Perspectives Online

Monsanto grant boosts plant-breeding program

At the Monsanto grant announcement are (from left) Deborah Small and John Anderson of Monsanto, Johnny Wynne, Charles Stuber, Ted Crosbie of Monsanto, Sylvia Blankenship, Steve Leath, Ken Esbenshade and Steve Lommel.
Photo by Daniel Kim

Monsanto Co., a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products, announced in August a $675,000 grant focused on growing the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Center for Plant Breeding and Applied Plant Genomics.

“We’re grateful for Monsanto’s support of students in our plant-breeding program,” said Johnny Wynne, dean of the College. “Monsanto’s commitment to plant breeding and education will help us grow our new center and develop future leaders in plant breeding.”

The Monsanto grant will fund five plant-breeding graduate fellowships per year over the next three years. A leadership-training program also will be established for plant-breeding graduate students at N.C. State and other select institutions across the country.

The program will help students learn the business of science, develop leadership skills and establish a virtual support network, as well as provide internship opportunities at Monsanto breeding stations.

The College’s plant breeding program is one of the largest in the United States. The program is interdisciplinary and involves a full range of research programs, courses and crops. It has been a pivotal component of cultivar development in North Carolina, as N.C. State plant breeders have released numerous cultivars and breeding lines for use by the public. The releases comprise different crop species of importance to growers worldwide.

—Suzanne Stanard