U of I and Monsanto Establish Fellows in Plant Breeding Fund
April 16, 2008
  • /Agricultural and Consumer Economics
  • /Animal Sciences
  • /Crop Sciences
URBANA-The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Monsanto Co. have established the Monsanto Fellows in Plant Breeding Fund. The new fund will finance graduate fellowship students pursuing doctoral degrees in plant breeding at the U of I's Plant Breeding Center in order to provide support for students working toward future careers in plant breeding.

"These funds will allow us to markedly increase the number of graduate students being trained in plant breeding" said Bob Hoeft, head of Department of Crop Sciences at the U of I. "This comes at a crucial time in history when there is a very high demand for new plant breeders in private industry."

Hoeft notes that these newly trained breeders are needed to develop lines that will increase yield to meet the increased world demand for food, feed, and now fuel. These new lines must also utilize natural resources more efficiently and be friendlier to the environment.

The Monsanto Fellowships will be awarded to eight PhD students conducting research projects developed jointly with Monsanto in the area of germplasm enhancement of agronomic and horticultural crops.

As part of the agreement, Monsanto may offer students accepting fellowships the opportunity to interact directly with Monsanto scientists and gain valuable experience in a corporate research environment through internship programs.

"Plant breeding is an integral part of Monsanto's commitment as an agricultural company to provide yield enhancements for farmers through technology," said Ted Crosbie, Monsanto's vice president of global plant breeding. "The establishment of this fund will hopefully help University of Illinois graduates prepare for careers as leaders and professionals in the plant breeding industry."

The University of Illinois' plant breeding program is housed in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences which ranks among the 10 best in the United States, due in part to world-renowned achievements relating to breeding and genetic research.

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information, please visit: www.monsanto.com.


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