The Wenger Group
  • - WF Nutrition Service
  • 17570, PA, USA
  • Full Time


Job Description
Strategic Research Coordinator
Employee Classification: Salaried, Full-Time
Grade: 12 Shift: N/A
Reports to: SVP & Chief Nutrition Officer
Department/Area/Location: WANTIC / Rheems, PA
Direct Reports: N/A

Position summary:
TWG is a diversified animal agriculture group comprising of commercial livestock feed (Wenger Feeds) ingredient procurement (Nutrify), contract chicken farming, egg marketing (Dutchland Farms), Grain and Fertilizer (Risser Grain), Transportation and Corporate Services. Wenger Feeds is the largest multi-species commercial feed manufacturer in the region, with over 77 years of production experience across 10 feed mills. Wenger Feeds is well positioned in the segment as the 'nutrient provider' to livestock producers supported by its manufacturing capabilities and their geographic locations, nutrition, innovation and research facilities, well fledged nutrition laboratory and quality management systems, that differentiate from rest of the players in the segment.
TWG is committed to continually developing its leadership position in the segment with a series of strategic initiatives that encompass, competitive positioning through nutrition advisory and leadership; differentiation and diversification through innovation and research; and enhancing customer experience through exceptional quality and management systems. For its strategic focus on the innovation and research initiatives, TWG is looking for a qualified and experienced scientific professional who understands how to convert nutrition concepts into competitive market advantages on a commercial basis.
In this role, the individual will be serving the business with leadership in scientific area of expertise including innovation and research process development and improvement. The role will align with the overall strategy, innovate by exploring, developing and implementing new and existing solutions to the rigorous and unique demands of the livestock nutrition market. The position requires acting in a responsible manner when working with sensitive and confidential material and interacting with diverse personalities across multiple internal and external functions in a fast-paced, multi-faceted and dynamic environment.
Essential duties & responsibilities:
The typical job function includes the following:
• Ensure adherence to Wenger policies, methods, and disciplines
• Interact with both internal and external customers
o Internal: Nutrition, Formulations, Laboratory, Quality & Food Safety, Procurement, Relationship Management, Finance and Corporate Affairs.
o External: Poultry producers, Integrators, Consultant Nutritionists, Consultant Veterinarians, Other Product Supplier Nutritionists, Industry Organizations, Regulatory authorities and Vendors.
• 70% travel within territory and occasional overnight stays
Innovation & Research Concepts – 30%
• Engage on a continuing basis with nutrition, formulation and relationship management teams in brainstorming and identifying potential innovative, market-driven, and sustainable research and development opportunities for TWG to differentiate in its, and the customers in their market segments.
• Constantly scan industry developments, scientific publications, trade events for new and innovative concepts to enhance performance and profitability of customers.
• Funnel the prospective innovation and research ideas through the WIRP, identify projects under applied, exploratory research projects, assign priorities, develop budgets, and calendarize them.
• Develop paper models (pilot, scale-up and commercial) around identified innovation and research ideas to demonstrate their commercial application and value towards enhancing gross margins, competitiveness and/or differentiation.
• Develop presentations on innovation and research ideas in articulation of their value to internal customers.
• Build strong relationships with research partners (customers, consultants, research institutions, universities, and scientific publication forums) in the industry.
Innovation & Research Process Management – 40%
• Lead development and implementation of research projects internally and externally with scientific expertise and methodology to validate ideas funneled through Wenger Innovation & Research Process, including defining scope, calendarizing, organizing resources, and completing in time.
• Be accountable for development and implementation of a comprehensive research protocol meeting commercial and scientific goals of the project, observation record templates, standardized and traceable data management, analysis, summary, discussion and publication of research findings supported by published literature. Generate materials to effectively translate research findings into commercial applications with clear demonstration of benefits (economics or differentiation or process optimization, etc)
• Effectively interact with all stake holders in the research process such as nutrition services, formulations, manufacturing, procurement, quality & food safety, nutrition and quality laboratory, research facility/institution, logistics, transportation, consultants, advisors, sales and marketing and customer representatives as applicable for a smooth and seamless execution of research projects.
• Develop self or coordinate with nutrition and formulations functions for rations to meet treatment project goals, allocations for each treatment group, set up and labeled properly for production.
• Ensure all regulatory (local, state, regional and federal) requirements, including biosecurity and animal welfare (PQA Plus for swine, similar for poultry) are complied with in all aspects of research process and documented for audit.
• Develop and implement Good Research Practices (GRP) to ensure standardized, high quality Research Process Management in accordance with the currently accepted best practices. Train, coach and collaborate with (and supervise) research facility and other personnel on compliance with GRP and conduct audit as needed.
• Collaborate with feed mill and research locations for travels as appropriate to the objectives of the research project.
• Deliver scientific findings both internally (Wenger Innovation & Research Committee) and externally, as applicable.
Customer Development – 30%
• Partner with Relationship Management team in establishing the 'trusted advisor' status with protein processors, producers on farm management and nutrition. Assist Relationship Management team in
• visiting protein processing and producer locations on a need basis and present visit reports to producers/customers.
• Actively collaborate with Relationship Management team in identifying, designing, conducting, concluding and reporting field trials; be accountable for success of field trials.
• Develop strong relationships with personnel at customer production locations and leverage the same for gathering information on similar activities of competition.
• Analyze field trial data, highlight positive contributions, investigate the shortcomings and present a summary to the producer/customer.
• Develop presentations on research findings translating their technical validation to commercial application in demonstrating value to TWG and customers.
• Actively look for customer engagement programs such as training, customer research projects, extension of industry developments, sharing new and innovative technologies, etc.

Qualifications:
• Self-starter; ability to drive things to closure
• Able to work well both independently and in a group setting
• Ability to multi-task in effectively executing responsibilities
• Proficient written communication skills in business correspondence and other required documents; can present numerical data effectively
• Strong oral communication skills: speaks clearly and persuasively; listens effectively; obtains clarification; conveys information and ideas in understandable terms at all levels of the organization and through proper channels; participates in meetings; responds well to questions
• Ability to read, analyze, and interpret complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or complaints
• Strong planning and organizing skills: using time efficiently; adapting to changes in the work environment; managing competing demands and changing approach or method to best fit the situation
• Commitment to supporting a safe culture
• Demonstrates Wenger's Core Values
• Other duties as assigned.

Physical Requirements
• Ability to lift up to 60 lbs. repeatedly and up to 100 lbs. on occasion
Position Requirements:
• Masters or PhD degree in poultry science/animal nutrition/related areas
• 4-5 years hands on experience in managing research projects with poultry or swine and customer interactions that discuss research features and benefits to the protein producers.
• Knowledge and experience with use of formulation software.
• Exposure to nutrition and quality control laboratory processes and procedures.
• Strong and effective interpersonal skills that foster open upward and downward communication built on mutual respect
• Excellent written, verbal, and presentation communication skills
• Solid organizational skills including attention to detail and multitasking skills
• Experience or familiarity with manufacturing and distribution is desirable.

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