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Director of Production Technology

Iowa Corn Growers Association
Johnston, IA

This position will initiate and manage research, business development projects, and intellectual property related to corn that enables Iowa Corn to develop and commercialize new technology in production agriculture.  She/he will collaborate with the staff and grower leaders to develop programs in connection with the Iowa Corn strategic plan, Iowa Corn Board of Directors goals, committee goals, and Iowa Corn Growers Association® policy. 

Responsibilities and Duties

The position will lead projects that relate to corn genetics, production research, phenotyping, biotechnology, trait development, gene editing, and other issues identified by their direct supervisor.  This individual will collaborate with the Director of Sustainable Innovation on agricultural sustainability, water quality, soil conservation, soil health, nutrient reduction, and carbon sequestration.  This individual will evaluate opportunities for Iowa Corn to partner with other organizations who are developing technology related to corn production and genetic improvements.  The person will also work with companies, universities, state, and federal government agencies to implement research initiatives.  This individual will seek funding from funding entities and coordinate investments from other corn checkoff investors related to corn production.  This individual will work with Iowa Corn Opportunities, LLC to evaluate investments in entrepreneurial companies.  This position will perform other duties assigned by their direct supervisor.



The following are the essential duties of this position and do not include marginal functions that are incidental to the performance of fundamental job duties. The scope and duties of a given position may change or be temporarily altered based on the business needs of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. 


  1. Research & Business Development

    • This person will identify market opportunities, assess new technology, evaluate market potential, identify the value proposition, and write an appropriate feasibility plan for corn production and genetic research.  The position will initiate, coordinate, and manage joint initiatives between Iowa Corn and university or industry partners. They will evaluate, negotiate, and manage investments in company technology for commercialization. This person will manage intellectual property including patent applications, trade secrets, and know-how.  This person will monitor research efforts of industry and government agencies to evaluate opportunities and determine investment priorities. 

  2. Partner Organizations

    • This person will collaborate, participate in meetings, and serve as a technical consultant for research organizations, universities, agricultural organizations, coalitions, commodity group collaborations, state and national corn grower organizations, agricultural industry initiatives, and other advisory groups.  This person will monitor research efforts of industry and universities to evaluate competing technology, identify opportunities to partner, and determine investment priorities.

  3. External Funding

    • This individual will coordinate and write letters of support for other organizations seeking funding.  They will coordinate, write, and submit grant applications to appropriate government agencies and private organizations for internal funding to leverage Iowa Corn investments.

  4. Progress Measurement and Commercialization

    • This individual will identify partners for commercialization, present results and negotiate the terms of a research, license, or other agreement. This person will utilize a stage gate process in determining which project to fund, measuring progress to meet the appropriate milestones, and evaluating the impact of the project.  They will evaluate economic data and results to identify commercial opportunities for the technology.

  5. Information and Outreach

    • This individual will create written summaries of project results for public relations and communication with growers. They will develop information for Iowa Corn newsletters, publications, and outreach.  They will represent and speak on behalf of Iowa Corn at events and meetings. 

  6. Policy Development and Government Regulation

    • This individual will work with staff to support the ICGA policy development process and develop comments for proposed government rules.  They will seek input from growers on regulations and policy.  This person will represent Iowa Corn in various government advisory committees and policy groups. 

  7. Committee and Board Meetings

    • For projects related to production and genetic research, this person will identify agenda items, coordinate meetings, present updates, review minutes, write updates, manage the budget for the board of directors and appropriate committees of Iowa Corn. 

    • This person will develop a plan and a budget for projects or investments and present them to the appropriate staff or committee for approval.



Education Required:

  • Master’s degree in Agronomy, Plant Breeding, Plant Genetics, Plant Physiology, or related field or equivalent experience.


Experience Required:

  • 3 years working in genetic research, genetic development, or plant breeding

  • Presenting to groups and working in an agricultural related field


Experience Preferred:

  • Required experience plus 5 years with a genetic company managing genetic research projects and technology transfer


Position Requirements:

  • Ability to learn on the job and adapt to challenges.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

  • Proficient organization and time-management skills.

  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and work well in a team environment.

  • Understand the need to support the organization to work effectively by adhering to the attendance and punctuality standards and does not burden co-workers and supervisors unfairly with unnecessary and unplanned absences and lateness.

  • Analytical and highly motivated individual with acute attention to detail.

  • Must handle sensitive or confidential information with discretion.

  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

  • Ability to interact with a wide range of people including farmers, government officials, university scientists, and company representatives.

  • This position requires knowledge of genetics, transformation, gene editing and biotechnology.

  • Must be willing to travel.

  • A valid driver’s license is necessary for required travel in Iowa to meet with farmers and attend events in rural communities, on a farm or in fields.

  • Some required travel will be to locations throughout the U.S. to meet with companies, organizations, or government officials. 


Reasoning Ability:

  • Ability to apply strategic and/or conceptual thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems.

  •  Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.


Computer Skills:

  • Ability to perform intermediate PC functions including spreadsheet formulas and functions, queries, tables, merges, and special reports. Intermediate experience required.

  • Able to work efficiently with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Windows to complete job tasks.


Decision Making: 

  • Responsibilities are guided by a general set of policies or objectives. There is considerable freedom to make decisions within these policies or objectives.

  • Work is periodically reviewed to determine if objectives have been met.



This position works mostly in an office environment. It is a quiet environment that is temperature controlled, ventilated, and well-lit. Working Conditions will include a desk space where most of the shift will be spent, and it provides open space to work in. When traveling, work environment will vary.



This position requires sitting, standing, and walking frequently. Reaching with hands and arms, climbing or balancing, and stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling is occasionally required.  Requires the ability to lift up to 50 pounds occasionally.


Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.





This is a full-time salaried position with an excellent benefits package.


All inquiries and information will be handled in strict confidence.  Interested parties should contact Kevin Drury at:

Kevin Drury

Hedlin Ag Enterprises

Ankeny, IA 50021

Phone:  515-964-7997       Email:

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