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Crop Performance Trial Program Manager

South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
The base salary for this position is $47,000.
Date posted
Apr 29, 2024

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Position Type
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Details

The Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science at South Dakota State University is seeking a research trial manager to assist the department with implementing a successful Crop Performance Testing (CPT) program and Advanced Crop Yield Trials. This position is located in Brookings, South Dakota and is a 12-month, full-time, benefits-eligible position. 

The Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science includes over 40 faculty whose expertise spans the fields of Agronomy, Entomology, Genetics, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology, Precision Agriculture, Seed Science, Soil Science, and Weed Science. The Department has a robust research program that consistently ranks at the top of departments at SDSU. Discovery and dissemination of science-based knowledge are core missions of the department. Our faculty Extension Specialists and Field Specialists provide an effective structure for meeting this mission. In academic programs, the department provides nationally competitive training for undergraduate students leading to B.S. degrees in Agronomy, Horticulture and Precision Agriculture. Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science also offers a strong graduate training environment leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Science and Biological Sciences.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant mission of access.

Must be authorized to work in the U.S. Sponsorship is not available for this position.


  • Execution of Crop Performance Trials: Oversee and implement high-quality field trials across South Dakota, ensuring the delivery of reliable results. Lead efforts to continuously enhance the procurement process for multiple crop variety entries, making the program regionally competitive.
  • Management of Support Team: Lead and support a dedicated support team responsible for planning, planting, maintaining, and harvesting crop performance trials for corn, soybean, sunflower, and wheat. Foster a collaborative environment to ensure successful program implementation.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Interact with a diverse range of stakeholders, including researchers, industry groups, agricultural commodity organizations, and other stakeholders. Develop internet-based data applications and other communication channels to facilitate information distribution.
  • Supervision of Program Activities: Supervise and conduct the Crop Performance Testing (CPT) program, leveraging entry fees and fee-for-service activities. Develop trial designs, protocols for field sampling, and data management strategies to ensure the integrity of research outcomes.
  • Real-Time Feedback and Reporting: Provide timely feedback on data and field observations to stakeholders and faculty, facilitating informed decision-making and continuous improvement of the program.
  • Collaboration and Leadership: Collaborate effectively with peers and faculty across multiple departments to support the success of the program. Manage SDSU's Seedhouse operations on behalf of the Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science department head, ensuring efficient operation and resource utilization.

This role demands strong leadership, collaboration, and project management skills to drive the success of the Crop Performance Trial Program and contribute to the advancement of agricultural research and innovation.


The minimum starting salary for this position is $47,000. We offer a generous retirement plan that includes 6% matching, 10 hours of annual leave each month, 9.34 hours of sick leave each month, and eleven paid holidays. Relocation benefits are available per university’s guidelines. 


South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with over $60 million annual research expenditures, more than 200 academic programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students. We offer a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusions and access. The university is part of a dynamic community for families, students, young professionals, and retirees, which offers an abundance of attractions and activities. South Dakota State University offers a wide range of excellent benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Agronomy, General Agriculture, or closely related field completed by date of application;
  • Valid driver’s license or ability to obtain within 30 days of hire; and
  • In-depth understanding of Great Plains agriculture.


  • Master’s degree in Plant Science or Biology or closely related field.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by May 30, 2024.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, resume, and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process. 

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14. 

For questions on the position, contact search committee chair, Adam Varenhorst, at

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant access mission. SDSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to, and SDSU prohibits discrimination on, the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007, 605-688-4128.


South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive higher- education institution. As South Dakota’s Morrill Act land-grant university, SDSU had a fall 2023 enrollment of 11,505, with students coming from 48 states and 74 countries. Students can choose from 88 majors, 38 specializations, 104 minors, 39 master’s degree programs, 16 Ph.D. programs and two professional doctorates. The university also offers courses at various off-campus sites as well as undergraduate and graduate programs online through the Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

Named the 33rd safest college town by SafeWise (2022), Brookings (pop. 23,993) is just 55 miles north of Sioux Falls on Interstate 29, 200 miles from Minneapolis and 400 miles east of Rapid City and the Black Hills. Students from communities in Nebraska, North Dakota and Iowa also find SDSU within an easy day’s drive.

The Division of Research and Economic Development works closely with university researchers, business leaders and other sponsors to promote faculty expertise aimed at solving real-world problems in society and industry. The university is a leader in bioprocessing, agriculture and precision agriculture, remote sensing and life sciences.

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