Daniel Caddell is a Ph.D. candidate in plant biology at University of California-Davis, researching ways to improve the yield and health of rice crops.
Jared Crain is a Ph.D. candidate in genetics at Kansas State University, focused on improving productivity in wheat through advanced breeding tools.
Sarah Battenfield is also a Ph.D. candidate in genetics at Kansas State University, studying ways to improve the yield and health of wheat crops.
Caddell, Crain and Battenfield are the three U.S. recipients of Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program fellowships. The program recognizes the importance of rice and wheat as key staple crops in addressing global hunger. It honors the accomplishments of Henry Beachell, Ph.D. and Norman Borlaug, Ph.D., who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively, by providing funding support to develop the next generation of scientific leaders.
The three join 11 other international scholars receiving fellowships through the program. All 14 2012 recipients are being recognized today in a program at the World Food Prize program in Des Moines, Iowa.
Since its formation in 2009, the program has supported 52 students from 21 different countries. Monsanto is funding the program for five years for a total of $10 million. The program is administered by Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the Texas A&M University System.
Each recipient receives support to pursue his or her research in either rice or wheat. In rice, projects include breeding for water use efficiency and drought resistance; developing high-yielding varieties; and characterizing root systems for water scarce conditions. In wheat, projects include resistance to parasitic nematodes; identifying and characterizing new stem and leaf rust; and molecular breeding to improve yields and quality of wheat varieties.
The program will begin accepting applications for 2013 on Nov. 1, 2012. Students interested in applying to the program can find more details at www.monsanto.com/mbbischolars. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 1, 2013.
Monsanto.com: Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug Program Announces 2012 Winners.
Monsanto.com: Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program.