Career Spotlight - Tim

Meet Tim Gutormson, a Seed Physiologist at SoDak Labs, Inc. With 40+ years in seed testing, Tim understands the seed from the inside out to the field, developing and designing seed testing services to assist seed companies with quality assurance for their company & customers. He serves as a consultant to seed producers and seed associations for changes in conditioning processes or clarification of seed testing methods to improve the industry. In addition, Tim conducts workshops on soybean, wheat, corn and seed supply and teaches online/on-site courses on seed production and seed biology.

Name: Tim Gutormson

Title: Seed Physiologist

Company: SoDak Labs, Inc.

What are your responsibilities?

As CEO of SoDak Labs, Tim has many roles and responsibilities. This includes (but is not limited to) training staff and students in Seed Biology, Seed Technology and Seed Identification. On a typical day, you may find Tim answering seed quality questions for seedsmen and farmers or implementing “Lean Manufacturing Principles” within the SoDak Lab facility. Other work could include researching and executing continuous improvement practices and providing customer service to his clients. Tim is also the lead in developing marketing materials for the organization and visiting with customers.

How did you find your way to where you are today?

Mr. Gutormson attended South Dakota State University as an Agronomy student. During his time at SDSU, he worked in seed lab for 3.5 years. Tim has BS and MS degrees in Agronomy.

Gutormson has been involved in world of Seed Science for 42 years in various roles including: an instructor at SDSU in the Plant Science Department, serving as a Director at Iowa State University Seed Testing Lab, and as Senior Vice President at SGS in the Agriculture Department. Tim is a past president of the American Seed Research Foundation and current president/board member of the Seed Testing Research Foundation.

Before founding SoDak Labs, Inc., Tim started a company called Mid-West Seed Services which he later sold to SGS North America.

Most recently, Tim instructs the on-line Seed Academy courses offered through SoDak Labs.

What role has education and training played in your career path?

According to Tim, education and training was the foundation of his Career Path which lead him to his passion for seeds.

What qualities or characteristics do you find are necessary to be successful in your role?

  • Innovating
  • Creating
  • Marketing
  • Continuously improving

How would you recommend someone interested in the same career/occupation pursue a similar path?

Tim would encourage individuals interested in seed science to take a part-time job (at SoDak Labs) and see if you like it! If you do, he would suggest exploring a degree in Agriculture/Agronomy/Horticulture.

“Always do your best and opportunities await.”

– Tim Gutormson

What extracurricular activities helped you develop professionally?

Tim was involved in 4-H and FFA. He has also taken on various leadership roles which were great experiences.

What is a typical salary range for someone starting in line of work?

Seed Technologists (with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (BS) or a Master’s Degree in Science (MS) – $45,000 to $90,000

Want to learn more? Connect with Tim!

Tim Gutormson, Seed Physiologist | SoDak Labs (605) 692-2758

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