Careers


Want to work with Prairie AquaTech for the good of aquaculture?  The following positions are currently open:

Microbial Seed Train Technician

Prairie AquaTech is seeking a full-time Seed Train Technician in a growing, fast-paced, product development-focused environment. Prairie AquaTech is an animal health and nutrition company focused on upgrading plant-based meals via fermentation into a high-quality protein for use in animal feed diets. This position offers the employee the unique opportunity to operate in both a laboratory and plant environment. This position works on a revolving 12-hour schedule, which includes both day and night shifts.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Meticulously execute Standard Operating Procedures for aseptically preparing sterile seed cultures for production fermentation, with culture sizes ranging from lab to production scale
  • Evaluate culture purity, cell growth, and cell quality in production seed train and main fermentation
  • Monitor and operate equipment in accordance with operational instructions and use of a distributed control system
  • Perform maintenance, inspection, cleaning of equipment in accordance with operational instructions
  • Observe gauges, dials, or other indicators to ensure equipment is working properly
  • Communicate with multiple departments to facilitate processes
  • Properly handle the chain of custody for samples and results
  • Awareness of when to involve senior staff in more complex problems
  • Report when maintenance or repairs are necessary
  • Respect a culture of safety first for you and your peers through strict adherence to health and safety procedures and protocols

Qualifications:

  • BS in science-related field or associate degree/diploma in a science or engineering field
  • Ability to multitask, and maintain focus and quality of each task
  • Experience and/or coursework in microbiology and aseptic technique preferred
  • Strong technical and mechanical troubleshooting abilities preferred
  • Experience with plant operations equipment is a plus
  • Experience with microscopy, spectroscopy, and assay development is a plus
  • Ability to follow company Standard Operating  Procedures
  • Ability to work independently and with excellent time management
  • Ability to follow protocols with high precision and accuracy
  • Keen attention to detail with strong analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Quick and effective diagnosis and troubleshooting skills
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Basic understanding of laboratory safety

Physical Demands and Work Environment

This position includes responsibilities in a laboratory and production environment. Employees will work near moving mechanical parts and work directly with steam and chemical solutions. Employees are required to wear head protection, eye protection, and steel-toed footwear in the plant, and may experience loud environments requiring hearing protection. Employees may experience hot, cold, humid, odorous, and wet conditions. Employees must be able to lift 60 pounds safely without assistance.

Job Type:  Full-time

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Professional development assistance
  • Tuition reimbursement

Schedule:

  • Monday to Friday
  • Weekends

Education:  Bachelor’s degree (Required)

Work Location:  Volga, SD

This Company Describes Its Culture as:

  • Detail-oriented — quality and precision-focused
  • Innovative — innovative and risk-taking
  • Outcome-oriented — results-focused with strong performance culture
  • People-oriented — supportive and fairness-focused
  • Team-oriented — cooperative and collaborative

Work Remotely:  No


Quality Assurance Technician

Prairie AquaTech Manufacturing is based in Volga, South Dakota. We are improving animal health and nutrition by providing high quality feed ingredients. Using patent-pending technologies licensed on a worldwide, exclusive basis from South Dakota State University and developed internally, the Company is upgrading soybean meal to high quality ingredients used in aquaculture and other animal feeds. Our company is currently experiencing rapid growth and we are seeking a full-time Quality Assurance Technician.

Position Summary

Under the general direction of the Director of Quality, this position has responsibility and accountability to maintain and verify adherence to all company Quality Assurance and Feed Safety standards to provide for the manufacture of high quality and safe feed products.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Perform tasks to verify process control
  • Calibration and maintenance of measuring equipment
  • Collection of incoming and processed material
  • Perform documentation review
  • Monitor various aspects of plant operations to ensure compliance with Company cGMPs and HACCP Plan, FSMA guidelines, GMP+ FSA Standards, and other third-party certifications
  • Documentation of key processing conditions
  • Completion of internal audits
  • Inspection of equipment and facility for cleanliness and accurate documentation of findings
    • Accurately conducts product reviews for compliance in support of FSMA, GMP+, and Customer Quality Standards and takes appropriate actions when needed
    • Monitors associates’ work practices and addresses any deficiencies noticed immediately
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in relevant field of study desired, but not required
  • Previous Quality Assurance experience preferred
  • Basic understanding of feed safety regulations
  • Must be self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Strong technical and troubleshooting abilities preferred
  • Ability to follow Standard Operating Procedures
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and keen attention to detail
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills

Job Type:  Full-time

Pay:  $16.00 – $22.00 per hour

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Schedule:  8 hour shift

Work Location:  One location

This Company Describes Its Culture as:

  • Detail-oriented — quality and precision-focused
  • Innovative — innovative and risk-taking
  • Outcome-oriented — results-focused with strong performance culture
  • People-oriented — supportive and fairness-focused
  • Team-oriented — cooperative and collaborative

Work Remotely:  No


Technician, Production Day Shift 

Prairie AquaTech is an animal health and nutrition company focused on upgrading plant-based meals into a high quality protein for use in animal feed diets. The Production Technician will assist with raw material, product inventory and delivery/shipping. Responsible for consistent, quality output and meeting production goals. Hours for this position are 5AM to 5PM.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ensure raw material and product are stored properly
  • Operate production scale equipment in a safe manner, monitor equipment performance, alert equipment specialist about maintenance needs
  • Milling equipment
  • Cooking system
  • Bioreactors
  • Centrifuge
  • Drying system
  • Blending and packaging systems
  • Complete / maintain production records
  • Maintain clean and safe work environment
  • Sample collection from production runs
  • Assignments may vary from material handling, production process support and entry-level type work

Qualifications

  • High School diploma required
  • Basic understanding of equipment and maintenance practices
  • Ability to follow company Standard Operating Procedures
  • Strong technical and troubleshooting abilities preferred
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret documents
  • Capable of working with hand and power tools
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Schedule:

  • Monday – Friday
  • Weekends
  • Holidays

Job Type:  Full-time

Pay:  $16.00 – $22.00 per hour

Education:  High school diploma or equivalent (Required)

This Company Describes Its Culture as:

  • Detail-oriented — quality and precision-focused
  • Innovative — innovative and risk-taking
  • Outcome-oriented — results-focused with strong performance culture
  • People-oriented — supportive and fairness-focused
  • Team-oriented — cooperative and collaborative

Work Remotely:  No


Technician, Production Night Shift 

Prairie AquaTech is an animal health and nutrition company focused on upgrading plant-based meals into a high quality protein for use in animal feed diets. The Production Technician will assist with raw material, product inventory and delivery/shipping. Responsible for consistent, quality output and meeting production goals. Hours for this position are 5PM to 5AM.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ensure raw material and product are stored properly
  • Operate production scale equipment in a safe manner, monitor equipment performance, alert equipment specialist about maintenance needs
  • Milling equipment
  • Cooking system
  • Bioreactors
  • Centrifuge
  • Drying system
  • Blending and packaging systems
  • Complete / maintain production records
  • Maintain clean and safe work environment
  • Sample collection from production runs
  • Assignments may vary from material handling, production process support and entry-level type work

Qualifications

  • High School diploma required
  • Basic understanding of equipment and maintenance practices
  • Ability to follow company Standard Operating Procedures
  • Strong technical and troubleshooting abilities preferred
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret documents
  • Capable of working with hand and power tools
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Schedule:

  • Monday – Friday
  • Weekends
  • Holidays

Job Type:  Full-time

Pay:  $16.00 – $22.00 per hour

Education:  High school diploma or equivalent (Required)

This Company Describes Its Culture as:

  • Detail-oriented — quality and precision-focused
  • Innovative — innovative and risk-taking
  • Outcome-oriented — results-focused with strong performance culture
  • People-oriented — supportive and fairness-focused
  • Team-oriented — cooperative and collaborative

Work Remotely:  No


Technician, Production

Prairie AquaTech is seeking a full-time Feed Manufacturing Technician in a growing, fast-paced, product development-focused environment. Prairie AquaTech is an animal health and nutrition company focused on upgrading plant-based meals via fermentation into a high-quality protein for use in animal feed diets. This position will play a vital role within the company; responsible for the manufacture of both commercial and research diets. Applicants must be comfortable working with machinery and able to confidently troubleshoot as required. The Feed Manufacturing Technician will ensure equipment runs smoothly and efficiently on a daily basis, as well as maintain superior quality control standards while adhering to safety protocols.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Full responsibility for machine operations including reading, interpreting, and analyzing production orders
  • Tasks include weighing and mixing feed ingredients, feed extrusion, grinding, sieving, oil coating feeds, and maintaining a clean workstation
  • Ability to consistently maintain speed and quality within operating guidelines
  • Strictly adhere to established company safety protocols
  • Inspecting final products, and making modifications, to ensure our high standards of quality
  • Maintain clear and accurate production records
  • Accurately count and report feed production and inventory of raw materials and finished goods
  • Effectively communicate and interact with others across multiple departments
  • Assist with new product development including research and development projects
  • Safely operate fork lift

Qualifications

  • High School diploma or equivalent (GED) required
  • Minimum 2-3 years experience of machine operation preferred but not required
  • Must be detail oriented and have excellent troubleshooting skills
  • Ability to learn new processes quickly in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to follow company Standard Operating Procedures
  • Must be able to work as a member of a team
  • Ability to lift 60 pounds safely without assistance

Physical Demands and Work Environment:  

This position includes responsibilities in a feed manufacturing and production environment. Employees will work near moving mechanical parts and work directly with steam and chemical solutions. Employees are required to wear head protection, eye protection, and steel-toed footwear in the feed mill, and may experience loud environments requiring hearing protection. Employees may experience hot, cold, humid, odorous, and wet conditions.

Job Type:  Full-time

Pay:  $15.00 – $22.00 per hour

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Schedule:  Daytime hours, Monday through Friday, 10 hour shift

Work Location:  One location

This Company Describes Its Culture as:

  • Detail-oriented — quality and precision-focused
  • Innovative — innovative and risk-taking
  • Outcome-oriented — results-focused with strong performance culture
  • People-oriented — supportive and fairness-focused
  • Team-oriented — cooperative and collaborative

Work Remotely:  No


Senior Production Manager

Prairie AquaTech is an environmental / social / governance (ESG)-conscious company with a mission of making better ingredients for better feed and food. The company’s values are demonstrated daily and consist of safety, quality, respect, transparency, and innovation. Prairie AquaTech commissioned its first commercial production facility in 2019, which is capable of producing 30,000 tons of ME-PRO®  per year. ME-PRO is a high quality protein ingredient produced by fermenting responsibly-sourced soy and used in aquaculture and young terrestrial animal feeds. Based on the company’s sales outlook, it will be expanding ME-PRO production capacity and investing in novel separation technologies to produce higher value products in the near future.

Position Description

The Senior Production Manager will report to the Vice President, Operations and General Manager, a 30+ year executive in agriculture and biological processing, and will collaborate with the Chief Technology Officer, a 30+ year executive in plant-based processing research and development. This role is responsible for leading, further developing and building on a talented group of 20 team members, and for supporting the operation and expansion of the 30,000 ton per year protein ingredient manufacturing facility near Brookings, South Dakota. Brookings is a NCAA Division I college town with a number of activities and organizations for active individuals and families. This role is pivotal to the success of the company and involves directing all aspects of production, warehouse, logistics, maintenance, safety, process and product quality control, operational performance metrics, capital and operating expense management, and continuous improvement. The company is searching for a process-oriented leader who will make data-driven decisions in a fast-paced, dynamic environment and is interested in increasing responsibilities as the company’s growth rate accelerates.

Required Qualifications

  • B.S. in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Microbiology
  • 5-10 years of management experience in a biological-based manufacturing environment, such as fermentation, enzyme processing, or feed/food ingredient production
  • Experience with Lean Six Sigma principles
  • Computer skills, including Microsoft Office
  • Demonstration of data-driven decision making
  • Knowledge of quality systems and standards
  • Strong communication and team building skills
  • High ethical standards and professional behavior
  • Coaching, mentoring and motivational skills to drive others to want to be their best
  • Highly-organized, process-driven and detail-oriented
  • Experience with individual and team accountability to meet business expectations for manufacturing operations
  • Current with the emerging landscape of manufacturing technologies
  • Ability to multi-task, think creatively, and delegate to assure goals are accomplished on time
Preferred Qualifications
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certified
  • Advanced Degree in Chemical / Mechanical Engineering and/or Industrial Microbiology
  • 10+ Years of Food and/or Feed Ingredient Production Experience
  • 10+ Years of Advanced Operational Experience Leading People, Processes, and Facilities

Responsibilities:

  • Lead all aspects of production and related operations
  • Ensure the company employs the right people in the right places doing the right things
  • Hire/train employees to be accountable for standard operating procedures and company values
  • Manage employee performance against goals, technical skills and value demonstration on a frequent basis, including improvement plans and termination, as required
  • Schedule resources appropriately to meet the needs of production, warehousing, and logistics
  • Create standard work and work standards
  • Deliver high-quality products on time and on budget
  • Analyze and report on key operational metrics in alignment with the company’s objectives
  • Ensure the highest quality handling, processing, and storage of final products and raw materials
  • Manage production schedules, work instructions, and production inventories
  • Inspect, analyze and recommend ways of improving production quality and efficiency
  • Lead by example and support planning for personnel and facility safety
  • Support compliance with all company policies and federal, state and local regulations, including OSHA
  • Support compliance with all feed/food safety, quality and sanitation requirements, including FSMA
  • Support maintenance activities by assessing equipment operating reliability and perform routine repairs, adjustments, and troubleshooting
  • Manage month-end and cycle inventory counts to ensure book-to-physical inventory reconciliation
  • Serve as an active participant and leader in meetings and training
  • Collaborate cross-functionally
  • Delegate appropriately

Job Type:  Full-time

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Supplemental Pay:  Bonus pay

Work Location:  One location

This Company Describes Its Culture as:

  • Detail-oriented — quality and precision-focused
  • Innovative — innovative and risk-taking
  • Outcome-oriented — results-focused with strong performance culture
  • People-oriented — supportive and fairness-focused
  • Team-oriented — cooperative and collaborative

Work Remotely:  No


Maintenance Technician

Prairie AquaTech is an animal health and nutrition company focused on upgrading plant-based meals into a high-quality protein for use in animal feed diets. The Equipment Technician will play a vital role in a growing, fast-paced, product development-focused environment and will provide support in order to improve production facilities, reduce the incidence of equipment breakdown and develop strategies to improve overall reliability and plant safety, personnel and production processes.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ensure facility efficiency and workplace safety
  • Design equipment maintenance strategies, procedures and methods
  • Responsible for continuous running of equipment and machinery; troubleshoot any equipment issues
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot any breakdown problems
  • Carry out quality inspections based on schedule
  • Monitor and control maintenance costs

Qualifications

  • Maintenance Experience – 1 year preferred
  • Completion of mechanical, electrical or electrical technician school training preferred
  • PLC system troubleshooting preferred
  • Strong technical and troubleshooting abilities
  • Experience in light mechanical assembly, electrical assembly and equipment maintenance
  • Experience with repair of electronics or instrumentation
  • Fabrication experience desirable

Job Type:  Full-time

Pay:  $13.00 – $26.00 per hour

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Human Resources Manager

South Dakota Innovation Solutions is seeking a full time Human Resources Manager. Innovation Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on research commercialization in the areas of agriculture and engineered technologies and life sciences. Our vision is to build new businesses that use research to solve global challenges and benefit the regional economy. We will accomplish our vision by building a world-class due diligence and business development environment for commercializing research.

Specific expectations include, but are not limited to, the following areas of accountability:

  • Human resource management, including recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, and termination
  • Foster a “Best Place to Work Culture”
  • Manage challenging employee situations, including dealing with understaffing, refereeing disputes, firing employees, and administering disciplinary procedures
  • Develop and administer company wage and salary structure, and compensation policies including variable pay systems, bonuses, and increases
  • Team member performance management, including annual performance reviews and improvement plans
  • Upgrade quality of onboarding program. Plan and conduct new employee orientation to foster positive attitude toward organizational objectives
  • Internal communication strategy to team members
  • Coordinate and promote employee engagement through community service activities
  • Organizational structure development and management
  • Professional development and identification of training opportunities
  • Lead benefits administration
  • Design, direct and manage a process of organizational development that addresses items such as succession planning, workforce development, and employee retention
  • Thorough and accurate recordkeeping of personnel documentation
  • Company policy documentation and execution
  • Proactive business improvement initiative identification
  • Regulation management and reporting
  • General operating support

Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources
  • Self-starter
  • At least 3 – 5 years of Human Resources experience is required
  • Experience setting up and expanding HR programs and policies is a plus

Job Location:  South Dakota Innovation Solutions, Prairie AquaTech and Medgene Labs – Brookings, SD

Job Type:  Full-time, 8 hour shift

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental, disability, health, vision and life insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Employee assistance program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

Experience:  Human Resources:  3 years (preferred)

Education:  Bachelor’s Degree (Required)

Work Location:  One location

This Company Describes Its Culture as:

  • Detail-oriented — quality and precision-focused
  • Innovative — innovative and risk-taking
  • Outcome-oriented — results-focused with strong performance culture
  • People-oriented — supportive and fairness-focused
  • Team-oriented — cooperative and collaborative

Work Remotely:  No