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

February eNews

Greetings from the Seed Biotechnology Center. We hope that your 2015 is off to a great start. We also hope that we will get to see you at one of our upcoming events.

Meet Joy and Sally:

Joy Patterson (left) joined the Seed Biotechnology Center (SBC) in 2009. She has been the lead coordinator for the UC Davis and European Plant Breeding Academies and assists us with our other programs.SallyMohr (right) started working with us in 2012. She has assumed the lead coordinator role for many of our courses. Currently she is organizing and hosting Seed Biology, Production and Quality and Seed Business 101. The SBC is lucky to have these two talented employees on our team.

Courses: Seed Business 101 – Horticulture: The next offering will be on March 9-13, 2015 at UC Davis. This course is filling up quickly so register soon if you are interested in attending.

Seed Business 101 – Field Crops: This program will be held in St. Louis, MO from June 15-19, 2015. Registration is open.

Seed Biology, Production & Quality: February 10-12, 2015 at UC Davis: This course has nearly 60 signed up from all over the world.

Program Management for Plant Breeders: September 22-24, 2015, UC Davis. Registration is open (space is limited).

The European Plant Breeding Academy Class IV application is now open. The Academy starts in October 2015 in Gent, Belgium.

The African Plant Breeding Academy graduated Class I in December 2014 in Kenya, Africa. 21 successfully completed this rigorous program. Kudos to the lead instructors, Rita Mumm, Iago Hale, Bruce Walsh, Allen Van Deynze, Todd Wehner, Kent Bradford and Rale Gjuric for conducting such a terrific program. A special thanks also goes to Kitty Schlosser for coordinating the program. Applicants are currently applying to Class II which begins in June 2015 in Kenya.

Plant Breeding Academy by Numbers: Here are some interesting facts about the PBA which began in 2006:

  • Participation by last degree completed: 92 BSc; 45 MSc; 34 PhDs.
  • Participation by position: 93 breeders are responsible for one or more crops; 48 are assistant/associate breeders; 30 provide breeding support.
  • Participation by crop type: 77 are in vegetable and flowers; 66 in field crops; 28 in other crops or support.

Among the private industry breeders, more than 70% of participation is from companies that have repeatedly sent candidates to PBA. 171 participants from 80 plant breeding organizations in 44 different countries have attended our Academies.

Seed Business 101 graduates two new classes

Chicago Field participants and instructors








UC Davis Horticulture participants and instructors






The SBC completed two successful session of Seed Business 101 (SB101). The field crops class was held on December 5-9, 2014, in Chicago, IL. The course was organized in conjunction with the American Seed Trade Association CSS conference. The horticulture program was held at UC Davis, CA on December 8-12, 2014.

The team of Field instructors (Tom Francis, Dave Westphal and Rale Gjuric) was supported by several guest speakers that included well-respected industry experts, such as: Bruce Keitler, Becks Hybrids; Ken Dallmier, Syngenta; Jim Dodd, PSR and Matt Hynes, Growmark Seed.

The Horticulture team (Maurice Smith, Pieter Vandenberg and John Sorenson) also had expert guest speakers including Pete and Jace Knight, Dixon Seed; Betsy Peterson, California Seed Association; John Palmer, Alforex Seeds; Wayne Wiebe, HM.Clause; Bruno Libbrect, Monsanto; Thaddeus Barsotti, Farm Fresh To You; Barry Eisenberg, BASF; Alison Van Eenennaam, UC Davis and Mike Pereira, SGB, Inc. In addition, Monsanto hosted the participants for a tour of their facilities.

The participants represented a wide range of companies with regional, national and international reach. Congratulations on the completion of the course to these seed industry professionals.


Seed Central happenings and programs continue at full-speed. Please join us the second Thursday of the month for our networking and speaker series. This month we also have special sessions starting at 1:30PM. For more information, go to

The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America published a great article about Seed Central in their official magazine CSA News.  Read more here.

In January, SBC’s own Gary Hudson presented “Business Success Strategies: The Value of Using Proper Business Etiquette” to a group of UC Davis students and affiliates. The program was very well received and as one participant noted, “Your coaching was right on the point for me. I am sure that your advice will help me with job hunting, career development and much more in life.”



Plant Breeding Center

2015 PBC February Newsletter_Page_1
The UC Davis Plant Breeding Center is busy with many activities. To learn more about it and to sign up for their newsletter, contact Amanda at or go to In the latest newsletter, Director Brummer announced their new Associate Director, Allen Van Deynze. Allen will continue to serve as SBC’s Research Director.


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