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The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) is seeking candidates for the position of Board Coordinator/Administrator. This is a contract position–i.e., there are no fringe benefits (insurance, retirement plan, designated leave) associated with this position. Candidates should have a Ph.D in a field of agriculture science–e.g., agronomy, entomology, weed science, plant pathology, soil science–that is pertinent to/affiliated with soybean production. This will be a full-time position 1) to provide continuing administration of MSPB activities, 2) to provide oversight of research conducted according to the MSPB research program guidelines, 3) to find and/or compose, post, and maintain pertinent soybean production-related content on MSPB’s website, and 4) to ensure compliance of all MSPB activities with USB/USDA guidelines and regulations. Candidates are expected to have documented skills in research conduct, scientific writing, and evaluating research proposals, as well as oral and written skills in presenting summaries of research results suitable for a producer audience. Candidates will be expected to attend state and regional producer meetings, and to cooperate with regional researchers/extension specialists to coordinate soybean research pertinent to Midsouth soybean production. Selected candidate will be expected to move to/reside in the state of Mississippi at a location deemed suitable by the MSPB. Base salary (65-85 thousand dollars/year) will be commensurate with candidate experience. Reimbursable expenses up to $20,000/year allowed. Start date will be when selected candidate and MSPB deem appropriate for both parties. Applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to



This position requires extensive, in-depth professional knowledge of soil-plant-water interactions, crop physiology, soil water relations, plant growth and development, agronomy, economic principles, experimental design and statistics, weed science, pest management, and economic principles.

Position holder will have a Ph.D. degree in a discipline affiliated with Soybean Production; e.g. Agronomy, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Soil Science, Weed Science, Breeding/Genetics.

Position holder will have demonstrated skills in agricultural research conduct, scientific writing, and both written and oral communication of research and extension results.



The following duties will be conducted 1) to provide continuing administration of MSPB activities, 2) to provide oversight of research conducted under the auspices of the MSPB research proposal program, and 3) to find and/or compose, post, and maintain pertinent and up-to-date content on MSPB’s website,


Part A.  Research Proposal Solicitation, Funding, and Conduct Processes

At the direction of and/or in consultation with the MSPB Board of Directors, incumbent is responsible for:

  • Annually designating/determining priority research subject matter categories or strategies for RFP’s, to include assigning/prioritizing categories for both research and demonstration/validation proposals.  This “discovery” process may include:

    • Developing a survey instrument and mailing to selected producers, researchers, consultants, and representatives of input suppliers/vendors and grain marketing outlets.

    • Followup email and phone contact with above entities to obtain background information for important priority areas.

    • Using past research from state and regional projects and their findings/accomplishments to determine future research needs in critical production areas.

  • Working in consort with MSPB to solicit research proposals from all available research providers in the Midsouth region.

  • Establishing timeline for the RFP process, to include submission dates, revision dates, final submission dates, and quarterly/annual/final report dates.

  • Developing/composing/revising RFP forms and requests for research and special projects.  This will be done annually to ensure that forms and requirements set forth in the RFP are up-to-date and follow MSPB-directed guidelines.

  • Evaluating initial proposal submissions for format, content, and pertinence.  Incumbent will be responsible for requesting revision of worthy proposals that do not meet designated criteria.

  • Collating and numbering annual proposal submissions into a complete set for presentation to MSPB members.

  • Working with authors of worthy proposals to incorporate revisions when needed before final submission to the MSPB.

  • Determining the quality of each proposal based on:  the length of time the project should be conducted for meaningful and useable research results, the validity of the amount of funding requested, the qualifications of the researchers based on their recognition and credentials, the probability of a project’s success based on a proposal’s time and resource allocation, the importance and contribution of expected results to the Mississippi soybean industry, and the expected end products.

  • Working with proposal authors to designate a final end product, such as a journal article, an experiment station or regional bulletin, a thesis or dissertation, a popular press article, an oral presentation, a patent, a breeding line or variety, a blog or article posting on the MSSOY website, or other useable product.

  • Presenting to the MSPB the proposals along with a written evaluation that contains assessment of and funding recommendation for each proposal.

  • Planning and coordinating annual site visits to MSPB- funded research projects and PI’s to aid in coordinating and reinforcing support from MSPB for funded project activities.

  • Soliciting and evaluating reports from project investigators to evaluate progress and quality of results as related to the objectives in the approved project proposals.


Part B.  Coordination of Technology Transfer Activities

  • Reviews technology transfer strategies, tactics, and effectiveness on an ongoing basis.  In concert with communications contractor, recommends proper balance of communication and technology transfer tactics to meet the needs of all soybean producers.

  • Reviews research reports from MSPB-funded projects for clarity, content, and proposal-stated end products.

  • Reviews/edits/revises research reports from MSPB-funded projects before posting on MSSOY website.  This includes working with authors to obtain a presentation that is suitable in appearance and quality of content.

  • Consults with webmaster/IT contractor to identify/expand/change subject matter categories as needed for MSSOY website.

  • Gathers and assesses content from known soybean production information websites for potential posting into MSSOY website subject matter categories.

  • Responsible for Composing and/or Posting Content of Blog, Production Management White Papers, Research and Reports (Annual and Final Project Reports), and Resources Sections of MSSOY (See for examples).

  • Continually checks website content for link functionality, recency of content postings, and pertinence of subject matter.

  • Recommends changes to MSSOY website structure as needed to accommodate new subject matter categories.


Part C.  Planning and Coordinating Joint Research

At the direction of and/or in consultation with the MSPB Board of Directors, incumbent is responsible for:

  • Serving as the MSPB’s liaison with USB, other QSSB’s, and MSSB Coordinator to identify research areas that can best be explored on a regional scale, and identifying personnel and institutions that can provide the best expertise for accomplishing regional goals.

  • Working with USB, other QSSB’s, MSSB, and representatives of other commodity groups to compose RFP formats that can be used to solicit proposals in designated joint research categories.

  • Consulting and jointly planning with USB, other QSSB’s, and MSSB to coordinate funding and conduct of approved regional projects and technology transfer activities.

  • Consulting and jointly planning with representatives of other commodity groups in Mississippi to coordinate funding and conduct of cross-commodity research and technology transfer projects that will benefit soybeans.

  • Consulting with Mississippi State University Program Managers and the Hartwig Chairholder to facilitate research projects that include MSU researchers from multiple disciplines and/or locations.


Part D.  MSPB Administration and Business Matters

  • Composes and maintains file of contracts for Research and Activity Cooperators, to include MSU, USDA-ARS, Delta Council, and Private Consultants.

  • Collects and files Quarterly, Annual, and Final Project Reports from Cooperators.

  • Works with the accounting contractor to ensure invoices relating to research projects that are submitted to MSPB for payment are correct and follow the line item budget for each project.

  • Serves as the MSPB point of contact for research project compliance to USB/USDA guidelines and regulations, project changes, budget adjustments, and extensions.

  • Works with MSPB Chairman & Executive Committee to execute the day-to-day activities necessary for MSPB to execute its strategic objectives. This includes planning and coordinating MSPB meeting activities and agenda, to include securing facility and digital/hard copy assimilation of materials used in presentations by all participants.

  • Consults with MSPB Accountant to verify correctness of Cooperator invoices submitted to MSPB for payment.

  • Works with the accounting contractor, Chairman, and MSU Foundation to facilitate as necessary the monthly Authorized Payment (AP) process.

  • Works with Mississippi Department of Agriculture (Joette Pickle) and the MSPB Executive Committee to monitor collections.

  • Serves as the MSPB liaison with communications contractor to execute communications plan approved by the MSPB, including serving as the MSPB webmaster.

  • Plans and staffs the MSPB educational exhibits at trade shows and designated events [Row Crops Short Course, Delta Ag Expo, Tri-State Soybean Forum (when in MS), DREC Field Day, NE Exp. Station Field Day, & others as needed and/or designated].

  • Performs as the email and phone contact person for all MSPB business activities. Forwards and distributes relevant information to MSPB members.

  • Serves as the central “file” coordinator (maintains an electronic file collection on Dropbox, or MSPB internal site, for example) for all MSPB collections that are to be available to MSPB members and contractors.

  • Maintains a permanent digital file of all MSPB-funded projects and project reports by project number and year.

  • Ensures necessary dissemination of all correspondence pertaining to MSPB research and technology transfer activities, to include compiling and maintaining mailing lists.

  • Composes correspondence and related documents as directed by the MSPB chairman.

  • Plans and coordinates itinerary for annual Project Site Visits.

  • Serves as MSPB Compliance Coordinator to ensure MSPB compliance with USB / USDA guidelines and the Act and Order of the Checkoff. This includes attending meetings (USB Partnership / Compliance Workshop) as necessary.

  • Serves as the MSPB Member orientation and continuing education coordinator.

  • Attends meetings pertaining to Midsouth Soybean Production, to include but not limited to:

    • Tri-State Soybean Forum (early January)

    • Delta Expo (mid-January)

    • MSPB Annual Meeting (historically 3rd week in Feb.)

    • USB Committee Meetings (Mid-February)

    • Partnership Workshop (USB - Compliance & communication—usually June)

    • MSPB Summer Meeting (usually July at Stoneville, Miss.)

    • MSPB Site Visits; Delta—July; East Miss.—Aug.

    • Communications Roundtable (USB – Communications—usually October)

    • MSU Row Crops Short Course

    • MSU/MCES Field Days



  • Development and implementation of survey instrument or process to determine subject matter areas/categories/priorities for Research Projects (D).

  • Development of Request for Proposal (RFP) document with associated timeline (D).

  • Completion of all phases of RFP process by designated time as set forth in RFP timeline (KPI).

  • Evaluation of proposals that facilitates/results in funding recommendations to the MSPB (KPI).

  • Collection and evaluation of required reports from funded-project investigators to provide a recommendation for future funding to the MSPB (D).

  • Continual postings of pertinent and up-to-date soybean production information on MSSOY website (D).

  • Maintaining updates to soybean production information and website links on MSSOY website (D).

  • Pursuing and establishing a working relationship with representatives of other QSSB’s, MSSB, and commodity groups to promote joint project development and funding (KPI).

  • Providing recommendations for multi-state and cross-commodity project funding opportunities derived from meetings with other QSSB’s, MSSB, and representatives from other commodity groups (D).

  • Establishing protocol for joint project funding and conduct with above-mentioned groups (KPI).



Position holder will supply to MSPB a progress report at end of each calendar month outlining activities and progress in areas designated in Position Description.

Position holder will supply reports to MSPB that outline and recommend worthwhile regional and cross-commodity project ideas as they are proffered and/or developed, along with progress of regional and cross-commodity projects that are initiated and funded.


To apply for this position, send a resume and cover letter to Larry Heatherly