Seed Business 101 Field Crops, August 20 - 24, 2018. St. Charles, IL

Davis, CA (June 12, 2018) - Seed Business 101 is a one-week course designed to expose the participants to the five functional areas of a seed company:

  • R&D
  • Production
  • Operations
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Administration

The class gives employees a broad understanding of the major aspects of a seed company’s operations and cross-departmental knowledge of best practices for profitability.

Core Lecturers

Taught by widely respected industry executives

Craig Newman, former President & CEO of AgReliant Genetics, the third largest corn seed company in the U.S. During his career, Mr. Newman held various positions with Akin Seed, Callahan Seeds and AgriGold Hybrids. As a recent retiree and active consultant, Craig brings over 39 years of experience in the seed business to our team of instructors.

Tom Francis, former Global Head of Product Evaluation and Assessment for Syngenta. Dr. Francis has over 30 years of experience in the seed business and has served in leadership positions for both the Canadian and American seed trade associations. Today he consults and maintains a special interest in attracting and developing new talent within the seed industry.

Dave Westphal, held leadership positions with Cargill Inc. and Monsanto’s subsidiaries. Mr. Westphal has more than 46 years of diverse management experience in worldwide agribusiness. He is the founder and CEO of D3 Consulting, LLC and a member of the Context firm. Currently he is engaged in consulting activities with foundations and alliances in Africa working with start-up seed businesses.

For the 2018 St. Charles session, core instructors will be supported by several guest speakers, including John Latham, Latham Hi Tech Seeds, and John Wyffels, Wyffels Hybrids. In addition, the participants will have the opportunity to visit two state-of-the-art Illinois facilities, Monsanto Production location at Waterman and Ag Reliant Research location at Kirkland.

Course Venue: Historic Hotel Baker

Built in 1928 in downtown St. Charles, the historic Hotel Baker is within walking distance of shops, restaurants and other amenities. A charming rose garden and outdoor patio dining help create a lovely and tranquil open-air setting along Illinois’ Fox River. The hotel’s recent renovation included upgrades to meeting rooms and guest rooms, both individually decorated in vintage style with the latest amenities for a unique combination of old world charm and modern luxuries. Due to its architectural and historical significance, Hotel Baker is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Seed Business 101 course will be held in the Waterfront Room at the historic Hotel Baker, downtown St. Charles, IL USA

Early-bird registration for Seed Business 101 ends June 30, 2018.

For more information and registration, please contact Julie Tillman ( or visit