Quality Support Lead (contracted position)
Reports to: Director of Strategic Research ISA/ISPOB
This position works with Illinois Soybean Association/Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board (ISA/ISPOB) and reports to the Director of Strategic Research to provide program and project management support for the ISA/ISPOB Quality Target Area focused on improving soybean quality and profitability for Illinois soybean producers.
Summary of Essential Job Functions
- Collaborating closely with Director of Strategic Research, the representative will create and maintain an internal comprehensive project management framework using Microsoft Project Plan or related ISA/ISPOB software to keep track of all ISA/ISPOB-funded research projects focused on Quality.
- Meet one-on-one with research institutions or companies that receive ISA/ISPOB funding and track and report on progress to ensure research institutions are meeting contracted obligations and activities are in alignment with ISA/ISPOB Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This includes making sure quarterly and final reports are submitted on time and reporting issues to the Director.
- Assist Director in implementing programs, projects and activities in the Quality Target Areas to ensure ISA/ISPOB are getting a high return on their investments.
- Work with ISA accounting staff to track and ensure the Target Area and project expenditures remain on budget, reporting issues to the Director.
- Develop brief quarterly summary reports suitable for distribution to the ISA/ISPOB Production Committee, Board, and eventually IL soybean producers that document progress on all research projects and activities related to Quality.
- Assist the Director in the preparation of compelling and informative reports for the ISA/ISPOB Production Committee and Board.
- Assist in development and execution of methodologies to measure effectiveness of research projects and activities, including review of proposals related to Quality.
- Assist Director and Investigators in identification of key findings from research and other activities that can be applied to existing production and industry practices that will play a role in helping Illinois improve Quality.
- Develop relationships with ISA/ISPOB corporate sponsors to ensure that custom corporate programs that involve Quality are successfully executed.
- Travel the state of Illinois working with first purchasers (elevators, crush plants and seed companies) to promote ISA/ISPOB industry partnership programs and help advocate quality programs in the industry and in the value chain.
- Assist Yield Challenge Coordinator with Yield Challenge tasks to improve data collection.
- Interact with the Quality consultant (subject matter expert in animal nutrition and soybean meal quality) with whom ISA/ISPOB contracts to support the Quality initiative.
- Perform other duties as assigned, such as representing ISA/ISPOB at soybean production events and meetings.
Education and Work Experience
- Bachelor's Degree in agriculture, business, research or a related field.
- Five to ten years of related experience in agricultural sciences (specifically soybeans) or soybean product quality management and project management.
- Self-starter who is able to work independently.
- Possess an understanding of research in agriculture and how it relates to soybean producers, and industry and university collaborations.
- Demonstrate excellent critical thinking, prioritization, organizational and planning skills.
- Ability to work in a team environment, working closing with staff, board, contractors and volunteers at all levels.
- Demonstrate leadership skills, such as being competent, straightforward, inspiring, and fair- and broad-minded.
- Must be a creative thinker, able to flex from one topic to another and draw upon experience to provide new ideas to support research and development objectives.
- Excellent verbal and written communications skills, including the ability to make effective presentations and communicate well with local producers, industry stakeholders, researchers, organizational staff and board members at all levels.
- Ability to use and have access to smart phones, fast internet connectivity and modern technology.
- Good computer skills in Project Planning and in an MS Office environment.
- Preferred Qualifications and Skills:
- Master?s Degree in research, agriculture, agronomy or a related field.
- Very extensive knowledge of research and a good grasp of the various scenarios that soybean producers face over the next ten years.
- Experience developing and managing large, complex budgets and numerous contractors.
- Exhibit skills that can guide researchers, contractors and Board members? efforts to maximize achievement of goals in a high-volume work environment.
- Demonstrate past experience in multi-tasking and being a self-motivated team player.
- Exposed to soybean research plots and fields.
- Ability to travel regularly (minimum 25% within central Illinois).
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this contract position. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. There may be opportunity to perform duties outside of the normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.