Limagrain Cereal Seeds Hires Research Associates in Fort Collins, CO Division

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Colorado State University Grads Hayley Butler and Zach Gaines have joined Limagrain Cereal Seeds, a US division of the French company Group Limagrain as research associates at their Fort Collins, Colorado headquarters.

Zach Gaines

As CSU graduates, both Hayley and Zach exemplify the kind of talent, experience and initiative we look for in our team members. We are very pleased to have them working for Limagrain.-- Frank Curtis

Limagrain Cereal Seeds, a subsidiary of the biggest plant breeder and seed company in Europe, announced Hayley Butler and Zach Gaines have been hired as research associates assigned to Limagrain’s North American headquarters in Fort Collins. Butler and Gaines, both Colorado State University alumni, were hired in early 2011. They join Kay Wood, Limagrain’s Executive Assistant, also a CSU graduate and the third the company has hired since arriving in Fort Collins in Fort Collins last year. All work from the Limagrain Cereal Seeds offices at 3515 Richards Lake Road.

“Our decision to select Fort Collins as the location for our North American subsidiary was based in no small part on proximity to Colorado State University,” said Frank Curtis, Limagrain Cereal Seeds executive vice president and chief operations officer. “As CSU graduates, both Hayley and Zach exemplify the kind of talent, experience and initiative we look for in our team members. We are very pleased to have them working for Limagrain.”

Gaines earned his undergraduate degree from CSU, going on to receive a master’s degree in agribusiness from Kansas State University. He worked for Busch Agricultural Resources as a research technician in the malt barley breeding program for five years before taking a role as a production manager at Anheuser-Busch in Los Angeles.

“My role here at Limagrain is very similar to what I did initially with Anheuser-Busch – only I’ll be working with wheat this time instead of barley,” Gaines said. “It’s exciting to work for a company that will be a major player in the U.S. wheat market. With the headquarters located in Fort Collins, we have the opportunity to hopefully hire a lot of local people. I know the first place I’ll look when given the opportunity to bring on employees is to CSU students.”

Butler, who earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from CSU, will work closely with Gaines on the wheat breeding program until Limagrain’s local quality lab is up and running. A Colorado native with 14 years working in Colorado agriculture, Butler said she is looking forward to overseeing the quality lab, essentially a testing environment that helps researchers evaluate how the various wheat varieties perform in real-world scenarios like mixing and baking.

“It’s essentially my dream job - when the quality lab is in place, I’ll be baking breads and cookies, using instruments like the mixograph and near-infrared spectroscopy to help breeders make better-informed decisions about wheat quality,” Butler said. “In the meantime, I’m working alongside Zach, entering data, preparing seed for plant trials, working in the greenhouse … one of the best parts about working in agriculture is the diversity of the job.”

Group Limagrain was founded in France in 1942. The farmer-owned company has 7,000 employees and is the largest seed company in the European Union. Fort Collins, Colorado, serves as the North American headquarters of Limagrain Cereal Seeds, the newest subsidiary of the Limagrain Group. LCS also has regional research stations in Washington, Indiana, Minnesota and Kansas. Limagrain’s business focus is to create and market proprietary wheat seed varieties to sell to professional seed producers, who then market the seed varieties to their customers. For more information, contact Frank Curtis at 970-498-2200 or visit


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