Iowa: Seed Savers Exchange seeks Field Manager

5 Jul

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit, member supported organization dedicated to the genetic preservation of heirloom, and open-pollinated food crops. As part of this mission, SSE permanently maintains a collection of thousands of endangered vegetable varieties, making us the largest non-governmental seed bank of its kind in the United States.  Heritage Farm, our farm and headquarters, is an 890 acre farm with certified organic gardens, located in Decorah, Iowa.  Please visit our website at for more information.

In support of this mission, Seed Savers Exchange is currently hiring a Field Manager to manage and perform all aspects of organic seed production and vegetative crops propagation of our collection varieties.  Working under the guidance of the Collection Curator, the Field Manager will be directly involved with and responsible for all stages of germplasm regeneration and collection maintenance in the field.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Garden management, including field cultivation, weed management, crop rotations, cover-cropping, and soil fertility management
  • Garden planning and layout; fence and isolation tent set-up
  • All aspects of organic seed production, including planting, weeding, watering, etc.
  • Ensuring varietal purity of all seed regenerations and increases
  • Seed collection, drying, and processing; over-wintering biennial seed crops
  • Maintenance, harvesting and propagation of vegetative crops
  • Supervision of garden crew and other SSE staff, training new and seasonal staff as needed; working with crews as needed to ensure efficiency and accuracy
  • Managing pests and diseases in keeping with certified organic practices; implementing IPM programs when necessary
  • Ensure proper maintenance and use of equipment/vehicles; ensure all safety rules are followed
  • Coordinate with horticultural and curatorial staff on other field activities/projects
  • Collect and enter field data; management of all field and regeneration records
  • Provide status updates and reports on all field activities
  • Assist with educational and research projects as required
  • Organization and ordering of supplies


There is a minimum educational requirement of a Master’s Degree in horticulture or related field, or equivalent years demonstrated practical work experience in farm management.  At least 3 years of experience working with plants in a professional capacity is expected; previous project management experience and supervision of field crews is required.  Experience operating farm equipment and experience with seed production is preferred.  All applicants must possess a valid driver’s license.

Additional qualifications

  • Excellent computer skills, including ability to work in complex databases
  • Ability to communicate effectively with other staff
  • Ability to work well in a fast-paced environment with changing day to day needs
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work in all types of outdoor conditions


Salary is commensurate with experience. This is a full-time position with paid holidays and vacation, excellent medical/dental coverage, and retirement plan. Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer.


To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to  Please include ‘Field Mgr’ in the subject line of your email.  This position is open until filled.





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