OSU cereals specialist Mike Flowers joins Limagrain Cereal Seeds as new Products Supply Manager
Aug. 21, 2017
Flowers announced his departure on Aug. 8, after signing an offer letter to become new products supply manager for Limagrain Cereal Seeds. He will depart in mid-September and be based in Fort Collins, Colo.
“It is a good opportunity for me,” Flowers said. “I am going to get to do something a little bit different, but I still get to be involved with the industry. I’ll be a little bit more ‘behind the doors,’ but I’ll be working with all of their varieties and breeders, and bringing new products to market, so that is really exciting. It is just a good opportunity to do a lot of the things that I like and also learn a few new skills.”
Flowers described Limagrain as “an exciting group to go work for.”
“One of the attractive things about them is that they are interested in working with the land grant institutions across the nation,” Flowers said. “They do breeding exchanges with them, and as they bring new traits to market, they show the ability to work with the land grants to get those traits put into institutional grant and private breeding programs.”
Flowers leaves behind an acclaimed cereals program at Oregon State University that includes wheat breeder Bob Zemetra, plant pathologist Chris Mundt, field staff and extension personnel, who work closely with university-based researchers on field trials.
Mundt received the Oregon Wheat Commission’s 2017 Distinguished Service Award. Flowers received the same award in 2015.
Flowers said he plans to complete his 2017 trial work by the time he departs and hopes the university will continue to conduct variety trials that he ran point on for several years.
“I am working with the university and the Oregon Wheat Commission to figure out who is going to take over those variety trials, so they can continue,” he said. “My technical staff is still in place and the funding is there to continue with the work, so I am hoping that the university will continue on those trials for the short term, and, for the long term, replace my position so the industry has that voice there for them.”
Flowers said he will miss working with growers.
“Working with the growers, and working on practical problems was the most fun part of my job,” he said. “I will definitely miss that.”
Flowers holds a Ph.D. in crop science from North Carolina State University, a master’s degree in soil science from Ohio State University and a bachelor of agricultural science from the University of Tennessee. Before joining OSU in 2005, Flowers worked for the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Plant Sciences Research Unit in Raleigh, N.C.
Limagrain is an international agricultural cooperative based in France specializing in field seeds, vegetable seeds and cereal products.