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Plant breeding:
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Plant Breeding Academy News

June 2008

UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy Graduates Fifteen New Plant Breeders

Filling a critical need for additional plant breeders, the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy (PBA) recently graduated its inaugural class. Fifteen students from seed companies across the US, and from as far as Hong Kong and Canada, participated in the program. “The Plant Breeding Academy advances the scientific skills of professional breeders, while meeting the agricultural and seed-industry need for additional plant breeders worldwide”, said Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at a graduation celebration signifying the culmination of two years of in depth study of plant breeding theory, genetics, statistics, and special topics.

This new program was developed by the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center in direct response to industry concerns over the reduced number of plant breeders being trained in academic programs. The two-year course provides an opportunity for companies to invest in dedicated personnel who are currently involved in breeding programs, but would like further formal instruction in genetics, statistics and plant breeding theory. The course schedule allows students to maintain their working positions while enrolled. Academy graduates will be able to work as independent plant breeders or to direct regional plant breeding programs.

Class II of the PBA will begin in September, and is nearly filled. For more information, see


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Page citation: Wehner, T.C. Global Plant Breeding, 30 March 2005;
design by C.T. Glenn; send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 30 September, 2009