The big multi-nationals seldom receive much praise. They’re viewed as heartless and profit-driven. The scholarships and sponsorships they provide are often overlooked or discounted. For that reason, the recent $10 million commitment by Monsanto didn’t receive a lot of attention. The $10 million is a grant to establish a scholars’ program to identify and support young scientists interested in improving research and production for rice and wheat through plant breeding techniques. While rice and wheat are two of the world’s most important staple crops, research has fallen behind other crops. The scholars’ program is named after Dr. Henry Beachell and Dr. Norman Borlaug, who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively. They are considered fathers of the green revolution. The program is being administered by Texas A&M University. Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of global judges. Applications are being accepted until May 31 and the first winners will be announced in October. The hope is that the $10 million from Monsanto will jumpstart additional investment in rice and wheat. I’m Kevin Hursh.

Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC