Agropur, Inc.
  • Technical Services
  • La Crosse, WI, USA
  • Hourly
  • Full Time

Health, Dental, Vision, HSA/FSA plans; Life, Disability, and 401(k)

Agropur is currently looking for a Product Innovation Assistant


Position Summary:

The primary responsibilities are assisting the Sample Program Leader and Food Technologists with daily tasks of sample and prototype preparation. Responsibility to manage time and make independent decisions for effective and efficient multitasking. Cross train in project skills such as pilot plant and testing to provide assistance as time allows. Work closely with and communicate with the Sample Program Leader, Innovation Group, and Sales to adjust the daily changes in priorities and deadlines.


Main  Duties:

  • Skilled, accurate and efficient in use of computer for daily data entry, access and/or retrieval in the following areas:
  • Intranet Sample Request database.
  • Warehouse Inventory database.
  • TechWizard formulation database.
  • Excel formulation spreadsheets.
  • Word label formatting.
  • Document Manager database. 
  • NAV accounting system.
  • UPS Worldship software.
  • Share Point software
  • LIMS software
  • Daily Sample Request process:
  • Monitor incoming and carryover Sample Requests relative to priorities and ship dates.
  • Obtain any needed formulations from TechWizard, project leader or Sales. Ability to use TechWizard software to create    batch sheet for a formula.
  • Ability to understand the batch sheet: use of math percentages, decimals, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to adjust formulas.
  • Determine availability of ingredients required to complete request and create a daily list of items to pull from inventory based on sample requests and Innovation Group activity.
  • Order any ingredients not available internally.
  • Obtain needed labels and inserts (cards, product bulletins, nutritional info) from Sales Coordinators.
  • Notify Sales Coordinators or Sales of any delays from expected delivery date.
  • Photograph container fills and other visual samples and send digital images as needed.
  • Request pilot processor run for large samples of 30 50 lbs.
  • Document daily activity and consumable goods in sample log spreadsheet.

Responsibilities in sample inventory & shipping:

  • Assist the Sample Program Leader in blending, packaging & shipping samples.
  • Understand correct use of shipping supplies in packaging samples.
  • Learn system for coding Warehouse and Cage locations as well as allergen control SOP's.
  • Make barcode labels for all samples removed from warehouse or cage inventory.
  • Follow Quality, Inventory and Sales SOP's when removing product from inventory.
  • Obtain additional shipping materials (ex. packaging, dry ice) as needed.
  • Have samples boxed, labeled and ready to ship with paperwork by daily UPS deadline.
  • As necessary, make other arrangements for shipping (Fed Ex, other carrier, hand deliver).
  • Work with Sales Coordinators on special needs of export shipping.
  • Fill in for the sample program leader when he/she is out of office or at certain times involved in other Innovation activity.
  • Responsibilities in assisting Nutrition Innovation Food Technologists & Innovation Manager:
  • Gather ingredients according to the formulation given from Food technologists.
  • Accurately weigh up sample prototypes on analytical scale.
  • Perform other duties/tasks to assist food technologists in prototype development
  • Responsibilities in assisting Nutrition Innovation Food Technologists & Innovation Manager:
  • Gather ingredients according to the formulation given from Food technologists.
  • Accurately weigh up sample prototypes on analytical scale.
  • Perform other duties/tasks to assist food technologists in prototype development.

Technical Innovation Group training:

  • Develop a working understanding of the types and categories of food ingredients used, the brand names and vendors that supply them and the product codes used internally to identify each.
  • Cross-training in operation and running of Pilot Plant equipment, functional testing equipment and trained sensory evaluation.        
  • Participate in R&D group activities, which include but are not limited to attending meetings weekly or as needed
  • Performing clean up tasks, cross training on project areas as time permits.
  • Participate in any company meetings or committees as requested.
  • Update knowledge on a continuing basis.  
  • All other duties as assigned.


Technical Competencies

  • Technical ability to input and retrieve computerized information
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Windows, MS Office Suite including
  • Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook, internet/intranet and other organizational specific software
  • Experience using office equipment including printer, 10-key calculator, fax/copy machine, multiline/voicemail telephone system and others as needed.


Non-technical Competencies: 

  • Daily contact with Sales and Sales Coordinator staff for the purpose of obtaining and providing information. 
  • Works closely with Quality, Inventory, Cost Accounting, and Purchasing. 
  • Reasoning skills:  follow written, verbal and/or diagrammatic instructions; address and solve practical problems; interpret verbal and written instructions; scientific thinking to solve problems including abstract and concrete variables. 
  • Math skills:  basic math plus fractions, decimals, percentages, algebraic calculations. 
  • Language skills:  exchange basic informational data in English (fill out forms/checklists, make own appointments, etc.); interview to gather information; advise others on alternatives/options; coach and counsel others. 



  • Requires a Technical Diploma or Certification and 1-2 years of experience in a food associated field. Equivalent combination of education and/or experience will be considered.
  • Requires effective math skills, ability to handle multiple projects concurrently and be very results-oriented.


Work Conditions: 

  • Work performed in an office and lab environment with minimal chance for personal injury. 
  • Physical requirements: repeated exposure to chemical/solvents, noise, heat, and dampness from pilot plant equipment; dust and food allergens; significant work pace; alternates walking, sitting, standing, kneeling, stooping, turning/twisting, and bending throughout work shift; climbs stairs to get to R&D lab/offices and climb stools; lifts up to 20 pounds of samples and product; carry 50 pounds with assistance; push/pull 20 pound sample carts; fingering and  grasping to perform R&D duties; repetitive use of keyboard approximately four (4) or more hours per day; perform repetitive motions for R&D duties. 
  • Sensory requirements: ability to receive detailed information through verbal communication; constant visual such as near-, mid-, and far-range vision, color vision, and field of vision and depth perception; ability to taste to participate in sensory evaluation.
  • Schedule requirements: Hours of work are during regular business hours first shift and require either 1) a minimum of 40 hours a week with approved overtime as needed to complete tasks, OR if job sharing, 2) a minimum of 20 hrs/wk where one full time job is shared between 2 individuals. There would be rare occasions for variation in work hours due to special projects, deadlines, community events, and other concerns


AA/EEO Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity



Agropur, Inc.
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