Nerd of Fortune

Commercialization Manager Posted Jul 20
The Land Institute , Salina, KS (Location Flexible)
Position Overview: The Commercialization Manager will be responsible for implementing The
Land Institute’s strategy to support the ongoing commercialization of Kernza® and other
perennial grains in development.

The Land Institute’s culture is highly collaborative and transparent. The Commercialization
Manager will work closely with the management team including the President, Director of
Research, Kernza Lead Scientist, Chief Strategy Officer, and others, in all aspects of his/her
work. The Manager will be responsible for managing current day-to-day commercialization
activity around IP, licensing, etc. The position will also play a pivotal role in facilitating the
design of a socially responsible business model for perennial grain commercialization and
manage the implementation of the model across the supply chain.

This is a new position that will report to the Chief Strategy Officer.

About the Organization: The Land Institute is working on a solution to one of humankind’s
most critical challenges: how to produce food without destroying precious soil, water, and
ecological resources. The Land Institute’s core activity is research to develop new agricultural
systems that are inspired by nature’s ecosystems. The organization facilitates the development
of an array of perennial high-seed-yielding grain, legume, and oilseed plants that can be grown
in diverse arrangements to meet human needs into the future.

The long-term, game-changing nature of our mission is both challenging and fulfilling. Our
people reflect the values of the prairie: diverse and perennial. Our staff members have come
from several continents to The Land Institute’s modest home in Salina, Kansas to transform
agriculture worldwide. For more information, please visit

Job Duties

Manage Current Commercialization Activities
• Manage the Kernza Identity Preserve (IP) Program including vetting and verifying
prospective growers, tracking acres in production, and coordinating field inspections
• Assess opportunities for improving the current IP processes for simplicity,
effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness
• Regularly review and revise as necessary the IP standards and Trademark Usage
• Manage and enforce TLI’s Kernza trademark license agreements, including timely
invoicing and payment of associated fees and development of retailer marketing
• Manage and match supply and demand
• Manage relationships and facilitate contracts with growers and grain buyers
• Track and manage Kernza seed, flour, and germplasm requests and serve as liaison
between research plots, farmers, mills, end product producers, and other
• Recognize and resolve barriers to entry from both grower and buyer sides
• Coordinate and advise on growing and production processes including field visits,
documentation, and communication of best practices
• Serve as liaison to farmers to answer questions about planting, growing, harvesting,
processing, storage, etc. and report back to TLI and other researchers information
that may impact research
• Under the direction of TLI’s Lead Kernza Breeder, work closely with Kernza
researchers to ensure up-to-date information and knowledge sharing between all

Manage the scale-up of commercialization activities for Kernza® perennial grain
• Develop and implement a strategy for targeted scale-up of grain production that is
aligned with research and development goals and realities
• Identify appropriate processors (small millers, farmers, marketers, or others) in
targeted production regions that are aligned with the needs of various buyer groups
• Research and implement models for licensing and producing seed for planting
• In coordination with other TLI staff, develop and implement a plan for using
investment capital to fund the scale-up
• Design a socially responsible model for perennial grain commercialization that is
aligned with the values and goals of The Land Institute and ongoing research needs
and realities
• Educate consumers about the environmental and social benefits of Kernza
• Work with supply chain partners to create a competitive advantage for a new
product in the grain marketplace
• Manage scale-up risk including geographic diversification, buffer stocks, direct
contracting, etc.
• Create a central data collection system for in-field successes and failures and analyze
• Identify aggregation and/or storage partners and guide a strategy for managing
• Develop and manage the Kernza brand and marketing strategy

• Additional duties as needed and deemed necessary

• Demonstrated experience in farming, agronomy, and/or grain supply chains
• Bachelor’s degree (masters preferred) in a business, management, or financial field, or a
degree in any field plus extensive experience in those areas
• Experience in new venture creation or considerable knowledge of agricultural
economics and business structures
• Financial acumen and experience tracking and reporting on budgets and strategy
• Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
• Proven ability to build networks and maintain effective relationships with partners
• Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
• Ability to commit to moving the mission of The Land Institute forward

The Land Institute offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is
commensurate with experience.

To Apply
To be considered for this position, interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter,
and contact information for three references to Position will remain
open until filled.

The Land Institute is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications
from women and people of all ethnic and national origins and sexual orientations.


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