Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
University of California
Plant Breeding Academy

15 New Plant Breeders complete the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy

15 New Plant Breeders Complete the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy

June 11, 2012. Davis, California. Helping to fill a critical need for additional plant breeders, the University of California, Davis Plant Breeding Academy (PBA) graduated its third class of students on Friday. This class is composed of a group of working professionals who have spent more than 300 hours in classes, workshops and the field, training to become professional plant breeders.  Dr. Marlin Edwards, Vice President of Research and Development, Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, gave the keynote speech at the graduation. 

Congratulations to the following PBA Class III participants:

Miguel Ahumada, Driscoll Strawberry Associates, USA
Laura Brown, K&B Development, LLC, USA
Jarunee Buaboocha, Chia Tai Co. Ltd., Thailand
Kanlayanee Chaichana, Chia Tai Co. Ltd., Thailand
Jonathan Gienapp, HM.Clause, USA
Francine Giusti, Monsanto Vegetable Seed Co., USA
Anna Hall, Bayer CropScience, USA
Jim Irvine, Ball Horticultural Company, USA
Jennifer Izzo, Driscoll Strawberry Associates, USA
Bradley Martin, HyTech Production Ltd., Canada
Jonny McIntier, Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, USA
Terry Moran, Driscoll Strawberry Associates, USA
Elizabeth Robertson, Abbott and Cobb Inc., USA
Naoki Yaya, Sakata Seed America Inc., USA
Helge Zieler, Independent, USA

The PBA includes six week-long sessions at UC Davis and provides each student integrated post-graduate training to prepare them to advance their careers as plant breeders. Each qualifying graduate receives a UC Davis certificate and 19 units of academic credit.

“It is hard to believe that already four 2-year classes have now graduated from the Plant Breeding Academy making a cohort of 67 plant breeders from this program. The graduates should be very proud and excited to apply their new skills.” said Allen Van Deynze, co-founder of the PBA.

The PBA was developed by the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center in direct response to industry concerns over the reduced number of plant breeders being trained in academic programs. The two-year course provides an opportunity for companies to invest in dedicated personnel who are currently involved in breeding programs, but would like further formal instruction in genetics, statistics and plant breeding theory. In addition to coursework, each student designs a breeding program as a final project. The course schedule allows students to maintain their working positions while enrolled.

The PBA is taught by internationally recognized plant breeders Doug Shaw and Larry Teuber, both of UC Davis, and Todd Wehner from North Carolina State University, with guest lecturers speaking on their specific areas of expertise.

Applications are now being accepted for both PBA Class IV (starts September 2012) and the Asian PBA (starts November 2012).  For more information visit or contact Joy Patterson at or at (530) 752-4414.

Media contact:
Rale Gjuric, director of education, Seed Biotechnology Center, (530) 752-4414 or at


Webmaster Email: