Friday, April 18, 2014

ASTA Management Academy: Uniting The Industry And Strengthening Managers

purdue_logoWhen Aaron Phillips came to the ASTA Management Academy expecting to only broaden his understanding of the seed industry, he was surprised by the unmatched networking opportunity he encountered there.

“I met people from across the United States and all over the world—people who work with all types of seeds in all types of roles, from plant breeding to marketing to research and development,” says Phillips, seed quality manager at Del Monte Foods. “People came to the academy from all walks of life, all with a common purpose and desire to improve our seed business.”

ASTA Management Academy

When: February 28-March 4, 2011

Where: Purdue University

Who Should Attend: New and experienced managers from across the seed industry who want to review and expand their knowledge of management tools and concepts

Program Benefits:

• Build on your understanding of core business functions and the linkages between them

• Strengthen your leadership capabilities

Explore management challenges and seed industry opportunities

The ASTA Management Academy is entering its 24th year of bringing seed industry professionals together. The academy, a weeklong management-development program, has continually attracted participants from across the industry representing both large businesses and family-owned firms. Designed specifically for seed industry professionals by the American Seed Trade Association and the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University, the academy offers participants a chance to build their management skills alongside other key players in the industry, networking as they discuss issues presented in the classroom.

“Today’s seed industry demands flexibility, creativity and critical thinking skills now more than ever,” says Allan Gray, professor of agricultural economics and director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business. “With a focus on transformational learning, the academy provides participants with an opportunity to transform their traditional way of thinking.”

The program challenges attendees to consider the linkages between core business functions, including marketing management, organizational leadership, financial management and strategic management. Because the academy provides exposure to different segments within an organization, participants learn how their decisions impact the rest of their business.

“One of the most beneficial things I learned at the ASTA Management Academy was how to look at an issue from a different perspective,” says T.J. Strachota, marketing associate at Dairyland Seed. “Coming from a sales and marketing background, I tend to look at issues in a certain way. The program challenged me to examine problems differently—to put on my finance hat, my strategy hat and then my human resources hat. I left the academy with a better understanding of how the entire company looks at an issue and a better vantage point from which to solve the problems I face daily.”

Providing access to minds from different roles and different companies throughout the industry, the program is an unmatched opportunity that unites participants in a unique way.

“Attending the academy was very inspiring—by its end, we felt like a family, even though we had spent only a few days together,” says Phillips. Kristyn Kapetanovic

Editor’s Note: Kristyn Kapetanovic is the center’s marketing assistant and can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

where_on_webpurdue_logoRegistration for the 2011 ASTA Management Academy is now underway. Find out more at www.agecon.purdue.edu/cab/programs/asta

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