Position announcements

Research Associate – Organic food grains

This position will be part of a team working on the development of organic food grains in the Upper Midwest. The position will work closely with the Cereals Breeding and Quantitative Genetics research group led by Dr. Lucia Gutierrez, the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative led by Dr. Julie Dawson, and the OGRAIN program led by Dr. Erin Silva at UW Madison, and with Alyssa Hartman at the Artisan Grain Collaborative, a regional value chain network supporting grainshed development throughout the Midwest. The purpose of the position is to help increase the production of high quality cereal grains for the region, including supporting variety development, quality testing, market development and education around the production and use of food grade grains. The position will interface with seed producers, farmers, millers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, brewers, distillers and others in the regional cereal grain system in cooperation with the research, extension and education programs listed above.

Duties
This position will support the development of educational resources and adapted varieties for food-grade cereal grains in the Upper Midwest particularly wheat, barley and oats. This will include working closely with the organic cereals breeding and variety testing programs, and with the Artisan Grains Collaborative (AGC). In collaboration with these groups, the position will be responsible for:
• on-farm evaluations of new breeding lines of organic cereal grains.
• grain quality analysis including laboratory and end use trials (baking, brewing, distilling). In particularly expanding existing variety evaluation research and resources to include a broader range of products, and working with partners at the University of Illinois Pilot Processing Plant to conduct compositional analysis
• Stakeholder engagement including prioritization of research needs and support for the development of research projects to address stakeholder needs. The position will coordinate a convening of stakeholders and researchers on this topic at least annually.
• Support for AGC’s Research & Variety Testing and Farmer Collaboration Working Groups. In particular this position will support participatory research and farmer-led research project development related to food grade grains.
• Development of food grains tracks at educational events, including OGRAIN, AGC, and other partners conferences and field days

Qualifications

MS or PhD in plant breeding, agroecology, crop science or a related field
Demonstrated ability to develop scientific and extension publications for professional audiences
Demonstrated ability to communicate scientific information to the general public
Ability to obtain UW Driver’s Authorization for travel

Desired qualifications
Experience in organic or participatory plant breeding or on-farm trials
Experience with organic small grains production and variety trials
Excellent communication skills and interest in community of practice development
Experience with video editing, filming, graphic design and/or photography
Experience with project management, particularly for participatory research

To apply:
Please send a CV, a writing sample for a professional audience and a general public audience and the names and contact information for three references to Julie Dawson, dawson@hort.wisc.edu. Applications will be reviewed until position is filled.

Research Associate – Collaborative plant breeding

This position is part of a project titled “Collaborative plant breeding network development for organic systems in the Upper Midwest” funded by the Organic Research and Extension Initiative. It will lead the development of a cross-sector collaborative plant breeding network, dedicated to building trialing and breeding capacity among upper Midwest organic farms, small seed companies and independent plant breeders. As awareness grows of the importance of decentralized seed systems and breeding for regional adaption, new models and digital tools are being developed to support trialing and plant breeding at a farm scale. There is a need for technical breeding education and increased coordination among regional stakeholders to assess and refine current tools for collaborative trialing, breeding and knowledge sharing. This position is well-suited to someone who envisions a career in collaborative plant breeding, education, and/or seed systems advocacy in the public or private sector.

Duties

This position will manage the development of collaborative breeding case studies with two upper Midwest independent breeders while supporting their tomato and pepper breeding efforts; co-author a publication on climatic considerations for seed production in the upper Midwest; create a video series on plant breeding techniques and collaborate on the coordination of a Midwest Plant Breeding Community of Practice.

Qualifications

MS or PhD in plant breeding or a related field
Demonstrated ability to develop scientific and extension publications
Ability to use R statistical software and knowledge of common statistical methods
Willingness to become an expert user of Breedbase, SeedLinked and Seed Commons
Excellent communication skills and interest in community of practice development
Ability to obtain UW Driver’s Authorization for travel

Desired qualifications
Experience in organic or participatory plant breeding or on-farm trials
Knowledge of organic seed production and seedborne diseases
Experience with video editing, filming, graphic design and/or photography
Experience with project management, particularly for participatory research

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV and contact information for three references to Julie Dawson at dawson@hort.wisc.edu.  Applications will be reviewed until position is filled.