The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University and Monsanto Company announced today a $500,000 grant to train the next generation of plant breeding professionals.

The Monsanto Fellows in Plant Breeding and Scholarships in Advanced Analytics Fund will combine education in the nation's leading public plant breeding program with learning opportunities at Monsanto. This will help students develop the skills they will need to address global challenges to the future supply of food, fiber and fuel.

“We are grateful to Monsanto for recognizing the vast potential of our students and helping us create unique opportunities that will prepare them for work in the global economy,” said College of Agriculture and Life Sciences dean Johnny Wynne.

“Encouraging and enabling the development of future plant breeders is and will continue to be an integral part of making agriculture more productive,” said Sam Eathington, Monsanto vice president of global plant breeding. “That’s why we are proud to support the North Carolina State University breeding and analytics programs and in turn help farmers meet growing global demands for years to come.”

Fellowships will be awarded to four doctoral students conducting research in the area of germplasm enhancement of agronomic and horticultural crops. Scholarships will be awarded to six master’s degree candidates in the university’s Institute for Advanced Analytics. Award recipients will be selected based on academic achievement and merit.

In addition to these awards, the fund also will support guest scholar opportunities that will enable plant breeding students to work alongside Monsanto scientists in a corporate research environment.

The fund will be administered by the North Carolina Agricultural and Life Sciences Research Foundation (a subsidiary of the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc.) which enhances research programs by seeking to increase public and private support for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  

The Center for Plant Breeding and Applied Plant Genomics at N.C. State - with more than 35 core faculty actively developing new cultivars, germplasms and parental lines - has more plant breeders than any other U.S. university. The center is interdepartmental and focuses on a full range of research programs, courses and crops. For more information, visit