Why get a job in the grain and seed industry?

People who work in the grain and seed industry often find they stay in their jobs much longer than expected. Why is this? Probably because working in the grain and seed industry is so variable, so diverse and constantly offers new challenges. It also has a real sense of purpose because seed and grain is used by everyone around the world. Everything we eat starts with a seed, either with vegetables, cereals, nuts and fruit, or because the meat we eat comes from animals that eat plants that are grown from seed or grain. Think about that for a minute!

Seed from New Zealand goes all around the world as we have a very good reputation for quality, reliability and because our climate is perfectly suited to seed production.

So what is the grain and seed industry?

Essentially the industry is all about planting out seed and grain to harvest lots more seed and grain so that it can be sold to our customers around the world. Seed is used for many purposes such as for growing vegetables, lawns, medicines, crops for animals and of course for eating by us!

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Grain on the other hand is grown to produce breakfast cereals, snacks ,bread and biscuits; it is also grown to make malt, an ingredient of beer. Grain is also as a source of food for pigs, chickens, horses and cows.

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To make all this happen there are many people and businesses involved, from the scientists who do the research into new plant types, to the seed companies that develop and market the seed, the growers who grow it for them as well as the processors who clean and package it.

To do all this successfully, the industry needs people with all sorts of skills. A short list of the jobs people have is as follows:

Plant breeder, plant scientist, science technician, agronomist, product development manager, territory sales manager, animal nutritionist, technical field representative, marketer, customer service administrator, seed processer, logistics manager, export administrator, accountant, human resources manager, Information systems analyst, quality assurance manager, payroll administrator, commodity trader, financial controller, seed analyst.

I am interested in the industry so what studies would help?

Because of the diverse range of roles available in the industry your subject options at school are not that critical. However, because seed and grain are biological products, it would be an advantage for you to study some biological subjects, particularly in year 12 and 13.

Going to university after school is recommended if you want to fast-track your career in the seed and grain industry. The best courses of study are diplomas or degrees in agricultural science, commerce or business studies.

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Getting a job in the industry

An ideal way is starting as a farm services representative or a retail assistant for a rural servicing company such as for Farmlands, PGG Wrightson or RD1.

Another option is as a technician with a proprietary seed company such as Agriseeds, Cropmark, Seedforce or PGG Wrightson Seeds.

For more information on these companies, click here to go to our member’s site.

For more information on related roles, try navigating the Careers New Zealand website.