Iowa State University officials announced last week that a gift from Monsanto Company will establish a new faculty chair in soybean breeding within the university's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Ames.
In addition to supporting faculty breeding research, the Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding will help support graduate students pursuing degrees in plant breeding. These students will join a group of more than 50 Monsanto Fellows in Plant Breeding across eight universities.
"Monsanto has been a longtime partner of Iowa State University and has a long history of support for our plant breeding programs," says Kendall Lamkey, chair of the ISU Department of Agronomy. "The Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding will expand our soybean research capabilities, as well as support the preparation of students for successful careers in agriculture. It's these students who will go on to develop new agricultural innovations that will help soybean growers, including those in the No. 1 soybean state of Iowa, continue to be successful."
Continued investment and improvement in plant breeding needed
"Continued investment and improvement in plant breeding is an integral part of making agriculture more productive," says Sam Eathington, Monsanto's vice president of global plant breeding. "We're excited to work with Iowa State University to promote additional soybean breeding research that can help farmers meet growing global demands, as well as support the development of the industry's future leaders."
For more than 90 years, plant breeding programs at ISU have successfully contributed to the productivity and quality of crops for farmers, says Lamkey. Iowa State University breeding research, with long-standing support of Iowa's soybean growers, has led to development of soybeans with improved yield, disease and insect resistance and other agronomic traits — innovations used by public and private breeders along with release for commercial production.
ISU has released more than 180 soybean varieties over the years
Soybean breeding at Iowa State University aimed at enhanced soybean oil traits has resulted in release of more than 180 varieties over the years, trained more than 80 graduate students and provided research experience to hundreds of undergraduates.
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. To learn more about our business and our commitments visit www.monsanto.com.
The gift, given through the Iowa State University Foundation, is part of Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose, the university's $800 million fundraising effort. Over $840 million in gifts and future commitments for facilities and student, faculty and programmatic support have been made to Campaign Iowa State.