Supply Chain Development Specialist





Job ID 327424

POSITION: Supply Chain Development Specialist

REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS: Review will begin December 14, 2018; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

LOCATION: This position will be located in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, on the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul, Minnesota.

OVERVIEW: The Forever Green Initiative ( is working to establish an “accelerator” group of dedicated staff that will advance commercialization of selected continuous-living-cover crops for Midwest agriculture. These crops are intended to augment current crop production systems with additional economically viable crops that increase the extent and duration of productive vegetation cover in these production systems. These continuous-living-cover crops have high potential to provide major economic, social, and resource conservation benefits when integrated into current Midwest agricultural systems, and include selected perennial and winter-annual crops that are being developed by the Forever Green Initiative (FGI). The FGI Commercialization Accelerator group will advance commercialization of these crops; working collaboratively and proactively with a wide variety of partners beyond the University; to identify and develop end-use markets and associated supply chains, to define sustainable business models for these crops, and to implement IP strategies. The FGI Accelerator group will also help to identify research and development that is critical to advance commercialization, and help to obtain resources for that R&D. Overall, the FGI Accelerator group will closely collaborate with other members of the FGI network to provide the cohesion, strategic focus, and adaptive capacity needed to successfully commercialize these crops, thereby bringing large economic, environmental, and social benefits to Midwest agriculture, rural communities, and society in general. The Supply Chain Development Specialist position is a temporary (two-year) full-time position within the FGI Accelerator Group. The Specialist will work closely with a Market Opportunity Development Specialist in the Accelerator Group, and with other FGI staff, associates, and collaborating organizations.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Supply Chain Development Specialist will have three primary areas of responsibility. First, the Specialist will conduct a rapid assessment of supply chain development opportunities for all FGI crops to identify the best near-term opportunities for development of robust and scalable value chains (25% FTE.) Second, the Specialist will develop full supply chain assessments for the most promising opportunities. Each assessment will encompass production (i.e., current and potential area planted, key factors in production); inputs such as seed supply; key post-harvest factors such as storage, transportation, processing; and factors in end uses. A particular focus will be assessment of business cases for activities and enterprises that represent key links in supply chains, from production to end-use and marketing. Assessments will also address practices needed to provide environmental and social sustainability benefits from production of a given crop, to ensure that such benefits will not be overlooked in the commercialization process. Multiple supply assessments may be made for certain crops in cases where multiple distinct supply chains will be needed to respond to multiple near- term market opportunities (e.g., related to food versus non-food uses). Initial and full supply chain assessments will be documented as written reports and in other formats as needed (50% FTE.) Third, the Specialist will collaborate with the Market Opportunity Development Specialist and other FGI network members to organize and implement cross-institution and cross-sector collaborations for advancing commercialization of highest-priority FGI crops by coordinated market and supply-chain development (25% FTE.)


REQUIRED: Masters Degree and academic training and work experience in relevant fields; including, but not limited to, supply chain management or supply chain logistics or business administration.
DESIRED: Relevant advanced academic training and work experience in relevant fields including but not restricted to MBA, M.S, and extensive work experience and relevant aspects of supply chains, such as inventory control, storage & transportation, planning & analysis, understanding of contracting, and of relevant legal and regulatory issues. Experience and a track record of success in agricultural business.

SALARY: Competitive, commensurate with background and level of experience.

APPLICATION: Apply through the University of Minnesota online employment system, responding to Job ID 327424 (Classification - Business Development Specialist) and include (as a single PDF) a cover letter, CV, and names and contact information for three professional references.

For more information about the position, please contact Dr. Nick Jordan by email ( or phone (612-625-3754). For assistance in the online application process, please contact Ms. Jeanne Davy at, or 612-625-1937.

NOTE: The University provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs and facilities, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. People from groups that are underrepresented in agronomy are strongly encouraged to apply.