Job Opportunities

Join the team at Heritage Farm!

For more than 43 years, 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 to - 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.

Current Opportunities

Evaluation Technician/Seed House Order Fulfillment
Tissue Culture Lab Technician

Evaluation Technician/Seed House Order Fulfillment

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking an Evaluation Technician/Seed House Order Fulfillment Representative to join our team. This position supports the Evaluation Program by annually evaluating hundreds of varieties of garden crops both in the field and lab. In the winter months, this position assists in the Seed House preparing and processing seed orders for shipment. The ideal candidate should have experience working in a team environment and have a background in horticulture or a related plant science degree.

Applications accepted through September 20, 2019.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Preservation Department (mid-May through December)

  • Under the direction of the Evaluation and Trials Manager perform evaluation tasks on over 40 crop types and 500 varieties annually in the field and lab, including but not limited to:
    • data collection
    • digital scanning
    • field photography
    • taste evaluation
  • Assist in planning, installing, and maintaining evaluation gardens
  • Write variety descriptions for the annual yearbook and online exchange listings
  • Assist in filling seed orders and communicating with Citizen Science Corps participants
  • Perform additional duties as assigned by the Evaluation and Trials Manager
  • Oversee interns and volunteers working with the evaluation team

Seed House Department (January - mid-May)

  • Support the needs of the Seed House by preparing and processing orders for shipment
  • Pick orders, validate items/lot numbers, and pack into appropriate containers
  • Assist with packing, picking, and shipping potato and transplant orders
  • Perform additional duties as directed by the Shipping or Seed House managers
Inter-Department Responsibilities
  • Participate in field activities as assigned by Field Manager
  • Conduct background research on varieties in the collection to determine compliance with the accessions policy
  • Assist Marketing Department to help highlight and promote varieties and evaluation activities through articles, blogs, and presentations
  • Represent Seed Savers Exchange during events by giving tours and presentations
Preferred Skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Exceptional team building skills as well as the ability to work independently
  • Proficiency with Office Suite and ability to work in a complex Access database
  • Excellent attention to detail
Physical Requirements
  • Ability to work in varying weather conditions
  • Ability to stand, kneel, and walk for long periods of time
  • Ability to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Degree or experience in horticulture, plant science, botany, or biology
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Health care, retirement and lifestyle benefits

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Tissue Culture Lab Technician

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Tissue Culture Laboratory Technician to join our team. The Tissue Culture Lab Technician will utilize their technical skills and knowledge to maintain the potato and sweet potato tissue culture collections in vitro. The Tissue Culture Lab Technician will also assist with potato evaluation, potato histories, and field support. The ideal candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in biology, horticulture, or a related field and experience with performing plant tissue culture in a laboratory setting.

Applications accepted through September 16, 2019.

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 potato collection of viruses 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
Other Departmental Responsibilities
  • Assist field crew up to 16 hours a week during peak field season (May-Sept)
  • Work with Evaluation team to evaluate potato varieties
  • Work with Seed Historians to document potato histories
  • Assist Director of Preservation with analyzing results from potato DNA analysis
  • Experience with plant tissue culture
  • 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
  • Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, or plant science, or equivalent years demonstrated work
  • Experience performing all aspects of plant tissue culture
  • Experience with virus eradication of plant material in tissue culture
  • Proven experience working with limited supervision
  • Paid time off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Health care, retirement and lifestyle benefits

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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.

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