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University of Wisconsin students visit CIMMYT

August 26, 2008

A group of eight students from the University of Wisconsin visited CIMMYT the week of 16-24 August, along with their professor, Shawn Kaeppler. The visit was designed to encourage students to consider a career in plant breeding and to educate them about germplasm resources and how plant breeders can help address world hunger. The visit was sponsored by a USDA-funded project (part of which deals with genetic modifiers of endosperm in sugary maize) and students were also introduced to breeding techniques for quality protein maize (QPM).

Mary Ann McGill, a fourth year PhD student who majors in plant breeding and plant genetics said she hadn’t realized the extent to which CIMMYT is involved in “feeding the world and projects that directly apply to small-scale farmers, subsistence farmers, people in Africa.” McGill was also impressed by how the plant breeders and the molecular biologists work together.

During their visit, students received presentations from CIMMYT staff of the germplasm bank, the Seed Health and Distribution Unit, ITAU, ABC, Maize, and Corporate Communications, and also visited the Tlaltizapán and Agua Fría research stations. “We’ve gotten talks from people from different parts of the world; it really emphasizes to me what a global initiative this is,” said McGill.