My job involves… ensuring there is enough stock seed available that is both high in purity and quality to service the needs of commercial production and sales forecasts. My job title is stock seed manager and I work within the seed production department at Tozer seeds.
I got my job by… spending many summer seasons working for Tozer seeds during my holidays while I was studying. Through this, I became well known to the company, which helped me when I became interested in a permanent career with them. Many of our employees started out as temps or as seasonal workers.
My day-to-day work includes… a huge range of tasks aimed at looking after stock seed already in our warehouse, monitoring crops while they are growing and planning new crops for the coming season. As you can tell, my role is incredibly diverse. It requires that I am regularly checking forecasts and communicating with our product development team and plant breeders to ensure that any new lines coming through are looked after. I’m also responsible for checking that stock levels are accurate and regularly testing for quality. I regularly inspect the crops for any agronomic issues and check for purity.
The most rewarding part of my day job is… that the people I work with are all very inspiring and committed to their jobs, making this a great company and industry to work in. To get a product from R&D, through product development, and to the stage of being launched into the commercial market takes years of coordination and teamwork across several departments. The reward comes when all those years of effort pay off with a product that is successfully grown by farmers around the world.
The most challenging part of my job is… working with a product that’s very fragile to the environment, is alive, but which is also dying from the moment it’s harvested. The timescale from planning a seed crop to harvesting it can be a couple of years, and over this time market demands often change. Dealing with nature is humbling; it is never the same between years and is often unpredictable with thousands of different factors potentially affecting your crop.
My advice for anyone looking to get into this industry is… to start working seasonally to get to know what the seed business is all about and if the type of work is for you. If you like a challenge and don’t mind getting your hands dirty you can have an incredible career in the seed industry. There are seed companies all over the world so there are plenty of opportunities to get your foot on the ladder. Visit our website at tozerseeds.com, or look at the following website for some information on the global industry: seedquest.com/index.php.