The Kansas Wheat Commission welcomed an old friend to the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center on July 25.
Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), toured the KWIC and learned more about the wheat doubled haploid process used by the Heartland Plant Innovations.
This tour, conducted by Chenggen Chu, director of HPI’s Advanced Breeding Services, was a great opportunity to explain how Kansas wheat farmers – through the Kansas wheat checkoff – are working collaboratively with other agencies to get new, improved wheat varieties out to farmers more quickly than ever.
Dr. Ramaswamy, who once served as Entomology department head at K-State and most recently was dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University, has a great understanding of the importance of research and partnerships between public and private agencies, which is the core of Heartland Plant Innovations’ success.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture is an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was created through the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. NIFA replaced the former Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), which had been in existence since 1994.
NIFA is a strong supporter of research nationwide, and it was pretty cool to see Dr. Ramaswamy interact with the folks at HPI, including research associates and student workers. He also learned more about future plans for HPI.