Job Opportunities

Join the team at Heritage Farm!

Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit, nationally-focused organization based in the Driftless Region on the outskirts of Decorah, Iowa (near where Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota converge on the Mississippi), has focused on conserving and promoting America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations. Seed Savers Exchange was a pioneer in the advocacy for preserving these heirloom varieties for generations to come, and is committed to keeping these varieties where they belong—in our gardens and on our tables.

Please email a cover letter, resumé, and the contact information for three references as a single PDF 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: Peggy Miller | 3094 North Winn Rd. | Decorah, IA 52101.

We are an equal opportunity employer.

Current Opportunities

Director of Preservation
Tissue Culture Lab Technician
Manager for the Lillian Goldman Visitor Center
Customer Service Manager
Seed Packing Machine Operator
Bulk Inventory Coordinator

Director of Preservation

FLSA Status: Exempt
Reports to: Executive Director

Primary Role:

The Director of Preservation will provide overall leadership for Seed Savers Exchange’s Preservation Department. Directs and develops strategies for managing the Seed Savers plant collection of over 20,000 varieties. Serves on the organization's leadership team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serve as team lead of the Seed Savers Exchange Preservation department
  • Plan long term goals and vision for Preservation department and Seed Savers Exchange collection
  • Oversee collection usage and department programs that connect partners with collection varieties
  • Serve as QC/QA lead for Preservation department by reviewing planting notes, germination tests, evaluation data, seed histories data, and utilize information to continuously improve the documentation of the collection
  • Serve as final decision maker on deaccessioning
  • Oversee accurate implementation of Accession Policy and department protocols
  • Develop collection and crop maintenance goals, plans, and strategies in accordance with the Accessions Policy
  • Prepare department budget and manage fiscal resources
  • Maintain the Preservation department database and ensure data fidelity
  • Oversee the Exchange and print Yearbook production as well as Seed & Nursery Trade Census production Supervisory Responsibilities:
  • Lead employees in Seed Savers Exchange Preservation Department
  • Create positive atmosphere where employees can maximize their potential
  • Assist employees to develop program plans that measure yearly success
  • Train and supervise staff, volunteers, interns and other stakeholders
  • Delegate workflow and workload as needed
  • Serve as a liaison between Preservation staff and administration
  • Hire new staff including seasonals, interns, and federal work study students
  • Coordinate Preservation volunteer opportunities with Education Manager

Intra-Department Responsibilities:

  • In conjunction with Preservation staff, develop new strategies that further advance distribution and promotion of the collection
  • Assist with field work, seed packaging, distributions as needed
  • Assist with corn hand pollination
  • Assist with collection backups with Inventory Technician and serve as point of contact with Svalbard Global Seed Vault External-Department Responsibilities:
  • Steward and cultivate partnerships, collaborations, and relationships to connect people with the Seed Savers Exchange collection
  • Provide specialist advice and technical expertise internally and externally on seed collections
  • Collaborate with Field Operations on annual field plan as well as overall seed regeneration program
  • Work with Intern Planning team to create educational experiences for interns
  • Work with Marketing and Education to develop educational and promotional materials
  • Work with Development team to assist with grant applications
  • Conduct public tours, workshops, and give lectures and interviews as required
  • Respond to inquiries of Seed Savers Exchange members, the public, and any interested parties that seek to learn more about Seed Savers Exchange
  • Liaise and collaborate with government agencies, community groups, and other seed banks
  • Perform additional duties as assigned by Executive Director

Skills:

  • Exceptional leadership qualities with emphasis on collaborative and horizontal leadership methods
  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Exceptional written and oral communication abilities
  • Flexibility and ability to balance workload
  • Excellent attention to detail

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to sit and stand for long periods
  • During field work, ability to work in temperature extremes

Qualifications:

  • Science degree in horticulture, plant science, botany, agronomy and 3 years experience managing a plant collection
  • Experience working in a collaborative management level position
  • Experience working with technical aspects of seed biology, seed physiology, and seed storage
  • Experience with tissue culture is preferred, but not essential

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Tissue Culture Lab Technician

FLSA Status: Full-time Non-Exempt, hourly
Reports to: Seed Bank Manager

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization based in Decorah, Iowa focused on conserving and promoting America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations. Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Tissue Culture Laboratory Technician to join our team. The ideal candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in biology, horticulture, or a related field and experience with laboratory work or performing plant tissue culture.

Primary Role:

The Tissue Culture Lab Technician will utilize their technical skill and knowledge to maintain the potato and sweet potato tissue culture collections in vitro. The Tissue Culture Lab Technician will also assist with collection curation, potato evaluation, potato history research, and field support.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Independently perform tissue culture work in an organized and timely manner
  • Perform all tissue culture lab activities including making media, performing transfers, inducting new material, cleaning test tubes, maintaining inventory records, entering data, organizing growth chambers, scouting for contamination, and ordering supplies
  • Work to eradicate viruses from the potato collection by using shoot-tip meristem culture and thermo/chemotherapy or other best practices
  • Evaluate short term and long term tissue culture methods, strategies, and protocols for efficiency and soundness
  • Select and schedule varieties for annual growouts

Other Departmental Responsibilities:

  • Assist Field Ops and other Preservation staff with farming duties during peak times of the growing season
  • Work with Evaluation team to evaluate potato varieties
  • Work with Seed Historians to research potato histories

External-Department Responsibilities:

  • Professionally represent SSE while interacting with members, visitors, board members and guests during informal interactions, tours, presentations, and workshops.

Skills:

  • Experience with plant tissue culture is ideal but not required
  • Experience with laboratory work
  • Excellent attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong analytical and creative problem solving skills
  • Exceptional time-management skills
  • Flexibility and ability to balance workload

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to sit for long periods of time during tissue culture procedures
  • Ability to work in temperature extremes during field work
  • Ability to lift at least 25 pounds

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, plant science, or a related field, or a combination of education and experience

Benefits:

  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability and Life Insurance
  • Employee Merchandise Discounts
  • Health care and retirement benefits.

Please email a cover letter, resume, and the contact information for three references to jobs@seedsavers.org - include Tissue Culture Lab Tech in the subject line of your email.

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Manager for the Lillian Goldman Visitor Center

FLSA Status: Exempt Position Status: Full-time, Salary
Reports to: Director of Business and Sales

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization based in Decorah, Iowa focused on conserving and promoting America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations. Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a manager for the Lillian Goldman Visitor Center. The ideal candidate should have retail and merchandising experience, some garden knowledge, an interest in the mission of SSE, and possess strong leadership skills.

Primary Role:

The manager of the Lillian Goldman Visitor Center will support Seed Savers Exchange by assisting the visitors of Heritage Farm. This position will manage all operational aspects of the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center (LGVC). This encompasses offering help to customers with purchasing specific, related, or general lines of merchandise related to SSE mission; answering questions in regard to Seed Savers Exchange and its origin and future mission; and supporting an LGVC team that offers excellent customer service and supports each other in the day to day tasks. At least 1 weekend day is required from March-October. The LGVC Manager will be required to work in the Seed House during the months of November-January as assigned by the Director of Business and Sales. During this off season, the Director of Business and Sales will work with the LGVC Manager to allow time for preparations for the upcoming LGVC season. Generally, this will allow for two days per week for LGVC work and the remainder in support of the Seed House business needs.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • As the buyer, research new merchandise; determine replenishment needs according to stock levels of products; order products from vendors.
  • Merchandise and curate products to make them inviting; follow basic principles of merchandising ( e.g. abundance, balance, placement). Create seasonal displays.
  • Plan pop-up informal mini events to boost sales; offer hands-on interactive displays to enhance visitor experience.
  • Oversee the appearance of the LGVC and areas around the building, including the office, checkout area, front gardens, hanging baskets, sidewalks, and paths. Make sure the building is locked and secure at night.
  • Answer customer inquiries and concerns.
  • Collaborate with the Education Manager on implementation of large interdepartmental events held at the LGVC.
  • Engage with the local community for relationship and reciprocity.
  • Attend the Decorah Chamber of Commerce Retail Meetings quarterly.
  • Work the large events each season-Plant Sale, Conference and Campout, and the concert (required).
  • Work with the marketing department on advertising and signage.
  • Partner with membership to increase membership for SSE.
  • Order transplants and other live merchandise and prepare them for sale at the Plant Sale each year.
  • Accurately enter purchase orders into NetSuite, making sure the inventory item number, quantity, and rate matches the vendor’s invoice.
  • Formulate pricing on merchandise according to requirements for profitability of store operations.
  • Maintain and update the LGVC employee manual and manager manual.
  • Update the LGVC business plan with the Director of Business and Sales.
  • Writing an update for inclusion in the monthly newsletter
  • Sharing a departmental update at the weekly Seed House meeting
  • Writing reports for presentation by the Director of Business and Sales at quarterly Board of

Directors Meetings

  • Being responsible for confidential information

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for supervising two full-time hourly employees.
  • Plan and prepare work schedules and assign employees to specific duties to include general cleaning, ticketing of products when they arrive, replenishing stock, sending out brochures, working with live plants, and keeping the store organized.
  • Ensure compliance of employees with established security, sales and recordkeeping procedures and practices.
  • Make sure staff have the required merchandise and gardening training to successfully answer SSE visitor questions and assist with their needs.
  • Make sure the staff has a clear understanding of SSE's mission to effectively communicate with customers.
  • Communicate with staff on ideas and operational expectations.
  • Communicates effectively with the Director of Business and Sales through emails, phone calls, and/or meetings as needed.

Technology Skills:

  • Working knowledge of office software such as Microsoft Office or Google Docs (word processing, spreadsheets, presentation)
  • Proficient with Point of Sales Systems
  • Ability to use, or learn to use NetSuite, or other CRM based software.

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Punctuality and dependability with a strong work ethic
  • Friendly, patient, and responsive; must enjoy interacting with the general public
  • Collaborative with staff for interdepartmental matters
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to focus and prioritize
  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Ability to work efficiently and effectively in a fast pace environment

Physical Requirements:

  • Able to tend to store requirements and/or garden duties that will involve bending, stretching, kneeling, walking and lifting(up to 35 lbs)

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred, or commensurate experience
  • Gardening knowledge and skills preferred; interest in and desire to learn about gardening and seeds is essential
  • Business/retail skills required

Benefits:

  • Employee/children health insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability
  • Paid Life Insurance
  • 40% discount on merchandise
  • 401K retirement plan
  • Wellness benefit

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Customer Service Manager

FLSA Status: Permanent Full-Time employee, Non-Exempt
Reports to: Director of Business and Sales

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization based in Decorah, Iowa focused on conserving and promoting America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations. Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Customer Service Manager to join our team.

Primary Role:

The Customer Service Manager is responsible for managing all aspects of customer service for Seed Savers Exchange. This position will lead and supervise our customer service staff and support all aspects of customer service via phone calls, fax, email, mail in orders and our website including processing orders and assisting customers with product/gardening support.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Answering phones: acting as “Gate-keeper” for all incoming calls.
  • Compile and evaluate Customer Service metrics to assist in planning for peak season.
    • Customer support cases
    • Phone Logs
  • Engage walk-in visitors in a friendly and helpful manner. Make sure they feel welcome and leave with a positive experience – suggest a tour, offer maps, etc.
  • Trainer-level competence in all NetSuite commerce functions.
  • Customer information, reconciliation of duplicate accounts
  • Order process - via phone, mail, and on-line
  • Acquire and monitor customer feedback. Provide corrective action recommendations where appropriate.
  • Assemble procedures and documentation necessary to adequately train staff for seasonally fluctuating needs in customer service.
  • Remedy customer service issues encountered by staff (communicating with NetSuite System Administrator as needed).
  • Administer and maintain processes surrounding orders
    • Processing and fulfilling gift card orders (including eCards), yearbook orders, SSE event registrations, pick-up/walk-in orders, item fulfilments not shipped greater than 4 days past, orders fulfilled and not printed
    • Deposits Open (credit owed to customer), follow-up credit card declines, re-run cards (contact customers, close if no response), credit memos created by return authorizations, sales orders to be approved, clear customer price level w/ base or web, refunds and cancellations.
  • Assign/respond/monitor all cases (except Membership, Donation, International)
  • Allocate email inquiries (customer service, seed donations, etc)
  • Central point of contact for directing all incoming and many outgoing communications.
  • Knowledgeable about specifics of SSE events, workshops, conferences in order to advise staff and respond to customers
  • Support the department/company to the extent possible by allocating customer service staff to meet more urgent needs during peak periods
  • Order Entry: Enter orders received via phone/mail/fax/email. Contact customers as needed regarding orders.
  • Data entry: Assist with various data entry tasks; such as, merging customer records, entering/changing documents/customer lists, etc.
  • Assist coverage during absence of Seed Rack Program Manager
  • Gather all relevant company and product information, and disseminate to staff.
  • Upcoming events, participation in off-site functions, etc
  • Know roles within SSE and route inquiries appropriately.
  • Become knowledgeable about the Seed Savers Exchange mission, assisting members and customers with questions they may have and responding in a timely manner (via mail, email, phone, etc.).
  • General office duties: copying, faxing, errands, printing, folding, etc.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Drive customer service and representative engagement; coach representatives on proper customer service techniques and ensure the team is providing the highest level of customer service via website, emails and phone calls.
  • Direct supervision of up to 5 employees.
    • Training, coaching, evaluating performance, and keeping the team focused.
    • Timesheet approvals and processing time-off requests.
    • Manage disciplinary processes, complete performance reviews and assist in making hiring decisions for customer service reps and seasonal reps.

Inter-Department Responsibilities:

  • Meet with Seed House peers on a regular basis to discuss staffing, and re-allocate personnel as needed to meet fluctuating demands.
  • Consults with NetSuite System Administrator on maintaining processes surrounding orders and commerce functions.
  • Supports Shipping Manager with troubleshooting issues with orders before shipment.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by Director of Business and Sales, Executive Director, NetSuite System Administrator, or Seed House Seed Inventory Manager.

External-Department Responsibilities:

  • Evaluate “pulse” of customer ordering experience, and report issues and recommendations to appropriate department.
  • Provide Marketing Department with suggestions on how to improve sales, and also how to avoid unintended customer issues.
  • Attend various department meetings intermittently to keep in the loop of staff/responsibility changes or upcoming projects/events/mailings

Job Sharing:

  • None

Skills:

  • Excellent computer and record keeping skills.
  • Ability to communicate patiently and effectively with customers and co-workers.
  • Personable and professional telephone presence.
  • NetSuite experience

Physical Requirements:

  • Sitting at computer screen for extended periods

Qualifications:

  • The ideal candidate should have previous supervisory experience in a retail or call center setting, outstanding customer service skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to motivate and lead a team.
  • Bachelor’s degree and/or 3-5 years relevant Customer Service and Supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated leadership skills to effectively coach, develop and motivate a high-performing team
  • Gardening interest and experience preferred.
  • Self-motivation, attention to detail, and ability to organize tasks.

Benefits:

  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability
  • Paid Life Insurance
  • Employee Merchandise Discounts
  • Health care, retirement and lifestyle benefits

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Seed Packing Machine Operator

Position Status: Regular Full-time hourly
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Reports to: Seed Inventory Coordinator

Primary Role:

Working under the Seed Inventory Coordinator, the Seed Packing Machine Operator will be directly responsible for coordinating day to day operations of the seed packing machine and assisting in the Seed House as directed.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Primary person responsible for operating a large scale seed packing machine.
    • Work with Seed Inventory Coordinator to schedule, and complete seed packet builds of 500 - 3,000+ packets per variety.
    • Master, and train other employees to use seed packing equipment including:
      • Packet Printer
      • Large Scale Seed Packing Machine
  • Assist Bulk seed packing and fulfillment as directed
    • Work in conjunction with the Bulk Inventory Coordinator to pack bulk seed as required throughout the year, but especially in winter months when sales are high.
    • Pre-pack bulk to prepare for the season by hand packing and using a Data-Count machine.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director of Business and Sales and/or Seed Inventory Coordinator.

Skills:

  • Mechanical and technical aptitude sufficient to operate, train, and troubleshoot seed packing and printing equipment.
  • Leadership and ability to foster a healthy, productive work environment.
  • Competency with Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Ability to navigate backend point of sales system, NetSuite experience preferred.

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to sit at a computer screen for extended periods.
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds routinely, and up to 50 pounds occasionally.
  • Ability to work in cool (45 ̊F) for extended periods

Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma and/or equivalent experience
  • Self-motivation, attention to detail, and ability to organize tasks.

Benefits:

  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Participation in employee wellness program

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Bulk Inventory Coordinator

Position Status: Regular, Full-time
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Reports to: Seed Inventory Coordinator

Primary Role:

This position will coordinate all aspects of bulk seed packing, order fulfillment, and shipping of bulk orders as well as assisting in other areas throughout the Seed House as needed. This is a full time, hourly, benefits-eligible position working 40 hours per week year-round.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Package special work order items
  • Pick bulk items in cooler using item verification technology for corresponding sales orders
  • Coordinate with Shipping Room Manager to send out priority same-day orders
  • Fill packets and pre-pack for any items with low inventory (by hand and using automated seed packing machines)
  • Reporting and/or investigating inventory discrepancies and communicating to Inventory Operations Manager
  • Fill retail packets, either manually or with packing machine
  • Pre-pack bulk packets
  • Pack and process samples for germination testing
  • Other duties as assigned

Inter-Department Responsibilities:

  • Help pick, pack, and ship transplants, potatoes, garlic, and apple trees
  • Assist with seed inventory cycle counts
  • Calibration and log maintenance of all scales used for seed packaging and shipping on a bi- weekly basis
  • Instruct and train others on how to pack bulk seed, how to properly calculate weights and spot checking their work for accuracy.

Skills:

  • Accurate record-keeping and attention to detail
  • Able to work well as part of a team
  • Flexible and able to change tasks as priorities change
  • Ability to learn computerized packing technology – scanning equipment, scales, inventory and shipping software
  • Critical thinking and problem solving

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds regularly
  • Standing or walking for extended periods
  • Prolonged exposure to cool temperatures +/-45 ̊ F

Qualifications:

  • Efficient, self-motivated person
  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Commitment to working efficiently both as part of a team or independently

Benefits:

  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Participation in employee wellness program

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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.