Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee SCC-080 P. Stephen Baenziger & Friends University of Nebraska
Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee (PBCC): • The Need • What the PBCC is organizationally • Purpose • Key Focus Areas • Expected Outputs • Next three meetings
The Need: (cont.) • Plant breeding is an undervalued science. • Plant breeding is an underfunded science. • We run the risk of letting others define our science and field.
PBCC (SCC-080) Organization • Multi-Statewide Coordinating Committee • Part of the Landgrant University/CSREES federal funds. • Though based in CSREES, the committee is open to all, and has liaisons to USDA-ARS & USDA-FS, to many Scientific/Professional Societies, and to Industry. • Formed in 2006 and held it first workshop in February, 2007 at Raleigh, NC. • http://cuke.hort.ncsu.edu/gpb/pr/pbccmain.html • http://lgu.umd.edu/lgu_v2/homepages/home.cfm?trackID=7536
PBCC Purpose: • The Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee will be a forum for leadership regarding issues, problems and opportunities of long-term strategic importance to the contribution of plant breeding to national goals. The committee will create the only regular opportunity to provide such leadership across all crops. The nature of plant breeding as an integrative discipline par excellence will be reflected in multidisciplinary committee membership. • http://cuke.hort.ncsu.edu/gpb/pr/pbccmain.html
PBCC Objectives: • Enhance communication between plant breeders in different sectors and crops • Assemble information about the U.S. plant breeding effort • Describe and promote plant breeding in terms of national goals • Identify research and/or education priorities • Other activities related to leadership and strategic planning for plant breeding, as identified by the members http://cuke.hort.ncsu.edu/gpb/pr/pbccmain.html
PBCC Expected Outcomes: • A stable forum for identifying and analyzing issues of strategic importance to plant breeding. • A broader understanding of the role of plant breeding for meeting national goals • Resources for leadership, for example: • Materials for communicating about the role of plant breeding for meeting national goals • Strategies for responding to challenges and opportunities for plant breeding http://cuke.hort.ncsu.edu/gpb/pr/pbccmain.html
National Goals: USDA • Excellence in Science and Technology • A Globally Competitive Agricultural System • Competitiveness, Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural America • Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System • Healthy, Well-nourished Population • Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment • Education and Training of Plant Breeders (newly-formed, not a national goal) http://cuke.hort.ncsu.edu/gpb/pr/pbccmain.html
Excellence in Science and Technology David Stelly, Chair Craig Yencho, Secretary Globally Competitive Agricultural System Rob Bertram, Chair James McFerson, Secretary Competitiveness, Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural America Marcelo Carena, Chair Keith Woeste, Secretary Subcommittees:
Safe and Secure Food and Fiber System Travis Frey, Chair James Holland, Secretary Healthy, Well-nourished Population Linda Pollak, Chair Michael Havey, Secretary Harmony Between Agriculture and the Environment Charlie Brummer, Chair Richard Pratt, Secretary Subcommittees: (cont.)
Education and Training of Plant Breeders Thomas Stalker, Chair David Knauft, Secretary Subcommittees: (cont.)
Stephen Baenziger, Chair (Email: email@example.com) Phil Simon, Vice chair (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) Todd Wehner, Secretary (Email: email@example.com) Officers:
Mark Hussey, Administrative advisor Anne Marie Thro, CSREES representative Kay Simmons, USDA-ARS representative Randy Johnson, US Forest Service advisor Representatives:
Ronnie Coffman, Liaison to International Plant Breeding Centers Bill Tracy, Liaison to Private Non-Profit Breeders Steve McKeand, Liaison to Forestry Plant Breeders Herb Ohm, Liaison to CSSA Plant Breeders Linda Wessel-Beaver, Liaison to ASHS Plant Breeders Greg Tolla, Liaison to NCCPB Liaisons:
Plant Breeding… Nature, Life, Health Impact Knowledge & products Excellence in Science Breeders & scientists, vision, information & outcomes Breeding infrastructure Requires: Investment, facilities, teaching, research, experience, careers Shared Support Provided by individuals, businesses, public agencies, and institutions
Plant Breeding Life Sustaining Products Natural Variation Genetic Improvements New Varieties • Safe, Nutritious Food • Animal Feed • Fibers & Natural Products • Pharmaceuticals, Drugs • Renewable Energy • Urban & Rural habitats Science & Technology Testing & Delivery Creative Innovation New Knowledge Sustainable Ecosystems ….Public Education and Research........... ……………………………… Business and Industry We want to be inclusive and we recognize the continuum of research.
Plant Breeding: The Ultimate Impact Science • We need a better definition. We need to emphasize our science, lessen our “art” and “business”. Reframing ourselves. • We need a definition that is readily understandable by lay audiences. • If we describe plant breeding as an impact science—we need to have examples. • Note: We do not want others to define ourselves.
Examples: Impact Science • Opaque-2 maize---improve nutrition • Low phytate crops---reduce pollution • Green Revolution crops---feed the starving Common threads are: • Great need • Excellent science and outcomes • Draws in and expands related sciences and our own science.
Other Examples: Impact Science • Plant domestication • Heterosis • Disease & insect resistance (host-parasite interactions) • Wide environmental adaptability • Increased productivity
Strategic Positioning for Future Impact • Reliable supply of well-educated and capable scientists and technologists in plant breeding and the related disciplines. • Excellence in science and technology which requires excellence in education and infrastructure. • Our Goal: To be the early adopter of new information and technology.
Failure to Act Alternative: • Without achieving excellence in science, we can be assured that agriculture will not be competitive, the environment will suffer, and human populations will suffer from lack of food security and have a stagnant economy (e.g. the food tax). • In 30 to 40 developing countries there is insufficient plant breeding infrastructure for food security or sustainable agribusiness sector. FAO report. • Alternative: Last to know, last to use, none to benefit.
What Does Excellence in Science Mean? • Do we need an International Plant Breeding Society? • Do we need focused, professional conferences that discuss the science of plant breeding and foster a cohesive and common voice? • If plant breeding conferences are held in conjunction with other societal meetings, does that send a message that plant breeding is not relevant in its own right?
What Does Excellence in Science Mean? • What is the strategy for renewal and sustainability of our profession? • Can we develop a set of metrics to measure our profession’s health? • How are breeders recognized currently or in the future as impact scientists by the larger scientific community and general society? Is accreditation desired or needed?
How is Excellence Measured? • Where does plant breeding fit in the panorama of scientific excellence? • What are the impacts of the products and outcomes from plant breeding (cultivars, new knowledge, breakthroughs)? • Status and standing of education/training program? Do we need a report card?
Breakthroughs of the Year:AAAS • 2006: Poincaré Conjecture Proved. • 2005: Watching Evolution in Action. • 2004: Water on Mars • 2003: Understanding Cosmic Microwaves (to understand the Universe) • 2002: Small RNAs (note sequencing rice genome made it to the top ten) • 2001: Nanoscale computing circuits
Building the Base • The base should be very broad (public, non-profit, private, international). • It is more than Ph.D.s. It is M.S., B.S. scientists and those that work in related fields who need plant breeding experience. • It includes outreach and education at diverse levels. We need freedom to operate in a modern world.
Plant Breeding Education: • Innovative. • Creative. • Evolving (our tools are changing, as is our access to these new techniques). • Partnerships with industry—most of our graduates will work in industry.
The Next Three Meetings: • 2008: Monsanto • 2009: University of Wisconsin • 2010: Pioneer Hi-Bred
Summary: Plant Breeding Has • Vibrancy based upon knowledge creation and impact. • Optimism based upon past and future successes. • Openness and sharing. • Strength and need to face the future.