Munkvold to Chair Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business

November 24th, 2008

AMES, Iowa — Gary Munkvold, Iowa State University associate professor of plant pathology and Seed Science Center Endowed Chair, has been appointed chair of the Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business (STB).

The program combines seed science and technology with essential courses in business management into a single graduate program that is not offered anywhere else in the world. It was approved by the State of Iowa, Board of Regents in March 2006.

"The objective of the program is to educate seed professionals to better address the challenges and opportunities in delivering value to seed users," said Manjit Misra, director of the Seed Science Center. "It is designed to prepare them for management roles and emphasizes the development of problem-solving and analytic skills."

Misra said Munkvold was the perfect choice for heading up the program committee. "He has considerable expertise in both the public and private sector. Because of that, we feel he will offer great insights into curriculum development, planning and evaluation."

"The Seed Technology and Business Program offers a unique opportunity for seed business professionals," Munkvold said. "Chairing the program will be a great chance for me to work with students and maintain close ties to what I think is one of the most dynamic industries around."

"The program is designed to serve a diverse audience working in different aspects of the seed industry," said Munkvold. "We'll pay close attention to how well we're meeting their needs so that we can continue to make the curriculum better, improve accessibility and maintain the relevance of the curriculum to current issues in the seed business."

The interdisciplinary degree is a cooperative effort between the colleges of Business and Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State.

Mike Crum, associate dean of the College of Business, pointed out that the STB curriculum allows professionals to get an advanced degree while remaining fully engaged in their career. "Students enroll in one or two courses per semester that are highly relevant for their current and future professional responsibilities. They can earn the degree in a little more than two and a half years," he said. "This is a great value for the students."

"Offering this curriculum reinforces our commitment, bringing Iowa State University to the world for public good," said David Acker, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "This exemplifies our land grant mission."

For more information about the Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business visit, or contact Paul Christensen at (515) 294-8745 or


Manjit Misra, Seed Science Center, (515) 294-6821,

Gary Munkvold, Seed Science Center, (515) 294-7560,

Mike Crum, College of Business, (515) 294-8105,

Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, (515) 294-2314,