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Agriculture:
the foundation
of civilization

Plant breeding:
the foundation
of agriculture

Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee

Minutes of Meetings and Conference Calls - 2008

(return to PBCC main page)

These are the minutes of the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee.

  • Minutes of telephone conference #21 on January 22, 2009
    • Members present: -Steve Baenziger,
    • Subcommittee organization
      • How many should there be?
      • What topics should they address?
      • Are some areas done with their work?
      • Are new areas needed?
    • Next conference call
      • February 19, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #20 on November 20, 2008
    • Members present: Surinder Gulia, Randy Johnson, Dave Kendra, Rita Mumm, Seth Murray, Herb Ohm, Jody Scheffler, Kay Simmons, Phil Simon, Tom Stalker, Mitch Tuinstra, Todd Wehner, Keith Woeste,
    • Volunterring of hosts for the next meetings
      • 2009 meeting: University of Wisconsin on August 3-5 in Madison WI
      • 2010 meeting: Pioneer
      • 2011 meeting: TAMU
      • 2012 meeting: Mycogen?
    • Ask statement
      • Tom Stalker working with Bill Tracy on a combined 'ask' statement
      • Proposal would be for 1) competitive grants (including mulitiple institution grants and germplasm evaluation), 2) regional centers for breeding and molecular markers work, 3) increase baseline funding for land-grant universities, and increased funding for the ARS national germplasm system. It would be a total package of $150 million.
      • Care is being exercised to avoid jeopardizing the support for the AFRI. The proposed statement should be circulated for comment from the executive committee of PBCC.
      • Need to focus on priorities in a time of limited funding.
      • Probably should include germplasm evaluation with competitive grants.
    • White papers, one-pagers, meeting reports
      • Have all white papers on the web (some in rough draft) and one one-pager
      • Keith Woeste will send a second one-pager to Todd Wehner
      • Convert all papers to pdf (no more MS Word docs)
      • Phil Simon: white papers are needed to define the work of each subcommittee area. They are also needed to use in contacting groups that are potential cooperating partners.
      • White papers help us to work with each of our areas of interest. White papers should be published in scientific journals.
      • No reports from 2008 meeting from two subcommittees: Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System; Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment.
      • Each subcommittee should do a report and a white paper, but do not all need to do one-pagers.
      • One paper could be done from the survey that is in the works; Kay Simmons has compiled the results from ARS plant breeders. Tom Stalker is working on the survey.
    • Plant breeding as a career
      • Popularity: PBCC website is the number one site in Google if typing 'National Plant Breeding'
      • Powerpoint file to be developed for use in recruiting students
      • Could also be used on our PBCC website
      • Rita Mumm: did a video for a career website on plant breeding; will check with Donn Cummings and Mitch Tuinstra
      • Jamie Sherman (Montana State Univ) did a video on wheat breeding at UC Davis (wheat CAP)
      • ARS has a brochure on plant breeding and crops that are covered with conventional and molecular approaches
      • Herb Ohm is looking for comments on the plant breeding symposium for CSSA
    • Awards for plant breeders
    • Next conference call
      • January 22, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #19 on October 16, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Mike Havey, Abdullah Jaradat, Dave Kendra, Karen Moldenhauer, Rita Mumm, Herb Ohm, Jody Scheffler, Kay Simmons, Phil Simon, David Stelly, Mitch Tuinstra, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver, Craig Yencho
    • Plant Breeding CC By-law Issues
      • Terms of service for PBCC officers
        • The coordinating committee supported the idea of moving the officers (motion by Ohm, second by Stelly) to one-year terms, with the secretary moving to vice-chair, moving to chair. This would be parallel the officer system for the subcommittees. Also, the executive committee supported the idea of creating a new position of web editor, so the secretary would not have to have expertise in website editing.
        • The changes would become effective with the elections to be held at the 2009 meeting. Thus, the chair (Baenziger) becomes past-chair, the vice-chair (Simon) would become chair, and the secretary (Wehner) becomes the vice-chair.
        • The 2009 elections subcommittee would need to nominate a secretary and web editor.
        • We need to begin soliciting nominations for 2009.
    • Volunterring of hosts for the next meeting
      • Would PBCC want to have future meetings in conjunction with scientific meetings?
      • Seth Murray - happy to host PBCC at TAMU in 2011.
    • Ask statement
      • Baenziger: PBCC should move forward, while we avoid interfering with AFRI.
      • Stalker: we need to establish a solid 'ask' statement to make our needs public, and to provide a basis for comparing our progress and our success.
      • 'Ask' statement has not been merged for the two statements (Bill Tracy and Tom Stalker versions).
      • How can we get sponsors for our 'Ask' statement from congress? Need support for land-grant universities and ARS. Gather land-grant universities at the southern region meeting. This is a good time, since there is a lot of private company support for plant breeding now.
      • First, PBCC should support AFRI; next PBCC should work for interagency support (the way it has been done for genomics); finally, we should support Hatch and ARS funding for the base infrastructure funds.
      • PBCC may want to support funding for centers of excellence, or perhaps virtual universities where people at different universities contribute modules to plant breeding courses.
      • Simmons: participated in the Seed Research Summit sponsored by ASTA in Chicago (Andy Levine); they recommended support for plant breeding at U.S. universities, federal agencies and private foundations.
      • The committee felt it was very important to continue to develop our
        plans on what resources are needed and how they should be deployed to support
        plant breeding in the future. Stephen Baenziger will contact Andy Lavigne of
        ASTA to see if the Seed Research Summit recommendations are available.
      • Tom Stalker will work with Bill Tracy to get the most current version of the ASK statement that will be sent to the committee. In addition, Tom and others will begin asking their deans or other influential people how to develop a coordinated approach for identifying supporters for this initiative. As we determine what is a good strategy, we may develop a common letter to our administrators to keep them informed and have them understand our needs and the importance of their support.
    • Next conference call
      • November 20, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #18 on September 18, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Tom Blake, Caron Gala, Karl Glazener, Mike Havey, Shelley Janske, Randy Johnson, Seth Murray, Rita Mumm, Herb Ohm, Jody Scheffler, Kay Simmons, Phil Simon, Ann Marie Thro, Mitch Tuinstra, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver, Keith Woeste
    • AFRI funding for plant breeding
      • AFRI (formerly NRI and IFAFS) will be the new flagship competitive grants program for NIFA-USDA (formerly CSREES), and will be implemented with plant breeding funding as a stand-alone program.
      • How should PBCC get involved in federal funding without damaging support for AFRI ($700 million)?
        • Finish white papers showing need for plant breeding and distribute by September 22
      • Caron Gala suggested that we make sure that our goals are met in the AFRI program
        • How do we show that plant breeding is more than organic agriculture and specialty crops research in NRI?
      • Individuals, as well as the Plant Breeding CC (or our outreach arm, the National Association of Plant Breeders) should send letters of support
        • Linda Wessel-Beaver suggested that we alert all plant breeders to the issue to give everyone a chance to respond
        • Ann Marie Thro - it is more important for PBCC than for individuals to respond
        • The PBCC secretary will send a notice to all PBCC members, including a link to the announcement (federal register notice for AFRI)
      • How to send letters of support for AFRI:
        • Deadline for comment is September 24; address to send:
        • Ms. Terri Joya (afri@csrees.usda.gov - include CSREES-2008-0002 in the subject line of the message) OR
        • AFRI Competitive Programs Unit; Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture; STOP 2240; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.; Washington, DC 20250-2240; include the agency name and CSREES-2008-0002
    • PBCC initiative for federal funding of plant breeding
      • Steve Baenziger - after we support AFRI, how do we finish our 'ask' statements; what else do we need to finish our statements
      • Genomics research funding could also include translational work to bring the functionality to the users (Kay Simmons stated that this is already part of that new National Plant Genome Initiative); AFRI could contribute to this initiative
      • Randy Johnson - concerned that all of the funding might become competitive-grants-only; some of our funding should be formula funds
        • Ann Marie Thro suggested that we state our needs for formula funds to prevent them from going 100% competitive
        • Tom Stalker suggested that we consider AFRI to be only part of the solution for funding of plant breeding at the federal level
      • Linda Wessel-Beaver pointed out that the first objectives of our 'ask' are met by AFRI; regional centers might fit into some AFRI funding area; the third area does not fit well
      • Ann Marie Thro - we should point out how AFRI supports our goals and how it falls short (take the opportunity to educate)
        • We should support the goals of 40% applied - 60% basic, and 30% integrated since it is part of the law
      • Herb Ohm - our statements should support plant breeding goals as well as the national need
      • Kay Simmons asked if there our 'ask' included line-item funding for the National Germplasm System
        • Tom Stalker stated that it was the intent to fund the germplasm system
        • Randy Johnson - National Forest Service should be funded in these expanded efforts as well
        • Make statement with clear goals and funding tied to each one, showing how they relate
      • Tom Stalker - number of centers for education was set at a low level: $50 million/year; that might provide funds for 100 grants of $500,000 each per year; if larger grants are awarded, there might only be 10 grants/year depending on duration
        • Steve Baenziger - grants that are beyond funding can be funded for just 1 year initially
        • Tom Stalker - centers might be similar to the wheat molecular marker labs funded throughout the U.S.
        • Kay Simmons - genotyping centers are funded in a research approach rather than for service only; service is getting done as part of the regional research project; the cost is $2 million/year x 4 centers in U.S. (some are only partially funded)
      • Kay Simmons, Tom Stalker - the long-term funding item in the 'ask' is for plant breeding and is to be directed to non-competitive research funding (similar to Hatch funding); this is not possible through AFRI and other competitive grants programs
    • White papers
      • Mike Havey - the white paper for Healthy Population is done; what is the next step; distribute to our partners?
      • Ann Marie Thro - begin distributing the papers to industry, USDA, legislators, house and senate ag committees
      • Papers can be sent to journals for publication
    • PBCC meeting host for 2011
      • Seth Murray - happy to host PBCC at TAMU in 2011, but future PBCC might need to coincide with scientific meetings
      • PBCC secretary should make a general call for host for 2011
      • Could test the idea of PBCC meeting in conjunction with scientific meetings
      • Rita Mumm - summer or fall meetings may lose private breeders; winter?
    • Next conference call
      • October 16, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #17 on August 22, 2008
    • Members present: Charlie Brummer, Mike Havey, Abdullah Jaradat, Randy Johnson, Rita Mumm, Herb Ohm, Jody Scheffler, Kay Simmons, Phil Simon, David Stelly, Ann Marie Thro, Greg Tolla, Todd Wehner, Keith Woeste, Craig Yencho
    • Development of an 'Ask' Statement
      • See the Bill Tracy version as rough draft (pdf)
      • Ask statement: plant breeding research, regional plant breeding centers (4 large, 4 medium-size, 8 small universities), need Hatch funds for support of fields and greenhouses.
      • Rita Mumm suggested that we refine the 'ask' statement to the major points of interest to the PBCC. Should there be three main points in the statement? Should graduate education be included in the main objectives? She would prefer that graduate education should be funded as a separate area from competitive research grants.
      • Phil Simon suggested that one objective should be the maintenance of major breeding programs.
      • David Stelly suggested that funds go to support of a wide range of crops research, that would include graduate student support. Graduate education is easily worked into competitive grant funding. Each crop has great value to the U.S., and plant breeders contribute a great deal to the value those crops ($100 billion for farm gate value of all crops). We need more than the plant genome initiative and plant germplasm funding.
      • Jody Scheffler mentioned that ARS postdoctoral fellows are funded either as competitive grants to individuals or to research programs requesting the funds.
      • Craig Yencho suggested that we follow the model for the CAPS grants.
      • Mike Havey was concerned about politics becoming important, and funds going according to a formula rather than being distributed to researchers with the best proposals.
      • Ann Marie suggested we frame the graduate education area as 'work force training', and new area of emphasis in Washington DC. Which would PBCC prefer: 'National Needs' program funding goes to institutions, whereas fellowships are awarded to excellent students. Formula funding will have to be justified to the USDA Research, Education, and Extension Office (REEO) soon. PBCC might want to work on balance of trade issues in agriculture for the U.S.
        • The new Division Directors of the new USDA Research, Education, and Economics Office (set up by Congress in the new Farm Bill, section 7504), will start work to develop recommendations for a "roadmap" for agricultural research by MID-OCTOBER. Their first job will be research and stakeholder interaction to determine priority research needs and the resources (including funding) that would be needed to meet those needs. It will be important to be able to discuss plant breeding strongly with these new REEO Division Directors. Why does the country need plant breeding? To what priorities does plant breeding contribute solutions? What resources are needed for robust national plant breeding capacity? The white papers are exactly the material needed for that conversation. So it is really important to have them done.
        • Remember, after 9/11, the plant pathologists had their white papers ready -- and they received resources for pathogen genomics. Plant breeding did not receive anything. That could happen again. NOW IS THE TIME TO BE READY! If we don’t enter the conversation until next month or next year, it sounds more like another "me too", than like the contribution of a serious profession that has invested time in taking stock of their contributions and their needs.
        • All members are encouraged to find out the status of the white paper for your working group of interest, and contribute ideas and encouragement to the authors to get it done if it is not already complete. If you are a white paper author or co-author and your paper is not finished, please devote time to it immediately. Thank you, and thank you to those authors who are well along or completed.
    • 2008 Farm Bill
      • The 2008 Farm Bill, Section 7406 identifies a new priority area of ‘Plant Health and Production and Plant Products’ for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the new extramural competitive grants program for fundamental and applied research extension, and education in USDA. The priority area of this new initiative, which replaced the NRI, includes ‘conventional breeding, including cultivar and breed development, selection theory, applied quantitative genetics, breeding for improved food quality breeding for local adaptation to biotic stress and abiotic stress and participatory breeding.
    • Subcommittee reports and white papers
      • Subcommittee 2008 reports needed from:
        • Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System
        • Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment
      • White papers needed from:
        • A Globally Collaborative Agricultural System
        • Competitiveness, Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural America
    • Host for 2011 meeting:
      • If we continue our alternation between public and private sector, the host for that year should be a public institution.
      • If we meet with the Crop Science society, it would be in San Antonio, TX on October 14-20.
      • If we meet with the Hort Science society, it would be in Waikoloa, HI on September 25-28.
    • Next conference call
      • September 18, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #16 on July 18, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Charlie Brummer, Surinder Gulia, Shelley Janske, Mike Havey, Randy Johnson, Steve McKeand, Karen Moldenhauer, Rita Mumm, Seth Murray, Linda Pollak, Jody Scheffler, Kay Simmons, Phil Simon, David Stelly, Greg Tolla, Mitch Tuinstra, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver
    • Name for our outreach group (Todd Wehner)
      • 19 for National Plant Breeding Association (an initiative of the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee)
      • 20 for National Association of Plant Breeders (iPBCC)
      • 11 for American Plant Breeding Association (iPBCC)
      • 2 for Plant Breeders Association of America (iPBCC)
      • 1 for Association of Phytosexual Studies (iPBCC)
      • 1 for US Plant Breeding Association (iPBCC)
      • 1 for Association of Allied Plant Breeders (iPBCC)
      • 1 for National Plant Breeders (iPBCC)
      • 1 for U.S. Plant Breeders Alliance (or Affiliation)
      • The PBCC executive committee voted unanimously for National Association of Plant Breeders (iPBCC)
    • Next meeting of PBCC (Phil Simon)
      • August 3-5, 2009 (start 1 pm Aug. 3, banquet on Aug. 4, field trips on Aug. 5)
      • Monona Terrace convention center, Madison WI
      • Extension activities might be included; outreach and public relations activities
    • Development of an 'Ask'
      • Rough draft submitted by Bill Tracy
      • A second 'ask' may be submitted by Tom Stalker
      • Comments by Keith Woeste: need to draw on new alliances formed as the result of the 2008 meeting
      • Strengthen the statement on plant breeding, rather than crops where much genomics research has been done
      • Linda Wessel-Beaver: funding for centers of excellence should emphasize diverse crops and locations
      • Rita Mumm: centers of excellence should support groups that have the critical mass to do research and education; centers should be spread among locations for transformation, doubled haploids
      • Steve Baenziger: diverse locations and crops should be supported; we should discuss the strategy of 'how to train the best plant breeding students'; there may be a need for distance education courses
      • Kay Simmons: national plant genome initiative includes a large diversity of groups; the national plant breeding initiative should be aimed at a larger group of funding agencies than USDA and DOE; appropriations can be handled within institutions
      • Steve Baenziger: we may need to acknowledge different roles for ARS, national germplasm system, private industry, international research centers, and universities
      • Increased funding for Hatch is a great idea, but it may be difficult to get done in congress
      • Todd Wehner: Hatch support may be done using the same approach as support for research hospitals in the area of medical research
      • Phil Simon: research hospitals are struggling with funding for their facilities and programs
      • Steve Baenziger: Can we defend ourselves politically? Are plant breeders spending their funds the best way possible?
      • Industry plant breeders will be support our ask in congress
      • Subcommittee for ask statement: Bill Tracy, Dave Stelly
    • Overview of NCCPB and ASTA meetings (Greg Tolla)
      • 12-member board met in Orlando FL on June 22, followed by main meeting
      • American Seed Research Foundation summit meeting in September needs a representative from PBCC
        • ASTA and NCCPB are providing some support for ASRF summit
        • Facilitator may be hired to run the meeting (perhaps the one for the 2007 PBCC meeting in North Carolina)
      • Null breeding is being discussed for overcoming objections (such as those in Europe) to GMO crops; this would involve removing the transgenes from the new trait; sequence information must be reviewed by the USDA to confirm no foreign DNA
      • Sackler workshop on training to be held in California in late August; speakers from plant breeding group have been invited
    • Subcommittee reports
      • Reports needed for:
        • Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System
        • Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment
      • Education subcommittee report; education survey
        • Todd Wehner and Steve Baenziger are looking for input on their estimate of numbers at:
        • Tom Stalker and David Knauft are doing a survey of universities doing training of plant breeders
    • Next conference call
      • August 22, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #15 on May 29, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Randy Johnson, Ronnie Cauffman, Phil Simon, Kay Simmons, Tom Stalker, Dave Stelly, Ann Marie Thro, Greg Tolla, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver, Keith Woeste
    • Greg Tolla will attend the NCCPB and will be the contact for ASTA meeting this year
    • Plans for annual workshop
      • Phil Simon will handle early career presentation
      • Meeting registration
        • 160 registered as of May 29; 35 graduate students registered
        • 6 postdocs have gotten funding to attend PBCC ($500 each); room for 1 or 2 more
        • Registration packet: Phil Simon has a rough draft
        • Press coverage in Des Moines for agriculture (Dave Stelly, Denise Pierce); also Science journal (Kay Simmons will contact)
        • Kay Simmons needs representative to speak: Fred Bliss or Donn Cummings or Marlin Edwards
        • Pioneer, Phytogen, Mycogen, General Mills, Seminis, Monsanto, Syngenta are sending breeders to the PBCC meeting
      • 7 breakout groups; need 7 breakout leaders
        • 1 - Herb Ohm
        • 2 - Bill Tracy
        • 3 - Ronnie Cauffman
        • 4 - Keith Woeste
        • 5 - Mike Havey
        • 6 - Richard Pratt
        • 7 - Craig Yencho
      • 7 breakout groups; need 7 breakout leaders
        • Healthy, Well-nourished Population
        • Education and Training of Plant Breeders
        • Excellence in Science and Technology
        • Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment
        • Competitiveness, Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural America
        • A Globally Competitive Agricultural System
        • Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System
      • Education subcommittee report; education survey
        • Greg Tolla got only a few responses from small companies for the industry survey; need 100 plant breeders per year for public and private industry; have 75-80 per year now; plant breeders are also needed for IT and legal departments
        • Todd Wehner (todd_wehner@ncsu.edu) is looking for input on his estimate of numbers on the PBCC website at:
        • Tom Stalker and David Knauft are doing a survey of universities doing training of plant breeders
    • Current program
      • Monday, June 16
        • 2:00 pm: Arrive and registration
        • 3:00 pm: Executive committee meeting
        • 4:15 pm: Leave for Monsanto
        • 5:00 pm: Welcome and Monsanto tour
        • 6:30 pm: Dinner
        • 7:30 pm: Speaker, Science in the public arena: Monsanto Scientist
        • 9:00 pm: Return to hotel
      • Tuesday, June 17
        • 7:00 am: Breakfast
        • 8:00 am: Introduction / Overview of APBA (PBCC) activities: Steve Baenziger
          • history of PBCC; accomplishments of PBCC; new name for PBCC; Caron Gala will give overview of 1-page reports; status of white papers (5 pages in length); nominations and elections
          • Moderator: Bill Beavis, Iowa State
        • 8:30 am: Invited speaker, Food and nutrition: Henry Thompson, Colorado State University
        • 9:15 am: Invited speaker, Environment and plant breeding: Jerry DeWitt, Leopold Center
        • 10:00 am: Refreshment break
        • 10:45 am: Small-group discussions (7 groups of 30 or 3 groups of 70)
        • 12:00 noon: Lunch
        • 1:15 pm: Small-group reports (3 min reports from 7 groups)
        • 2:45 pm: Panel discussion, Metrics and accountability
          • Moderator: Ann Marie Thro (note taker: ?)
          • Variety registration journals: Jeff Pedersen
          • Agricultural experiment stations: Molly Jahn
          • USDA-ARS: Charlie Stuber, NC State Univ.
          • Sustainable agriculture groups: Chuck Hassebrook, Univ. Nebraska
          • Seed company plant breeders: Greg Tolla, Seminis Vegetable Seeds
        • 3:15 pm: Refreshment break
        • 3:45 pm: Small-group discussions (7 subcommittees)
        • 4:45 pm: Small-group reports (3 min reports from 7 groups or 5 min reports from 3 groups)
        • 5:15 pm: Summarizing remarks
        • 6:30 pm: Dinner
        • 7:30 pm: White paper discussions; subcommittee meetings; elections subcommittee; early career discussion group
      • Wednesday, June 18
        • 7:00 am: Breakfast
        • 8:00 am: Breakout sessions, subcommittee sessions (white paper development)
        • 9:00 am: Report from subcommittees / Summarizing remarks
        • 10:00 am: Refreshment break
        • 10:30 am: Large-group discussion: items needed (30 min.); what to do next (30 min.)
        • 11:30 am: Concluding remarks, business session, elections
        • 12:30 pm: Return home
        • 1:00 pm: Executive committee meeting
    • Next conference call
      • July 17, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #14 on April 24, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Randy Johnson, Herb Ohm, Linda Pollak, Phil Simon, David Stelly, Bill Tracy, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver, Keith Woeste
    • Plans for annual workshop
      • Moderator: Bill Beavis, Iowa State
      • 120 registered as of April 18; few graduate students are currently registered
      • Hotel rooms for the meeting are OK; there will be 7 groups (2 in the main room) for the discussion sessions
      • Speakers will not need to register, but will be on a list for Denise Pierce
        • For the speakers, we will cover, registration, hotel, transportation, per diem, honorarium (perhaps $300)
        • For the panelists, we will cover, registration, hotel, transportation, per diem
        • Keith Woeste is coordinating speakers
      • Projectors and screens will be provided; we will need to bring portable computers
        • Volunteers for computers: Randy Johnson, Herb Ohm, Phil Simon, Steve Baenziger, Linda Pollak, Linda Wessel-Beaver
      • Tours will be offered after the workshop
        • (attendees will assemble in a common location and visit the facilities)
        • On Wednesday afternoon, June 18th, participants are invited to visit the North Central Plant Introduction Station at Ames. Contact Kathy
          Reitsma
          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. Participants must make their own transportation arrangements.
      • We will send another notice about the meeting this week: June 16-18, 2008, Des Moines, Iowa: 2nd National Plant Breeding Workshop, sponsored by SCC-080, the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee. 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. The 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 professionals; $100 graduate students).
        • Funds were approved for the $5,000 for meeting expenses, including travel for speakers
      • Presenters
        • Speaker, Science in the public arena: Monsanto Scientist
        • Invited speaker, Food and nutrition: Henry Thompson, Univ. Colorado
        • Invited speaker, Environment and plant breeding: Jerry DeWitt, Leopold Center
        • Speakers, Early career discussion: Marcelo Carena?, Donn Cummings?, Greg Tolla
        • Discussion panel: Ann Marie Thro, Jeff Pedersen, Molly Jahn, Charlie Stuber, Chuck Hassebrook, Greg Tolla, Stephen Smith, others?
    • White papers
      • Several papers are in progress, with other subcommittees a possibility:
      • nearly complete: Healthy, Well-nourished Population
      • nearly complete: Education and Training of Plant Breeders
      • in progress: Excellence in Science and Technology
      • starting: Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment
      • starting: Competitiveness, Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural America
      • uncertain: A Globally Competitive Agricultural System
      • uncertain: Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System
    • National Needs Fellowships
      • Current grants are: Montana State University plus 6 other universities for wheat breeding (from USDA-CSREES)
      • Other training grants: few university plant breeding programs are left, so little capacity-building can be used
    • Next conference call
      • May 29, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #13 on March 27, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Randy Johnson, Herb Ohm, Linda Pollak, Phil Simon, Kay Simmons, Tom Stalker, David Stelly, Ann Marie Thro, Bill Tracy, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver, Keith Woeste
    • Plans for annual workshop
      • We will confirm that advertising has gone out for the meeting: send advertisement to ASHS (Linda Wessel-Beaver), CSSA (Herb Ohm), Plant Breeding News (Linda Wessel-Beaver), ASTA (Greg Tolla), NCCPB (Greg Tolla), experiment station directors (Ann Marie Thro), ARS Genetics Groups (Kay Simmons), GrainGenes (Steve Baenziger)
      • Tours will be offered at the 2nd National Plant Breeding Workshop
        • Attendees will assemble in a common location and visit the facilities
        • Plant Introduction Station tour, Ames, IA (Kathy Reitsma)
        • Pioneer Hy-Bred tour, Johnston, IA
        • Monsanto tour, Huxley Breeding Center, IA
        • others?
      • Objective of meeting: 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.
      • Advertisement for workshop: June 16-18, 2008, Des Moines, Iowa: 2nd National Plant Breeding Workshop, sponsored by SCC-080, the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee. 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. The 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 professionals; $100 graduate students).
        • Funds were approved for the $5,000 for meeting expenses, including travel for speakers
      • Graduate students get a discount, but not postdocs
        • Graduate students could be involved as notetakers for the breakout sessions
    • White papers
      • Several papers are in progress, with other subcommittees a possibility:
      • in progress: Healthy, Well-nourished Population
      • in progress: Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment
      • in progress: Education and Training of Plant Breeders
      • none: Excellence in Science and Technology
      • none: A Globally Competitive Agricultural System
      • none: Competitiveness, Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural America
      • none: Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System
    • Next conference call
      • April 17 and 24, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of White Paper Subcommittee Conference Call on March 26, 2008
    • Attendees: Stephen Baenziger, Ann Marie Thro, Phil Simon, Linda Pollak, Tom Stalker, and Caron Gala.
    • The committee met and discussed the following: we were very pleased that we now have two draft white papers for consideration (Education and Healthy Populations). Please make any suggested changes to the white papers and return them to the authors.
    • We are concerned that we have not received outlines from the other groups. If there are ways we can assist the other groups develop their outlines and white papers, please let us know. In reviewing our notes and e-mails, we believe that progress is being made on the outlines for “Excellence in Science and Technology”, “Globally Competitive Agricultural System”, and “Competitiveness, Sustainability, and Quality of Life in Rural America”. As the environment is one of our two major themes for the PBCC meeting in June, we felt it is very important that we move the outline and white paper on “Harmony between Agriculture and the Environment” forward before the June meeting. The White Paper Subcommittee will try to assist especially hard on this white paper effort.
    • Caron Gala mentioned that Karl Glasener and she will be developing a draft ASK document. This document is where we ask OMB, the President, and Congress for our support needs with “one voice”. It should identify gaps in knowledge and infrastructure and what are our needs. It should not be too specific when it comes to where the funds will go—the Congress and the Executive Branch will determine how to allocate funds to meet these needs. While we may tailor our approach to different audiences, the ASK document is the common approach/need (the “one voice”) for infrastructure and support. The difference between a “one-pager” and an ASK document is that the one-pager is a summary of the issue and a rationale for our approach. The ASK document is our request for enhanced support.
      • As part of the ASK document, we will ask Greg Tolla to request the National Council of Commercial Plant breeders to do a survey of industry on the future need for plant breeders. We have heard presentations from Monsanto and Pioneer where they have estimated their plant breeding needs. A survey of the total industry would be extremely useful to make our case.
      • We will ask Fred Bliss and Todd Wehner to estimate the future needs for plant breeders in the public sector.
    • The next conference call date was not decided, but if we follow past history, the two most likely dates are April 17 or April 23 at 1 PM Eastern, Noon Central, 11 AM Mountain, and 10 Pacific time. Please let me know which of these dates is best for you.
  • Minutes of telephone conference #12 on February 28, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Herb Ohm, Linda Pollak, Phil Simon, Kay Simmons, Ann Marie Thro, Greg Tolla, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver
    • Plans for annual workshop
      • Advertising for meeting: send advertisement to ASHS (Linda Wessel-Beaver), CSSA (Herb Ohm), Plant Breeding News (Linda Wessel-Beaver), ASTA (Greg Tolla), NCCPB (Greg Tolla), experiment station directors (Ann Marie Thro), ARS Genetics Groups (Kay Simmons), GrainGenes (Steve Baenziger)
      • 2nd National Plant Breeding Workshop (Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee, SCC-080)
      • Objective of meeting: 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.
      • Advertisement for workshop: June 16-18, 2008, Des Moines, Iowa: 2nd National Plant Breeding Workshop, sponsored by SCC-080, the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee. 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. The 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 professionals; $100 graduate students).
      • Funds were approved for the $5,000 for meeting expenses, including travel for speakers
      • ARS funds will be requested by Kay Simmons, perhaps to fund the metrics panel
    • Speakers: will be invited by speaker subcommittee
      • Linda Pollak and Phil Simon will invite the speaker for the Food and nutrition area
      • Ann Marie Thro will invite the speaker for the area of Environment and plant breeding area
      • Metrics panel will be developed from the audience; additional information on impact and metrics could be provided by Jeff Pedersen
        • NSF might contribute a speaker: Jane Silverthorn or Ed Kaleikou
        • a speaker will be invited from NCCPB (Greg Tolla)
        • Molly Jahn could be invited from the experiment station
        • Chuck Hassebrook (Center for Rural Affairs) could be invited to represent sustainable agriculture groups; Leopold Center
        • Speaker duties: 3 minute overview; 15 minute small group discussion; 45 minute general discussion (send a letter before the meeting with some specific questions for each speaker)
      • Plant breeding will become more important, and NSF may want to get involved (in addition to USDA-ARS)
    • Next conference call
      • March 27, 1 pm EST
  • Minutes of telephone conference #11 on February 25, 2008 (white paper subcommittee)
    • Members present: Stephen Baenziger, Phil Simon, Keith Woeste, Rob Bertram, Travis Frey, Linda Pollak, and Tom Stalker
    • The following actions were taken at the meeting:
    • We reviewed the nutrition outline and education white paper; we were grateful that we had examples from which to learn. Some thoughts:
      • The education white paper was written fairly generally due to its being cross cutting for all of our subcommittee areas. The nutrition outline was very specific and we think most of the other subcommittees will most likely be more specific than the education white paper.
      • We expect there will be some redundancy among the white papers, especially as it relates to education (again a cross cutting issue), but that redundancy is probably good as not every reader will read more than one subcommittee white paper.
      • We like having the common headings among all the white papers, but appreciated the use of specific subheadings in the education white paper. The subheadings greatly facilitated the ease of reading. We think this will be a good model for the other white papers.
      • We also appreciated that Rob Bertram and James McFerson were fairly far along on their outline and that Keith Woeste was collecting his thoughts/concepts as he begins to develop his outline. For those who have completed their outline or first draft of the white paper, their tips for success were—just set aside a day and do it or if you have an active subcommittee, schedule a conference call to discuss the outline and who will volunteer to write the various sections. If you want a conference call and have picked a time, Phil Simon will assist with the logistics of setting up conference call (we really appreciate Phil’s help). Also, remember that a first draft does not need to be perfect, so we wanted to not have so many thoughts or concerns as to delay the initial writing.
      • We decided to retain our previously agreed upon schedule of having he white papers ready for review by March 15, with comments back by March 22, and a conference call on March 26 (see below). As outlines are completed they will be circulated to the white paper subcommittee.
      • As the white papers and outlines are created, we thought it would be good to give some thought on how to crosslink our materials for a “Google” ready audience. Our goal is to keep the reader in our materials and allow them to go back and forth among our materials. Hence at the polishing stage, we may want to consider having key words that will link our white papers together.
    • Some of our concerns were: (Many of these will be deferred to Caron Gala and Karl Glasener for input)
      • What is the best way to get the message out?
      • Are we too or not enough technical? Will we need to have a series of definitions? Should we use “varieties” instead of “cultivars” and similarly use language that may be better understood by the lay audience?
      • Do we want references (here our thought was to have them and we can remove them if needed for some audiences).
    • We had an excellent discussion on how to tie in agronomic, horticultural, and forestry examples to be inclusive and broadly interesting to various audiences. We also noted that in nutrition for perishable food, that concepts such as year-round availability and store shelves with colorful and excellent tasting food are important aspects of nutrition. This concept could be linked to the need for a globally competitive agriculture. Affordability is also important.
    • The next conference call will be March 26 at 1 PM Eastern, Noon Central, 11 AM Mountain, and 10 Pacific time.
  • Minutes of White Paper Subcommittee Conference Call on February 15, 2008
    • Attendees: Stephen Baenziger, Phil Simon, Keith Woeste, Rob Bertram, Travis Frey, Linda Pollak, and Tom Stalker.
    • The committee met and discussed the following:
      • We reviewed the nutrition outline and education white paper, for which we were very grateful that we had examples from which to learn. Some thoughts were:
      • The education white paper was written fairly generally due to its being cross cutting for all of our subcommittee areas. The nutrition outline was very specific and we think most of the other subcommittees will most likely be more specific than the education white paper.
      • We expect there will be some redundancy among the white papers, especially as it relates to education (again a cross cutting issue), but that redundancy is probably good as not every reader will read more than one subcommittee white paper.
      • We like having the common headings among all the white papers, but appreciated the use of specific subheadings in the education white paper. The subheadings greatly facilitated the ease of reading. We think this will be a good model for the other white papers.
      • We also appreciated that Rob Bertram and James McFerson were fairly far along on their outline and that Keith Woeste was collecting his thoughts/concepts as he begins to develop his outline. For those who have completed their outline or first draft of the white paper, their tips for success were—just set aside a day and do it or if you have an active subcommittee, schedule a conference call to discuss the outline and who will volunteer to write the various sections. If you want a conference call and have picked a time, Phil Simon will assist with the logistics of setting up conference call (we really appreciate Phil’s help). Also, remember that a first draft does not need to be perfect, so we wanted to not have so many thoughts or concerns as to delay the initial writing.
      • We decided to retain our previously agreed upon schedule of having he white papers ready for review by March 15, with comments back by March 22, and a conference call on March 26 (see below). As outlines are completed they will be circulated to the white paper subcommittee.
      • As the white papers and outlines are created, we thought it would be good to give some thought on how to crosslink our materials for a “Google” ready audience. Our goal is to keep the reader in our materials and allow them to go back and forth among our materials. Hence at the polishing stage, we may want to consider having key words that will link our white papers together.
    • Some of our concerns were: (many of these will be deferred to Caron Gala and Karl Glasener for input).
      • What is the best way to get the message out?
      • Are we too or not enough technical? Will we need to have a series of definitions? Should we use “varieties” instead of “cultivars” and similarly use language that may be better understood by the lay audience?
      • Do we want references (here our thought was to have them and we can remove them if needed for some audiences).
    • We had an excellent discussion on how to tie in agronomic, horticultural, and forestry examples to be inclusive and broadly interesting to various audiences. We also noted that in nutrition for perishable food, that concepts such as year-round availability and store shelves with colorful and excellent tasting food are important aspects of nutrition. This concept could be linked to the need for a globally competitive agriculture. Affordability is also important.
    • The next conference call will be March 26 at 1 PM Eastern, Noon Central, 11 AM Mountain, and 10 Pacific time.
  • Minutes of telephone conference #10 on January 24, 2008
    • Members present: Steve Baenziger, Caron Gala, Steve McKeand, Herb Ohm, Linda Pollak, Kay Simmons, Phil Simon, Tom Stalker, Dave Stelly, Ann Marie Thro, Greg Tolla, Todd Wehner, Linda Wessel-Beaver
    • Tentative agenda for June 16-18 2nd annual workshop
      • Monday, June 16
        • 2:00 pm: Arrive and registration
        • 2:00 pm: Executive committee meeting
        • 4:15 pm: Leave for Monsanto
        • 5:00 pm: Welcome and Monsanto tour
        • 6:30 pm: Dinner
        • 7:30 pm: Speaker, Science in the public arena: Monsanto Scientist
        • 9:00 pm: Return to hotel
      • Tuesday, June 17
        • 7:00 am: Breakfast
        • 8:00 am: Introduction / Overview of APBA (PBCC) activities
        • 8:30 am: Invited speaker, Food and nutrition: Henry Thompson, Colorado State University
        • 9:00 am: Small-group discussions (7 groups of 30 or 3 groups of 70)
        • 10:05 am: Refreshment break
        • 10:45 am: Small-group reports (3 min reports from 7 groups or 5 min reports from 3 groups)
        • 11:15 am: Invited speaker, Environment and plant breeding: Jerry DeWitt, Leopold Center
        • 12:00 noon: Lunch
        • 1:15 pm: Small-group discussions (7 groups of 30 or 3 groups of 70)
        • 2:15 pm: Small-group reports (3 min reports from 7 groups or 5 min reports from 3 groups)
        • 2:45 pm: Panel discussion, Metrics and accountability
          • Moderator: Ann Marie Thro (note taker: ?)
          • Variety registration journals: Jeff Pedersen
          • Agricultural experiment stations: Molly Jahn
          • USDA-ARS: Charlie Stuber, NC State Univ.
          • Sustainable agriculture groups: Chuck Hassebrook, Univ. Nebraska
          • Seed company plant breeders: Greg Tolla, Seminis Vegetable Seeds
        • 3:15 pm: Refreshment break
        • 3:45 pm: Small-group discussions (7 groups of 30 or 3 groups of 70)
        • 4:45 pm: Small-group reports (3 min reports from 7 groups or 5 min reports from 3 groups)
        • 5:15 pm: Summarizing remarks
        • 6:30 pm: Dinner
        • 7:30 pm: White paper discussions; subcommittee meetings; elections subcommittee; early career discussion group
      • Wednesday, June 18
        • 7:00 am: Breakfast
        • 8:00 am: Breakout sessions, subcommittee sessions (white paper development)
        • 9:00 am: Report from subcommittees / Summarizing remarks
        • 10:00 am: Refreshment break
        • 10:30 am: Large-group discussion
        • 11:00 am: Concluding remarks
        • 11:30 am: Business session, elections
        • 12:30 pm: Return home
        • 1:00 pm: Executive committee meeting
    • Plant breeding symposium at CSSA annual conference, Herb Ohm
      • Topics:
        • Plant Breeding: Critical contributions to life - sustaining our food supply Joe Keeshaw, Ted Crosbie, Steve Baenziger)
        • The 21st Century Plant Breeder (Karen Moldenhauer, Joe Keeshaw)
          • Phenomics, genomics, high-throughput genotyping in crop improvement (Scott Tingey)
        • Plant Breeding Instruction: Methodology, Pedagogy (Liz Lee, Kim Kidwell)
        • University – Industry – Government (USDA, CSREES, NSF) partnerships in education/training of plant breeders (George Cooper, Linda Wessel-Beaver)
          • International partnerships for educating students in plant breeding (Susan McCooch)
        • Communicating with the public: farmers, seed producers, consumers (George Dubcovsky, Jamie Sherman)
      • Format:
        • Speakers
        • Discussion session
        • 3 hour total time
    • Next conference call
      • February 28, 1 pm EST
  • Presenters
    • Presentation: Science in the public arena
    • Invited speaker, Food and nutrition: Henry Thompson, Univ. Colorado
    • 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
  • Minutes of telephone conference #9 on January 16, 2008 (white paper subcommittee)
    • Members present: Stephen Baenziger, Phil Simon, Anne Marie Thro, Craig Yencho, Rob Bertram, James McFerson, Travis Frey, Linda Pollak, Tom Stalker, David Knauft
    • The following actions were taken at the meeting:
    • The white paper document would be three to 5 pages long (having lots of bullet points) with a one page executive summary that could be shared with groups not interested in reading the longer document.
    • The format of the white paper will be:
      • Introduction: an example of a past success due to plant breeding with the understanding that we can do more in the future.
      • The national problem and the opportunity: What we can do if we are funded at a level to impact the problem, what resources would be needed, and what are the metrics of success.
      • The missed opportunity if we are not funded to help resolve the national problem. Basically what have we lost by not supporting plant breeding to help solve the problem.
      • A subcommittee can ask for input or review from people not currently members of the SCC-80 group (e.g. rural sociologists or economists, etc.). It was recommended that these reviewers be considered as possible speakers or invitees for the June meeting as important partners. The names will be referred to the speakers/program planning committee.
      • The USDA Strategic Plan can be found at: http://www.ocfo.usda.gov/usdasp/usdasp.htm which can provide background on the USDA plans and may serve as example of white papers.
    • Some key concepts will be that we are funding the future using new science. We are not doing the same old thing, but rather taking advantage of genomics and translating their knowledge into tangible products. The goal will be to leverage past and current investments in science so that their full advantage can be achieved (realized) through plant breeding. A cross cutting issue that is becoming more important is climate change and we will have to address this issue in many of the white papers. A tag line of “Changing plants for changing times” was suggested.
    • The timelines for the white papers were decided:
      • Outline finished and circulated to the white paper committee by Feb. 15, 2008. Comments on the outline received by Feb. 22. Conference call on Feb. 25 (1 PM eastern, noon central, 11 AM mountain, and 10 AM Pacific)
      • First draft completed and circulated to the white paper committee by March 15, 2008. Comments back by March 22. Conference call to be determined.
      • Polished white paper version completed by April 15, 2008. This version will be available to external review.
    • One goal of the white papers will be to engage our partners who can affect and advocate change.
    • For those who could not call in, please feel free to contact Stephen Baenziger if you have any questions.

 

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