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the foundation
of civilization

Plant breeding:
the foundation
of agriculture

2nd Annual Plant Breeding Workshop

An Initiative of the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee (SCC-080)

2nd Annual Meeting, June 2008

(return to PBCC main page)

What: the annual meeting of the Plant Breeding coordinating committee
Who: all those interested in plant breeding are invited to attend; there are no annual dues; attendees will include public and private sector scientists and graduate students
Where: Des Moines, Iowa
When: June 16-18, 2008
Host: Ted Crosbie, Monsanto
Objective: The plant breeding coordinating committee serves as a forum regarding issues and opportunities of national and global importance to the public and private sectors of the U.S. national plant breeding effort. This year's workshop will focus building partnerships between society and the global community of plant breeders. The workshop will include invited speakers, discussion sessions, and focus groups
Organized by: the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee (SCC-080)

Weather updates:

  • June 13, 3 pm: In order to avoid any issues if electrical power is reduced, we will be moving from the Embassy Suites to the Sheraton Hotel in West Des Moines. Denise Pierce will contact registrants with their hotel information by tonight.
  • June 13, 9 am: You may be aware of the flooding occurring around Iowa and the city of Des Moines. Denise Pierce is in close contact with management at Embassy Suites hotel, and they are planning to host the PBCC workshop June 16-18. Denise will continue to monitor the situation with hotel management and send email to the registrants if anything changes. There is a dry weather forecast for the next 3 to 4 days. We look forward to seeing you in Des Moines!

Newsletter notice:

  • June 16-18, 2008, Des Moines, Iowa: 2nd National Plant Breeding Workshop (sponsored by SCC-080, the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee). The PBCC serves as a forum regarding issues and opportunities of national and global importance to the public and private sectors of the U.S. national plant breeding effort. The 2008 workshop will focus on building partnerships between society and the global community of plant breeders. The workshop will include a visit to Monsanto’s facilities at Huxley, Iowa, as well as invited speakers and discussion sessions (Registration: $200 until April 15, $250 after April 15 for professionals; $100 for graduate students).

Online registration:

  • Register online at: (registration is closed)
  • Registration must be completed by April 15 to qualify for the early registration discount
  • Graduate students will receive a discount for registration
  • There is some funding available to support postdoctoral research associates to attend the workshop


  • Hotel Address:
    • Embassy Suites Des Moines, 101 East Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309; phone 515-244-1700
    • workshop moved to the Sheraton Hotel, 1800 50th St., West Des Moines IA 50266; phone 515-223-1800
    • secondary location for sleep rooms: Holiday Inn, 6075 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines IA 50266; phone 515-309-3900
  • Hotel Online Registration Link:
  • Cost: $129/night; includes full breakfast on June 17-18
    • Reservations can be made directly with the hotel, either online or by phone (our room block is now full)
    • Reservations must be made by May 25, 2008 to guarantee the room rate
    • When reserving by phone, please be sure to indicate you are attending the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee Meeting


  • Registration and meeting logistics
  • Agenda subcommittee chair: Linda Wessel-Beaver
    • Travis Frey
    • Phil Simon
  • Speaker subcommittee chair: Keith Woeste
    • Kay Simmons
    • Ann Marie Thro
  • Nominations subcommittee chair: Todd Wehner
    • Jim Hancock

Optional tours:

  • On Wednesday afternoon, June 18th, participants are invited to visit the North Central Plant Introduction Station at Ames. Contact Kathy
    to reserve a space.
  • Graduate students and their advisors are invited to visit Pioneer Hi-Bred at Johnston. Contact Leslie Lorenc to reserve a space. Partipants must make their own transportation arrangements.

Schedule (Schedule in MS Word; Schedule in pdf):

  • Monday, June 16
    • 2:00 pm: Registration desk opens at Sheraton Hotel
    • 3:00 pm: Executive committee meeting (Potomac Room)
    • 4:30 pm: Buses depart for Monsanto
    • 5:00 pm: Welcome and Importance of Customer Focus
      • Ted Crosbie and Don Funk (Monsanto)
    • 5:25 pm: Break into 7 groups and begin inside and outside tours
    • 7:15 pm: Dinner
    • 8:15 pm: Speaker, "Public-Private Partnerships and the Future of Plant Breeding"
      • Ted Crosbie (Monsanto)
    • 8:30 pm: Load buses for return to hotel
  • Tuesday, June 17
    • 7:00 am: Breakfast
    • Master of Ceremonies: William Beavis, George F. Sprague Endowed Chair, Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding, Dept. of Agronomy, Iowa State University
    • 8:00 am: Introduction to the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee and the 2nd National Plant Breeding Workshop
      • Stephen Baenziger, University of Nebraska; Chair, PBCC
      • Phil Simon, USDA-ARS, University of Wisconsin, Vice Chair, PBCC
      • Todd Wehner, North Carolina State University, Secretary, PBCC
      • Caron Gala, Policy Programs Coordinator, ASA-CSSA-SSSA
    • 8:30 am: Invited speaker, Building Partnerships to address USDA Strategic Goal 5: Improve the Nation’s Nutrition and Health
      • Henry Thompson, Colorado State University Cancer Prevention Laboratory, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Fort Collins, CO
    • 9:15 am: Invited speaker, Building Partnerships to address USDA Strategic Goal 6: Protect and Enhance the Nation’s National Resource Base and Environment
      • Jerry DeWitt, Director, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University
    • 10:00 am: Instructions for break-out discussion groups (there will be 7 break-out groups; report to your group at 10:45 am following the refreshment break)
    • 10:15 am: Refreshment break; Poster viewing
    • 10:45 am: Break-out discussion groups (7 groups)
      • Discussion group theme: Building Partnerships
    • 12:15 noon: Lunch
    • 1:00 pm: Poster viewing; Completion of break-out group reports
    • 1:30 pm: Reports from breakout groups (5-minute reports from 7 groups)
    • 2:15 pm: Panel discussion, "Plant Breeding Metrics and Accountability"
      • Co-Moderators: Ann Marie Thro (USDA-CSREES, National Program Leader, Plant Breeding and Genetics) and Linda Pollak (USDA-ARS, Research Geneticist)
      • Greg Tolla (Breeding Director-Cucurbits, Seminis Vegetable Seeds; Board Member, National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders)
      • Chuck Hassebrook (Executive Director, Center for Rural Affairs; Chair, Board of Regents, University of Nebraska)
      • Molly Jahn (Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin)
      • Jeff Pedersen (Editor, J. of Plant Registrations, Crop Science Society of America; USDA-ARS, Univ. of Nebraska)
      • Charles Stuber (Director, Plant Breeding Center, North Carolina State University)
    • 3:15 pm: Instructions for break-out discussion groups (7 groups corresponding to the 7 PBCC subcommittees); the subcommittees are listed on the back of this program; report to your discussion group following the refreshment break
    • 3:20 pm: Refreshment break
    • 3:50 pm: Break-out discussion groups (7 groups)
      • Discussion group theme: Metrics and Accountability
    • 4:50 pm: Reports from breakout groups (3 minute reports from 7 groups)
    • 5:30 pm: Summarizing remarks
    • 6:30 pm: Dinner
    • 7:30 pm: Special session for graduate students and post-docs, "Challenges and Opportunities for Early Career Plant Breeders"
      • Moderator: Linda Wessel-Beaver (Univ. of Puerto Rico)
      • Greg Tolla (Seminis Vegetable Seeds; National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders)
      • Phil Simon (USDA-ARS)
      • Chris Cramer (New Mexico State University)
      • Daria Schmidt (Pioneer)
      • Dwight Bostwick (Syngenta)
      • Donn Cummings (Monsanto)
    • 7:30 pm: Discussions: white papers; subcommittee meetings; elections subcommittee
  • Wednesday, June 18
    • 7:00 am: Breakfast
    • Master of Ceremonies: William Beavis, George F. Sprague Endowed Chair, Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding, Dept. of Agronomy, Iowa State University
    • 8:00 am: Introductory remarks; Instructions for subcommittee break-out sessions
      • Stephen Baenziger, University of Nebraska; Chair, PBCC
    • 8:15 am: Breakout sessions of 7 subcommittees (list of subcommittees on back of program)
    • 9:30 am: Reports from subcommittees
    • 10:15 am: Refreshment break; viewing of posters
    • 10:45 am: SCC-080 Business Session (elections, other new business)
    • 11:45 am: Adjourn
    • 11:45 am: Executive committee meeting
    • 1:00 pm: Post-meeting tours (pre-arrangements must have been made)


  • Invited speaker, Food and nutrition: Henry Thompson, Colorado State University
  • Invited speaker, Environment and plant breeding: Jerry DeWitt, Leopold Center
  • Discussion panel: Ann Marie Thro, Jeff Pedersen, Molly Jahn, Charlie Stuber, Chuck Hassebrook, Greg Tolla

Instructions for 2008 Workshop:

  • Arrival
    • For those flying into Des Moines, you are responsible for transportation to your hotel. The Sheraton Hotel and Holiday Inn both have a courtesy phone near baggage claim if you would like to use their shuttles, or there are taxis available. Cab fare is normally $15-20 one-way, but longer routes may be necessary due to road closings.
    • If you have a car, parking at the hotel is available. Again, there are road closings around Des Moines due to high water, but alternate routes are available. The most notable closing is Fleur Drive, which is the main route from the airport to downtown Des Moines. I will track down alternate driving directions and have them posted on the workshop website as soon as possible.
    • Workshop registration will be located in the hotel (ask at hotel check in). Please be sure to stop by during office hours to check-in, pick up your name tag, agenda and handouts. Office hours: Monday 2-4 pm; Tuesday 7 am-5 pm; Wednesday 7 am-1 pm.
  • Monsanto Tour
    • Gather in either hotel lobby by 4 pm to board the buses in time for a 4:15pm departure. Be sure to check-in at the registration office to receive your name tag before 4:00 pm, as your tour group assignment is on the back of your name tag.
    • Dress code: shoes with both closed toe/closed heel; long pants (please, no shorts, Capri-length pants, sandals, or flip flops).
    • We request no photography while on-site, so please leave all cameras at the hotel.
    • Dinner will be served at the Monsanto site on Monday evening for tour participants.
  • General
    • There is no dress code requirement for the sessions held at Sheraton Hotel. However, keep in mind that it can be difficult to maintain good temperature control in large meeting rooms. We suggest you dress in layers or bring a sweater for your comfort.
    • For guests staying at the Sheraton Hotel or Holiday Inn, hot breakfast is included in your room rate. Breakfast is served in the hotel; you will need to show your room key. For those not staying at the hotel, you may want to have breakfast before you arrive at the Sheraton Hotel.
    • For all workshop attendees, lunch and dinner will be provided on Tuesday; lunch is provided on Wednesday.
    • We will provide you with copies of all workshop-related documents; they are also available on the website. White papers are drafts and have undergone various levels of review, so your input is important. Newer versions may be available on the website.

Handouts for 2008 Workshop:

Subcommittee White Papers:

  • Excellence in Science and Technology - white paper (pdf)
  • A Globally Competitive Agricultural System
  • Competitiveness, Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural America
  • Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System - white paper (pdf)
  • Healthy, Well-nourished Population - white paper (pdf)
  • Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment
  • Education and Training of Plant Breeders - white paper (pdf)


The PBCC is a national coordinating committee of U.S. plant breeders (SCC-080) established in 2007 at a workshop co-organized by USDA-CSREES and the Departments of Crop Science and Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. The committee works to raise awareness of what plant breeders have done for the nation and how they can contribute to the future of the United States. The group seeks to strengthen U.S. plant breeding capacity by encouraging improvements in infrastructure and education. The PBCC was established as a Land-Grant University Multistate Research Coordinating Committee.

According to guidelines of USDA-CSREES (United States Department of Agriculture – Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service) and ESCOP (Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy), a Coordinating Committee (CC) provides opportunities for scientists, specialists and others to work cooperatively and coordinate activities to solve problems that concern more than one state. The Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee (PBCC) is administered by the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (SAAESD) and has been assigned the number "SCC-080". However, participants in SCC-080 can be from any state. Experiment Station directors of each state are encouraged to name an official representative to the SCC-080. Anyone from either the public or private sector interested in the future of plant breeding is encouraged to participate in the PBCC (SCC-080). The PBCC is organized into an executive committee and seven subcommittees.



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Department of Horticultural ScienceBox 7609North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC 27695-7609(919) 515-7416

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