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Meet the New NK Soybean Product Manager, Jared Benson


As a plant breeder since 2011, Jared Benson has a passion for innovation and digital agriculture. He holds a doctorate degree in crop science from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa. Most recently he used his experience in analytics and breeding while serving as the North America Soybean Regional Crop Lead at Syngenta, engaging with breeders, pathologists and product placement scientists to drive the R&D pipeline to help meet farmer needs. And with his recent transition “to the other end of the product development pipeline,” Jared is looking forward to spending less time behind the scenes and more time engaging with farmers in the field. On his first day in his new role, he sat down with The Amplifier.

Matt Dolch Family

Q&A with Jared Benson, NK Soybean Product Manager

Q: Congratulations on your new position! What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Soybean Product Manager for NK Seeds?
A: I’ve spent most of my career in the R&D side of the seed industry, first as a corn breeder and later managing the strategy, development and deployment of software for breeding across crops. And since 2020, I’ve supported Syngenta’s North America soybean business from a crop analytics and process analysis standpoint. Now as the Soybean Product Manager for NK Seeds, I’m excited to take our elite soybean products to the finish line and get them in the fields of our hard-working farmers.
Q: As you transition into the role, what are your immediate goals?
A: NK has the best soybean portfolio across all maturities. This is possible only when breeders, commercial teams and farmers partner together to understand needs. I want to foster these relationships to ensure that this trend of success continues.
Q: It’s clear that you have a lot of passion for the seed industry. What first drew you to it?
A: While studying biotechnology in my early college years, I had the opportunity to work in a research laboratory with a team developing nutrient-dense quinoa to help feed people in high-altitude, drought-prone areas where sustainable agriculture was hard to come by. I realized that this was the kind of research that had real and tangible effects on the health and livelihoods of communities. This intersection of innovation and agriculture appealed to the side of me who loved science and the side who always wanted to get some dirt under my fingernails.
Q: Let’s get personal. What do you like to do outside of work?
A: My wife, our three daughters and I enjoy spending time outside and typically structure our summer vacations around hitting as many national parks as we can. At home, I enjoy playing sports, long-distance cycling, and woodworking projects that my wife says we don’t have room for.

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