On-campus and webinar attendance offered
COLLEGE STATION – Healthier Food for a Healthier World, the second annual Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium, will be presented Feb. 18 by Texas A&M University graduate students.
The one-day research conference is open to the public and will be offered via a webinar and on campus at the Memorial Student Center Bethancourt Grand Ballrooms, Room 2300 CDE, in College Station.
The program will begin at 8 a.m. with reception to follow at 6 p.m. 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, go to http://plantbreedingsymposium.com.
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, said Brian Pfeiffer, a doctoral student and member of the organizing committee.
Speakers will explore topics in biofortification, breeding for enhanced nutrient content and breeding crops for sustainable agricultural systems, Pfeiffer said. The keynote speakers include:
– Dr. Irwin Goldman, University of Wisconsin horticulture department chair and carrot and beet breeder, Madison, Wisconsin.
– Dr. Kevin Murphy, Washington State University assistant professor working on breeding sustainable barley, buckwheat, okra and perennial wheat, Pullman, Washington.
– Dr. Kevin Pixley, CIMMYT-International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center director of genetic resources program and corn breeder, Veracruz, Mexico.
– Dr. Jim Gaffney, DuPont Pioneer strategy lead in biotech affairs and regulatory, Johnston, Iowa.
– Dr. Eric Jackson, General Mills principal geneticists and systems biologist working on oat and wheat nutritional genomics, Manhattan, Kansas.
– Dr. Kevin Crosby, Texas A&M AgriLife Research horticulture associate professor and breeder of melons, peppers, tomatoes, onions and carrots, College Station.
In addition, students researching plant breeding at Texas A&M will share their research via oral presentations and posters. Research by many of the students is conducted through AgriLife Research on cowpeas, cotton, sorghum and small grains.
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 from Ronin Cooking of Bryan. The lunch will be paired with an informational presentation from the Ronin team describing their plant variety selections, farming methodologies and food preparation techniques.
After the symposium, all attendees are invited to Café Eccell in Bryan for an evening reception, Pfeiffer said. It will be a casual atmosphere to network with the speakers and other symposium attendees. The winners of the student research competition will also be presented with their awards at this time.
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,” Pfeiffer said. The food will be collected by Texas A&M’s “12th Can” student-run food pantry. Attendees who donate food will be entered into a raffle to win prizes donated by seed companies and local businesses.
The symposium was organized by a team of Texas A&M graduate students studying plant breeding or a related science, including Laura Masor, Pfeiffer, Francisco Gomez, Ammani Kyanam, Dustin Wilkerson and Smit Dhakal.
The Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium is presented by DuPont Pioneer. The symposium is a part 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 and its student council, Ronin Cooking, the National Sunflower Association, The Farm Patch and Pepsi-Cola.
For more information about the symposium, contact the graduate student organizing committee via email at email@example.com or visit their social media sites: Facebook at Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium, Twitter @pbsymposium, Instagram @pbsymposium and YouTube at Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium.