Plant breeders study seed characteristics and work to improve those characteristics that are most desirable for a plant, such as yield, size, quality, maturity, and resistance to frost, drought, disease and insect pests. A plant breeder will rely heavily on their knowledge of genetics, statistics, molecular technologies and plant growth to develop plants that are best for crossing.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?:
- Develop and manage a plant breeding program
- Maintain links between the company and technology support providers
- Maintain and forecast a budget for breeding activities
- Interact technically with marketers and end-users of the company’s products
- Interact technically with relevant authorities and institutions
- Develop a plant breeding team succession plan
- Supervise a plant breeding team
- Develop and maintain key industry links
- Undertake required support of the production of seed and/or crops
- Utilize new technologies such as a Global Positioning System (GPS)
Recommended High School Courses:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, mathematics, business, computer science, biology, chemistry and physics.
A bachelor’s degree in crop science, plant genetics or agronomy is required. In many cases a Ph.D. or Master of Science in plant science is required. Practical and applied research is needed in this field of work; participate on campus in labs and research trials when possible.