Plant Breeder

Plant breeders study seed characteristics and work to improve those characteristics that are most desirable for a plant, such as yield, size, quality, maturity and resistance to frost, drought, disease and insects. Plant breeders will rely heavily on their knowledge of genetics, statistics, molecular technologies and plant growth to develop plants that are best for breeding with other plants.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Develop and manage a plant breeding program
  • Complete and maintain documentation of plant breeding programs and activities completed
  • Maintain links between the company and technology support providers
  • Maintain and forecast a budget for breeding activities
  • Interact technically with marketers and end-users of the company’s products
  • Interact technically with relevant authorities and institutions
  • Develop a plant breeding team succession plan
  • Supervise a plant breeding team and complete training as needed
  • Develop and maintain key industry links
  • Undertake required support of the production of seed and/or crops
  • Utilize technologies such as a Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Develop, maintain and improve hybrid varieties of plants for domestic and international markets
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge and understanding of industry standards and protocols
  • Assist in preparing market analysis and product profiles for introduction of product and customer support

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education
  • mathematics
  • business
  • computer science
  • plant science
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • physics

Education/Training Required:

A bachelor’s degree in crop science, plant genetics or agronomy is required. In many cases a master’s degree or doctorate in plant science is required. Practical and applied research is needed in this field of work; participate on campus in labs and research trials when possible.

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