Soil&Crop Sciences graduate students will host the second annual Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium on Thursday, February 18, 2016. The one-day research conference is open to the public and will take place in the Memorial Student Center Bethancourt Grand Ballrooms, Room 2300 CDE, on the College Station, Texas campus. The program will begin at 8:00 AM with an evening reception to follow.

The symposium is free to attend, but registration is required for both on-campus and webinar participation. To register for the symposium and for more details, please visit the official symposium website: plantbreedingsymposium.com

The theme of the 2016 symposium is Healthier Food for a Healthier World. World class scientists from major U.S. agricultural universities, international research centers, and private companies will be speaking on plant breeding’s impact on human health and environmental quality. Speakers will explore topics in biofortification, breeding for enhanced nutrient content, and breeding crops for sustainable agricultural systems.

The line-up of keynote speakers includes:

  • Irwin Goldman, carrot and beet breeder and Horticulture Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin
  • Kevin Murphy, Assistant Professor working on breeding sustainable barley, buckwheat, ocra, and perennial wheat among others at Washington State University
  • Kevin Pixley, Director of the Genetic Resources Program and corn breeder at CIMMYT, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
  • Jim Gaffney, Strategy Lead in Biotech Affairs and Regulatory at DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa.
  • Eric Jackson, Principal Geneticists and Systems Biologist at General Mills, working on oat and wheat nutritional genomics.
  • Kevin Crosby, Associate Professor of Horticulture and melon, pepper, tomato, onion and carrot breeder at Texas A&M.

In addition to these keynote speakers, students researching plant breeding at Texas A&M will share their research via oral presentations and posters. Students have the opportunity to win prizes up to $325 each for their efforts. Interested students may sign-up to present their research on the symposium website.

After the symposium, all attendees are invited to Café Eccell in Bryan, Texas for an evening reception. It will be a casual atmosphere to network with the speakers and other symposium attendees. Appetizers will be provided. The winners of the student research competition will also be presented with their awards at this time.

A Farm to Table lunch will also be provided to all symposium attendees. The farm-fresh food will be locally grown and prepared by chefs Ronin Cooking. The lunch will be paired with an informational presentation from the Ronin team describing their plant variety selections, farming methodologies, and food preparation techniques.

The symposium organizers are also hosting a non-perishable food drive in order to provide healthier food for those less-fortunate in our local community. The food will be collected by Texas A&M’s “12th Can” student-run food pantry. Attendees who bring food items to the symposium will be entered into a raffle. Each food item is worth one raffle ticket. Each ticket will be an opportunity to win one of many prizes donated by seed companies and local businesses.

The Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium is fully organized by a team of Texas A&M graduate students studying plant breeding or a related science. Laura Masor, Brian Pfeiffer, Francisco Gomez, Ammani Kyanam, Dustin Wilkerson, and Smit Dhakal have been working together since August to make the event a success.

The Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium is presented by DuPont Pioneer. The symposium is a member of the DuPont Plant Sciences Symposia Series which connects similar events at universities around the world. The event is also sponsored by Cotton, Inc., Texas A&M’s Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, Texas A&M’s Departments of Soil and Crop Sciences, Horticulture, and Biology, Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M’s C.O.A.L.S. Council, Ronin Cooking, Seed Saver’s Exchange, and Johnny’s Select Seeds.

For more information about the symposium, contact the graduate student organizing committee via email at [email protected], visit our website at plantbreedingsymposium.com, or connect with us on social media:

  • Facebook at “Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium”
  • Twitter @pbsymposium
  • Instagram @pbsymposium
  • YouTube channel at “Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium”