"Seed analysts are needed in the industry and training opportunities are hard to come by," said Gene Milstein of Applewood Seed Company and STEP industry representative.
"The average age of seed analysts today is almost 55 and we don't have seed analysts coming into the industry at a rate to fill those positions.
We need anywhere from 10-15 analysts moving into the industry per year."
The certificate program is designed to be a two-year program with the first year of course work online and the second year in a laboratory internship position.
Upon completion individuals will be able to run purity tests and germination tests on all kinds of seed, helping to ensure quality seed and that the product meets the appropriate regulations, explained Milstein
"Seed analysts play an important role in helping make the U.S. seed industry one of the best in the world," he