Education & Outreach

Group from Ghana Train at Seed Science Center

The Graduate Program in Seed Science, Technology and Business (STB)

The STB graduate program was designed specifically with the working professional in mind. It offers a completely online, interdisciplinary Master of Science degree that provides students with current seed science and technology instruction along with essential courses in business management in a rigorous, integrated curriculum. The curriculum consists of 15 courses developed and delivered by faculty members and seed industry professionals. The program also offers two online graduate certificates, one focusing on Seed Science and Technology (SST) and the other on Seed Business Management (SBM). Students from anywhere in the world pay resident rate tuition; some receive tuition assistance from their employers.

The Undergraduate Secondary Major in Seed Science

Pursued in conjunction with a primary major, the Seed Science secondary major is designed for students with career interests in one or more aspects of the seed industry. Areas of study focus on seed production, conditioning, pathology, physiology, quality control, marketing, and seed plant designs. Upon graduation, students are expected to demonstrate understanding of the science and principles of seed production systems and communicate the importance of seeds to society. Graduates apply seed science and technology knowledge to solve seed quality and production problems encountered in the seed industry. The program is jointly administered by the Departments of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Agronomy; Horticulture; and Plant Pathology, Entomology and Microbiology.

The Seed Conditioning Workshop Series

Since 1981, the seed conditioning workshops have been offered each summer, except for the two pandemic years (2020-21). Typically two to four days long, they are primarily intended for industry personnel involved with plant operations. They are open, however, to anyone who needs a better understanding of post-harvest mechanization.

The Seed Quality Workshops and Short Courses

Workshops and short courses on seed quality are offered in cooperation with the Association for Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) and the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists (SCST). The five-day SCST Genetic Testing Super Workshop is offered on alternating years with assistance from a range of industry experts. It covers topics required to prepare for the Genetic Technologist exams. The AOSA Purity and Germination Testing Short Course caters to the needs of lab analysts preparing to take the Registered Seed Technologist (RST) exams. The purity short course was recently converted into separate beginner and advanced offerings to provide more time for detailed coverage of topics. Some years see the Center offering additional seed quality workshop in August to cover special topics, such as corn and soybean seed quality tests or tetrazolium (TZ) testing.

The STB Short Courses and Webinar Series

In addition to the Master of Science and graduate certificates, the STB program hosts a week-long short course that takes place at the Center. The program also offers a biannual webinar series, offered free to everyone across the globe, which discusses important and emerging issues in seed science and the seed industry. The on-campus short course focuses on changes in the seed industry through focused discussions, keynote presentations, and industry tours. The webinar content varies to help cover current topics. The webinars have been very popular due to their ability to reach a global audience at a relatively low cost. Hundreds register for the webinar series, which helps build contacts for other Center programs.