Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
University of California
Seed Biotechnology Center

Hemp Breeding and Seed Production

Hemp Breeding and Seed Production is an 3 half-day online course designed to enhance the knowledge of professionals working on hemp improvement and propagation. The course covers hemp seed production topics such as flowering, pollination, seed development, harvesting and certification. Course participants will also learn about hemp genomics, genetics, sex expression, types of cultivars with corresponding breeding schemes and intellectual property protection options. The course will be delivered in an interactive format with lectures and discussions. The instructors include experts from the public and private sectors.

Course Topics

• Hemp reproductive biology
• Genetics and genomics
  • Genetic diversity 
  • Chemotypes, Chemistry
• Types of cultivars and breeding schemes
• Biology and physiology of seed development
• Seed production flowering, pollination, seed development, harvesting
• Seed Certification
• Intellectual property protection

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Is your company or organization interested in sponsoring the Hemp Breeding and Seed Production course?


Hemp Breeding and Seed Production Instructors

This course is taught by experts from both industry and academia. This is a great chance to interact with experts in the field.

2019 List of Lecturers
• Kent Bradford, UC Davis
• Rale Gjuric, UC Davis
• Chris Holly, Cooley LLP
• Daniel Knauss, Cooley LLP
• John Palmer, UC Davis
• K. Bear Reel, Charlotte's Web, Inc.
• Lawrence B. Smart, Cornell University
• Nicholas Stromberg, Beacon Hemp
• Allen Van Deynze, UC Davis
• Amanda Vondras, UC Davis (to be confirmed)
• John Yoder, UC Davis

Kent J. Bradford, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences and the founding Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. His research is focused on the development, maintenance, and expression of seed quality; plant water relations; developmental and growth regulation. He teaches university and extension courses on plant physiology, seed biology, biotechnology, ethics and philosophy of science. Kent received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Horticulture from Michigan State University and received his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from UC Davis in 1981.

Rale Gjuric, Director of Education, Seed Biotechnology Center. He is the founder and president of HAPLOTECH Inc., a company specialized in technical services and consulting in plant breeding. Dr. Gjuric received his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, Canada. Previously, he held the positions of Breeding Manager of DL Seeds; Research and Managing Director of DSV Canada; all in Winnipeg Canada. Dr. Gjuric is an accomplished plant breeder with numerous canola varieties and hybrids released in his 15 years in the private sector. His current focus is in service to the plant breeding industry with special interest in organization and optimization of plant breeding programs. Under his management, UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy program has expanded and branched to Europe, Asia and Africa, making it the most recognized program of its kind. He was also instrumental in establishing and delivering a number of short courses catered to the needs of seed industry professionals.

Chris Holly, Associate, Cooley LLP and Cooley (UK) LLP. His practice focuses upon helping clients in the agriculture, food, microbiology and biotechnology industries create and leverage robust IP portfolios. He has a vast experience in helping startup companies in the human and agricultural microbiome sector carve out valuable space in this emerging IP landscape.


Daniel Knauss, Partner, Cooley LLP and Cooley (UK) LLP. His litigation practice focuses on intellectual property, with an emphasis on life sciences. He litigates patent infringement and contract disputes concerning a variety of technologies, including cancer medicines, antiviral therapeutics, biofuels, agriculture and medical devices. He has been to trial in federal courts, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the International Trade Commission.

John Palmer, UC Davis
John Palmer has over thirty-seven years of experience in California agriculture. He holds a BS degree in Plant Science from UC Davis and a MS degree in Agronomy from Kansas State University. From 1980 through 2014, he held various positions in Plant Management, Farm Management, Research & Development, Plant Breeding, Sales & Marketing, and Production & Operations for a number of agricultural firms including J. G. Boswell Company, Dow AgroSciences, California Planting Cotton Seed Distributers, Bayer CropScience, Absorbent Technologies, Cal/West Seeds, and Alforex Seeds. In January 2015, he became the Executive Director of the California Crop Improvement Association (the official seed certifying agency in California). In January 2016, he took on the additional role of Director of the UC Davis Foundation Seed Program.

Bear Reel is the Director of Plant Biology at Charlotte’s Web Inc., the market leader for hemp derived CBD products. She oversees all cultivation research efforts including the breeding program, seed production, and integrating new technologies. She has over 4 years of experience in the hemp industry with intimate knowledge of cGMP regulations, extraction techniques, tissue culture, and horticultural practices. She received her higher education in plant molecular biology and quantitative genetics, and is also a certified herbalist.

Lawrence Smart, Professor, Cornell University, is a plant geneticist and breeder using genomic tools to breed shrub willow bioenergy crops and to better understand hybrid vigor and pest and disease resistance. More recently, he has been leading Cornell’s hemp research and extension team and have initiated a long-term breeding program to develop new hemp cultivars for New York State.

Nick Stromberg, Beacon Hemp
Nicholas Stromberg, Cannabis plant breeder and horticulturalist from Northern California, attended UC Davis receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Horticulture and a Master’s degree in Horticulture and Agronomy. He has been growing Cannabis since 2006 and breeding high CBD chemovars since 2012 under California’s Proposition 215. In 2016 Stromberg began growing, selecting, and breeding at acreage scale under Oregonian hemp regulations. In 2019 Stromberg founded Beacon Hemp, an industrial hemp breeding and seed production company specializing in feminized seed, high and rare cannabinoids, day-neutral, and co-product cultivars. In addition to his work in industrial hemp, Stromberg also has worked as a collaborator with Steep Hill Labs in genomic analyses method development and as Director of Horticulture for several medical and recreational Cannabis companies, including CannaCraft and its affiliates.

Allen Van Deynze
Allen Van Deynze, Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center (SBC) and Associate Director of the Plant Breeding Center (PBC) at University of California, Davis. His research focuses on developing and integrating genomics into plant breeding of California crops. He has programs on breeding for disease resistance and quality in pepper and spinach, and development and application of genomics in crops. With Dr. Kent Bradford he co-developed and is organizer for the Plant Breeding Academysm and past chair of the US Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee. He has been involved in International and National policy including US Regulations for Biotechnology. He is an instructor for the African Plant Breeding Academy and scientific co-leader for the African Orphan Crops Consortium.

Amanda Vondras, UC Davis
Amanda Vondras, Post-Doctoral Scientist, Department of Plant Sciences, received a BS in Biology from Cornell University in 2011 and PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Oregon State University in 2017. Her early work as an undergraduate student involved studying norisoprenoid biosynthesis. Her doctoral work included studying uneven fruit ripening and the impact of viruses on ripening. As a postdoc in the Cantu Lab, she studies plant - pathogen relationships and how the genomes of clonal propagated plants change over time.


John Yoder, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, and his research team investigate molecular genetic mechanisms governing plant-plant interactions. They are specifically interested in understanding how molecules released by the roots of some plants effect the growth and development of nearby plants and intend to translate these findings into developing crops that are self-weeding. Probably the most robust model for investigating chemical signaling between plants are parasitic plants in the Orobanchaceae because their root parasites use molecules released into the rhizosphere by host roots as chemical cues to initiate the development of invasive haustoria.


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