings and crops, and post-harvest greenhouse testing for potatoes;
collaborating with colleagues in committees of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA);
conducting grow-outs in support of the international Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD);
inspecting seed warehouses and sampling seed for testing using specific protocol;
reviewing test reports to determine eligibility of seed lots, applying rules for both domestic and international tagging;
maintaining a custom computer database in support of all seed certification business activities.
The Seed Certification manager commands a working knowledge of Federal Seed Act Regulations pertaining to seed certification; Oregon State Seed Law Administrative Rules and Regulations; and the standards, guidelines and procedures of AOSCA and OECD. Budget development and monitoring, staffing and grievance decisions, assigning tasks and responsibilities, seeking staff development opportunities, and providing education and guidance all fall under the function of this position. The manager maintains continuous dialogue with members of the seed industry, occasionally hosts national and foreign visitors, and may guest lecture in University classes. A challenging role, the duties of the Seed Certification manager are demanding yet opportunities abound. This position reports to the OSU Director of Seed Services, the Head of the Department of Crop and Soil Science, and to the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Oregon State University.
To learn more about the position, including how to apply, visit the OSU Employment website at https://jobs.oregonstate.edu. Select “Search Jobs” and enter the “Posting number” P01626UF.
The Society of Commercial Seed Technologists (SCST) is an organization of professional seed technologists dedicated to research, proficiency and improvement in seed testing from private and company laboratories across the United States.