M.S. – Plant Breeding, Iowa State University
B.S. – Plant Biotechnology, UC Davis
B.A. – Comparative Literature, UC Davis
Postgraduate Certificate – Plant Breeding Academy, UC Davis

Years of Service at Sakata: 2007 to Present

Currently Breeding: Radish and Collard

=Naoki, why did you decide to become a vegetable breeder?

I didn’t decide to become a vegetable breeder until I became one! As a new breeder, I had opportunities to expand our existing programs to better suit our company’s growing needs. It has been an exhilarating experience, and I am officially hooked.

What’s the best part of your job?

Vegetable breeding is never boring. I plan and plant nurseries, apply pesticides, pollinate and harvest. I also travel, evaluate trials, and talk with growers, seed dealers as well as sales and production. I try to make varieties that everyone will be happy with. It is an ongoing process. The many facets of this job drive me crazy sometimes, but I love what I do.

Recently Sakata celebrated 40 years of business in NAFTA – Do you have anything special you’d like to say about Sakata?

Sakata is a fun place to work. Everyone has a lot of work to do, and yet they are more than willing to help if we need it. It is a kind of workplace that I feel safe in and I appreciate the support given to me by my colleagues.

Briefly, can you tell us something that not everyone knows about you!

I have a license as a Pest Control Advisor in California. I help with pesticide related decisions and safety programs in Salinas.