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

Exchange and Outreach Coordinator
ERP Systems Manager
Field Crew and Order Fulfillment
Seed Bank Manager
Seed Bank Inventory Technician
Lillian Goldman Visitor Center Sales Associate

Exchange & Outreach Coordinator

FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Position Status: Full-Time, Hourly
Starting Pay: $17.00/hour
Reports to: Preservation Director

Primary Role

The Exchange and Outreach Coordinator facilitates the Exchange, the gardener-to-gardener seed-sharing program at the heart of Seed Savers Exchange. Are you a community builder or educator with a passion for seeds? This program distributes varieties from the seed bank collection and connects hundreds of gardeners sharing home-grown seeds through an online community and print publication. This position will organize and promote the Exchange, to grow and nurture this network of individuals who garden for seed saving or access to heritage varieties. They are also responsible for other events and projects that engage and educate on seed saving practices and related topics. Additionally, they lead and coordinate the seed and nursery trade censuses, which are publications compiling the commercial availability of open-pollinated seeds and fruits, berries, and nuts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

    The Exchange
  • Organize and coordinate Seed Savers Exchange staff and volunteers in the production of the Yearbook (the annual print edition of the Exchange).
  • Lead the education and engagement effort for the Exchange, including email promotion, marketing, and outreach in collaboration with the Marketing & Communication department.
  • Serve as point of contact for Exchange inquiries and communicate regularly with Exchange participants, members, and customers of Seed Savers Exchange via email, mail, phone, and the Exchange Facebook group. This communication includes but is not limited to day-to-day usability questions, communicating deadlines, and building community to increase participation in the Exchange.
  • Coordinate all testing and improvements of the Exchange website.
  • Manage non web-based Exchange participant listings by uploading listings to Exchange.

  • Education & Outreach
  • Coordinate and lead SSE’s annual Seed School, including planning the schedule and speaker lineup, developing and refining educational materials, collaborating with the Marketing and Communications team to promote the course and register participants, facilitating sessions, and assessing impact.
  • Represent Seed Savers Exchange by giving educational presentations, tours, and workshops.
  • Other responsibilities as assigned by the Preservation Director.

  • Census Publications
  • Lead the research and compilation of the Seed Trade Census and the Nursery Trade Census in the years they are produced. Collaborate with departments including Information Technology, Preservation, Membership and Development, and Marketing and Communications, to research, compile, and publish this directory. This includes the management and organization of large amounts of data.
  • Develop a long-term vision for ongoing promotion, partnerships, and accessibility of the Census publications.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervise interns and volunteers involved with the production of the census publications, Yearbook, and other projects, as needed.

Skills

  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Effective interpersonal and management skills
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities, while meeting deadlines
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer and web-based literacy
  • Public speaking skills

Physical Requirements

  • Able to sit and stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to work at a computer for long periods of time

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or commensurate experience in education, communications, outreach, horticulture, or related field
  • Demonstrated record of working independently and as part of a team
  • Strong project management skills including task delegation
  • Strong interpersonal relation skills
  • Ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Interest in gardening, botany, and seed saving
  • Experience in education

Job Share

  • Helps as needed in order fulfillment or customer service in the Seed House seasonally.

Benefits

  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability
  • Paid Life Insurance
  • Employee Merchandise Discounts
  • Employee/Family Health Insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match after eligibility period

ERP Systems Manager

FLSA Status: Exempt
Position Status: Regular Full-Time Salary
Starting Pay: $55,000/annual
Reports to: Deputy Director

Primary Role


Seed Savers Exchange is seeking an ERP Systems Manager to join our team. The ideal candidate would have hands-on experience with an ERP System and project management, along with leadership experience. The candidate would also have a working knowledge of IT hardware.

This role develops and directs IT strategy, inclusive of websites, databases, hardware, ERP, and other applications; both internal and external user experience of IT systems are within the purview of this position and optimizing that experience for efficiency, effectiveness. This role would also be the primary point of contact between SSE staff and a contracted IT helpdesk that assists staff with IT hardware needs.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead the IT team, contracted developers, support technicians, and vendors
  • Identify organizational technology needs and make recommendations to business decision-makers
  • Implement company-wide technology updates and hold sessions to teach employees on new features
  • Proactively manage 3rd party IT partners which support both software and hardware systems to ensure that staff has their IT needs met to perform their jobs well.
  • Strategically design, develop, implement and coordinate systems, policies, and procedures
  • Responsible for maintaining continued implementation of NetSuite ERP
  • Develop and maintain websites, sometimes in partnership with contracted developers, including the primary SSE website, blog, seed exchange, Community Seed Network, and Visitors Center plant sale reservations
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders to gather and document operational and functional requirements and translate into solutions
  • Be the administrator of the business ERP system and interconnected systems and maintain system uptime, stability, performance, and functionality
  • Roll out a test plan for all end users when system updates & releases are announced
  • Configure sales dashboards and optimize other front-end tools for end-user request
  • Build and/or maintain other related business applications for internal & external users
  • Identify, evaluate and recommend other key technologies and best practices required to support and improve the business process
  • Develop, manage and maintain the eCommerce platform’s functional operations with developers
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for ERP and other application/database end-users; help them to understand business needs to identify best solutions
  • Continually evaluate the current state and new or under-used functionality to drive system improvement
  • Analyze and recommend technologies and tools to improve the efficiency and quality of the data warehousing and management process
  • Perform day-to-day operations, maintenance, support, and troubleshooting activities through prioritization of requests and communication with internal/external stakeholders

  • Inter-Departmental Responsibilities
  • Create and administer Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to train the organization in the ERP system
  • Work closely with third party IT Helpdesk

  • External-Department Responsibilties
  • Serve as a knowledgeable resource on the organization’s Leadership Team by providing key perspectives on behalf of IT to support mission fulfillment and strategic planning
  • Communicate regularly with managers, directors, and other designated contacts within and outside the organization
  • Assist in evaluating current and proposed systems and procedures
  • Implement new technology solutions with internal & external resources
  • Perform additional duties as assigned by the Deputy Director
  • Skills


  • Leadership and personnel management skills
  • Strategic planning and budget management skills
  • Ability to teach others new and advanced technology skills
  • Ability to work independently with minimal guidance
  • Ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams
  • Ability to manage multiple concurrent projects
  • Ability to quickly move between tasks/projects
  • Functional, technical, and implementation skills
  • Excellent problem solving and project management skills
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Excellent computer and record-keeping skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Physical Requirements:


  • Sitting at a computer screen for extended periods.
  • Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or a related field with 2-4 years of experience managing NetSuite’s ERP platform or equivalent ERP system
  • Experience building or maintaining websites and databases, with knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and SQL
  • Understanding of warehouse logistics or supply chain management processes
  • Must be a self-starter with the ability to work independently and in a collaborative team environment
  • Experience working with users, demonstrated empathy for their needs, and proven desire to make business processes better
  • 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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Field Crew and Order Fulfillment

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Position Status: Part-time hourly
Starting Pay: $16.00/hr
Reports to:Farm Director / Sales and Business Director

Primary Role

Seed Savers Exchange is hiring for a Part-Time Field Crew and Order Fulfillment position. This position will support Seed Savers Exchange with field preparation, seed production, field maintenance, and seed harvesting and processing This candidate will also assist in the Seed House with seed packing and order fulfillment. Must be flexible to change tasks as priorities change and flexible through direct supervisor changes. This is a regular part-time position working 24 hours per week year-round.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

    Field Operations:
  • Involved in field activities during the growing season, including but not limited to: direct seeding, transplanting, mulching, hand weeding, mechanical tilling, trellising, fencing, and harvesting
  • Support seed processing activities: Gain proficiency in all seed processing equipment and techniques including wet and dry processing, using both mechanical and manual methods
  • Follow all organic certification protocols and keep planting, harvesting, and processing records

  • Seed House, Seed Packing and Order Fulfillment:
  • Fill retail seed packets by hand and by automated machine
  • Attention to detail in seed count, lot accuracy and legibility, adequacy of seals, etc, without sacrificing efficiency
  • Packing automation includes barcode lot validation and operation of seed packing/printing software.
  • Keep the work area clean to minimize the possibility of cross-contamination
  • Prepare orders for shipment. This includes picking orders, validating items, and packing them into appropriate containers.
  • Process shipments using integrated shipping software

  • Skills


  • Able to perform basic computer functions with training
  • Ability to learn to operate a wide range of field and seed processing equipment
  • Accurate record-keeping and attention to detail
  • Able to work well as part of a team

  • 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

  • Qualifications


  • Farming/agriculture interest and experience preferred
  • Efficient, self-motivated person
  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Valid driver's license

  • Benefits

  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discount
  • Participation in Employee Wellness Program

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Seed Bank Manager

Position Status: Full Time, Hourly
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Reports to: Director of Preservation
Starting pay: $20.00/hr

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. Do you love seeds and seeing them grow and flourish? Do you love organizing, making decisions, and finishing tasks? Do you have experience being a positive energetic supervisor? If so, Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Seed Bank Manager to join our team and help curate and steward a plant collection of over 20,000 open-pollinated varieties. The ideal candidate should have experience in plant science, horticulture, botany, or agronomy, museum studies and experience stewarding or curating a collection.

Primary Role:

The Seed Bank Manager will oversee collection inventory, seed viability and health, and the annual regeneration program for the Seed Savers Exchange Seed Bank.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Prioritize and schedule varieties for annual regenerations onsite and offsite
  • Assess inventory and prescribe methods to determine collection priorities
  • Assist Preservation Director to develop crop stewardship plans
  • Ensure purity of varieties grown for regeneration by scouting for and roguing off- types in the field and in inventory packets
  • Assess and identify accession integrity
  • Oversee packaging of seed inventory including assigning seed harvests to appropriate packets
  • Prioritize accessions for seed germination tests
  • Prioritize accessions to reaccession and deaccession
  • Conduct pathology tests on seed crops including ELISA tests for lettuce and squash

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Supervise Seed Bank Germination Technician and Seed Bank Inventory Technician
  • Supervise volunteers, interns, and work-study students Internal-Department Responsibilities:
  • Collaborate with Seed Histories team to accept new donations
  • Assist with field work, seed packaging, seed pulling, and distributions as needed
  • Assist Seed Lab team with annual corn hand-pollination program

External-Department Responsibilities:

  • Work with Marketing and Communications team to write compelling articles and blogs
  • Represent Seed Savers Exchange at on-site and off-site events, conferences, and workshops
  • Serve on interdepartmental committees as needed

Skills:

  • Strong analytical and creative problem solving skills
  • Proven experience working with limited supervision
  • Exceptional communication, interpersonal, and time-management skills
  • Ability to prioritize competing short-term and long-term projects and tasks
  • Excellent attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Positive attitude and excellent teamwork skills
  • Flexibility and ability to balance workload

Qualifications:

  • 2-3 years of experience in plant science field such as horticulture, botany, plant pathology, or agronomy
  • Experience curating a collection in a professional environment
  • Experience working in a supervisory level position
  • Knowledge of seed biology or physiology
  • Demonstrated record of successfully working independently and as part of a collaborative team

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to sit and stand for long periods
  • During field work, ability to work in temperature extremes
  • Able to lift 25 pounds

Benefits:

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

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Seed Bank Inventory Technician

Position Status: Regular full-time hourly
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Reports to: Seed Bank Manager
Starting Pay: $17.00/hr

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. Do you love seeds and science? Do you thrive in a lab setting? Are you an organized person who loves to start and see through tasks in a timely manner? Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Seed Bank Inventory Technician to join our team. The ideal candidate should have interest and experience in Biology, Botany, Horticulture or a related field.

Primary Role

This position will work closely with the seeds and will experience the extensive diversity of the Heritage Farm Collection. They will work closely with the Seed Bank Germination Technician to perform all seed lab duties, which fluctuate on a yearly cycle. This position will primarily oversee seed packaging and distributions. The Inventory Tech will assist with germination testing, corn hand pollination, and field work as needed during the peak seasons. This position offers a balance of lab and field work as well as independent and team tasks. We are looking for an enthusiastic individual with the tenacity, organization, and passion for our mission.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Inventory Management

  • Package, inventory, and store regenerated and recently acquired plant material in a timely manner
  • Implement seed storage protocols and maintain accurate inventory records
  • Prepare seed samples for yearly grow outs and other distributions
  • Prepare all necessary tags and reports for yearly grow outs
  • Coordinate, prepare, and package annual deposits to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and the USDA back-up sites
  • Perform data management tasks, including data scrubbing, copying/filing old documents, and updating records
  • Complete additional inventory-related tasks as assigned such as creating inventory records, inventory reorganization projects, and repackaging older inventory

Fulfilling Yearbook/Seed Exchange Requests

  • Enter orders received into NetSuite and Microsoft access database
  • Prepare, package, and ship samples of seeds, scion wood, and potato tubers

Corn Hand Pollination

  • Plan and oversee corn hand pollination program from June through August
  • Monitor corn varieties closely for tassel and shoot development
  • Bag shoots and tassels and perform pollinations
  • Assist with harvesting and processing corn as needed

Inter-Departmental Responsibilities

  • Assist Germination Tech in performing all germination and moisture content tests in keeping with AOSA (Association of Official Seed Analysts) Rules and Seed Savers Exchange protocols during peak seasons
  • Assist with field work regularly during peak times from April through September
  • Assist with seed cleaning and processing including fleshy fruit processing and dry seed crop processing
  • Assist the Evaluations Team with seed evaluation on charismatic seed including identifying off-types and scanning inventory
  • Perform additional duties as assigned by the Seed Bank Manager

External-Department Responsibilities

  • Professionally represent SSE while interacting with members, visitors, board members and guests during informal interactions, tours, presentations, and workshops
  • Communicate with members and the general public about the seed and plant collection

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Train work study students, interns, and/or volunteers on seed lab, corn hand pollination, and/or germination procedures as needed

Skills

  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities, while meeting deadlines
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Creative approach to problem solving

Physical Requirements

  • Able to sit and stand for long periods
  • Ability to perform repetitive motions for long periods is essential
  • Work in temperature extremes including cold storage rooms and high heat and humidity during the fieldwork season
  • Ability to lift at least 25 pounds

Qualifications

  • Degree or related work experience in plant science, biology, botany, horticulture, environmental science or a related field
  • Demonstrated record of working independently and as part of a team
  • 1 year experience in horticulture, biology, museum studies, or seed industry preferred but not required
  • Experience in seed biology, seed storage, germination testing, and corn pollination is a bonus

Benefits

  • Employee/family health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Employee wellness program and merchandise discounts

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Lillian Goldman Visitor Center Sales Associate

FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Position Status: Regular part-time hourly
Reports to: Visitor Center Manager / Sales & Business Director
Starting Pay: $14/hr

Seed Savers is a non-profit organization based in Decorah, IA 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 Lillian Goldman Visitor Center Sales Associate to join our team. The ideal candidate should have retail experience, some garden knowledge, and the ability to work well within a team.

Primary Role

The Lillian Goldman Visitor Center Sales Associate will support Seed Savers Exchange by assisting the visitors of Heritage Farm. Duties include offering help to customers with purchasing specific, related, or general lines of merchandise related to the SSE mission. The Visitor Center Sales Associate will also assist visitors by answering questions in regard to Seed Savers Exchange and its origin, future mission, and Heritage Farm trails and gardens.

When not working at the Visitor Center, this position will support Seed Savers Exchange with all aspects of seed packing and order fulfillment. Must be flexible to change tasks as priorities change.

Work schedule*

  • Sundays and Mondays, 9:00am - 5:30pm in the Visitor Center
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8:00am - 4:30pm in the Seed House
    • From November - February, more time will be spent in the Seed House

*this schedule is subject to change based on needs of the company

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Visitor Center

  • Answer questions, or connect the visitor to other associates who have expertise if needed.
  • Make customers feel welcome, and suggest additional items to build sales
  • Comply with the security processes, policies, and procedures established while using the POS system
  • Distribute the "Visit Us” brochures to area tourism attractions.
  • Have a complete understanding of educational and training materials.
  • Willing to learn our computer system in order to transfer merchandise, ticket items, and other items as assigned.
  • Offer suggestions to the managers for new merchandise.
  • Organize and replenish inventory as needed.
  • Make sure there is change in the registers and put in change orders.
  • Assist in the upkeep of retail displays, following merchandising protocol.
  • Maintain transplants during the transplant season, including watering and restocking.
  • General cleaning
  • Assist in gardening duties as assigned- such as weeding, planting, transplants/seeds, watering, pruning, composting, etc.
  • Comfortable with being trained to care for poultry on the weekends.
  • Other duties as assigned by the LGVC Manager, or Sales & Business Director.

Order Fulfillment

  • Prepare orders for shipment. This includes picking orders, validating items, and packing into appropriate containers.
  • Process shipments using integrated shipping software.
  • Package seeds into appropriate packets using tools while following strict Organic Standards Practices with training and guidance from senior staff.

Physical Requirements

  • Able to attend to duties such as opening and unpacking boxes and driving a company vehicle. Lifting up to 50 lbs, bending, stretching, kneeling, and walking is required.
  • Ability to stand or sit for extended periods of time.

Qualifications

  • High School diploma or GED
  • Gardening knowledge and skills preferred
  • Business/retail skills preferred
  • Valid driver's license

Benefits

  • Paid time off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability
  • Paid Life Insurance
  • Employee Merchandise Discounts
  • Employee/child health insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match after eligibility period
  • 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.