Internships

Join the team at Heritage Farm!

Please email a cover letter, resumé, and the contact information for three references to jobs@seedsavers.org—include the name of the position in the subject line of your email. Applications may also be mailed to: Seed Savers Exchange | Attn: Lynne Rilling | 3094 North Winn Rd. | Decorah, IA 52101.

We are an equal opportunity employer.

2019 Internships

Seed Savers Exchange is filling 3-5 internships for summer 2019. These are non-exempt seasonal position, working 40 hours per week for up to 12 weeks.

Internships run for 12 weeks starting in late May/early June and running through mid to late August, but dates are flexible. The interns will assist preservation and field staff through all stages of seed regeneration, evaluation, and other garden duties with an emphasis through all of the internships on learning how to grow, harvest, and save seeds.

Applications accepted through March 30, 2019.

Seed Regeneration Intern(s)
Corn Hand Pollination Intern
Seed Rematriation Intern
Diane’s Garden & Evaluation Program Intern

Seed Regeneration

The SSE Seed Regeneration Internships (including the Corn Hand Pollination Internship) offer exceptional experience and training for college students and others seeking careers or experience in the fields of horticulture, plant genetic resource management, sustainable agriculture, or anthropology. The intern(s) will have the opportunity to work on diverse tasks related to the management of our seed bank as well as the regeneration of at-risk varieties.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities - Seed Regeneration
  • Direct seeding and transplanting by hand
  • Maintaining gardens, including watering, weeding, mulching, trellising and staking
  • Photographing varieties grown for increase
  • Setting up and maintaining fences, trellises, and pollination cages
  • Assisting with harvesting and seed processing
  • Collecting, reporting, and entering data in a timely manner
  • Assist Seed Savers Exchange staff as needed or as assigned
  • Occasional weekend or holiday work required

Qualifications and benefits

Corn Hand Pollination

The SSE Seed Regeneration Internships (including the Corn Hand Pollination Internship) offer exceptional experience and training for college students and others seeking careers or experience in the fields of horticulture, plant genetic resource management, sustainable agriculture, or anthropology. The intern(s) will have the opportunity to work on diverse tasks related to the management of our seed bank as well as the regeneration of at-risk varieties.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities - Corn Hand Pollination
  • Assist field staff with corn planting, weeding, and other garden maintenance
  • Construct deer and raccoon exclusion fencing
  • Assist field staff with all aspects corn hand pollination including but not limited to
  • Hand pollinating tassels
  • Bagging shoots and tassels
  • Collecting pollen
  • Assist Seed Savers Exchange staff as needed or as assigned
  • Occasional weekend or holiday work will be required

Qualifications and benefits

Seed Rematriation

The SSE Seed Rematriation Internship is a continuation of a 2018 initiative within the preservation department of Seed Savers Exchange. In partnership with the Indigenous Seed Keeper’s Network (ISKN), the Seed Rematriation Project is growing historic indigenous seed varieties identified from within the SSE seed bank collection and collecting their histories before sharing a portion of the seeds harvested with the cultures from which they originated. In the summer of 2018, the project involved identifying and regenerating 24 varieties of corn, beans, and squash that were traced back to indigenous communities. As Native American women were traditionally the keepers of the seeds, this return of the seeds to these cultures is referred to as “seed rematriation”.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities - Seed Rematriation
  • Direct seeding and transplanting by hand
  • Maintaining gardens, including watering, weeding, mulching, trellising and staking
  • Photographing varieties grown for increase
  • Setting up and maintaining fences, trellises, and pollination cages
  • Assisting with harvesting and seed processing
  • Collecting, reporting, and entering data in a timely manner
  • Assist Seed Savers Exchange staff as needed or as assigned
  • Occasional weekend or holiday work required

Qualifications and benefits

Diane’s Garden & Evaluation Program

The Diane’s Garden & Evaluation Program Internship is new in 2019. This intern will spend a portion of their time working with Diane Whealy, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, to plant and maintain her well known and beloved display garden at Heritage Farm, and a portion of their time working with the Evaluation Program staff to grow out and evaluate varieties from the SSE collection.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities - Diane’s Garden & Evaluation Program
  • Direct seeding and transplanting by hand
  • Maintaining gardens, including watering, weeding, mulching, trellising and staking
  • Photographing varieties grown for evaluation
  • Setting up and maintaining fences, trellises, and pollination cages
  • Assisting with harvesting and seed processing
  • Collecting, reporting, and entering data in a timely manner
  • Assist Seed Savers Exchange staff as needed or as assigned
  • Occasional weekend or holiday work required

Qualifications and benefits

Internship Qualifications and Benefits

Qualifications
  • Graduate or currently enrolled at an institution of higher education, preferably with a major in biology, botany, horticulture, agriculture, or general plant science areas OR equivalent (at least 2-3 years) work experience
  • Interest in seed saving/production and organic/sustainable agriculture preferred
  • Must be able to perform considerable physical activity including standing for extended periods of time, climbing ladders, lifting, carrying (up to 50 lbs.), bending, kneeling, and other motions related to garden maintenance
  • Must be able to work outside during inclement conditions as needed
  • Ability to keep accurate, detailed records in a fast-paced work environment
  • Past hands-on experience with plants and crop production is preferred
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from work
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license
Benefits
  • Compensation: 40hr/wk position at $8.00/hr
  • Onsite housing is available as a tax fringe benefit

Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer and enthusiastically encourages people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to apply. Seed Savers Exchange does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law.

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