Inspiring the Next Generation of Breeders

More than half of the world’s population depends on rice and wheat as staple crops. Unfortunately, productivity has been stagnant for decades, as research and investment in both crops has declined.

To support the next generation of plant breeders for these crops, Monsanto established the Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program in 2009. The program is named in honor of Dr. Henry Beachell and Dr. Norman Borlaug, who devoted themselves to solving the problems affecting rice and wheat farmers, particularly in the developing world. Together, they are credited with saving more than 1 billion people from famine in the middle of the 20th century.

In seven years, the program has provided $13 million to fund international students seeking their Ph.D.’s in rice or wheat plant breeding. The program also has welcomed 89 Ph.D. fellows from 28 countries and provided each with two to three years of tuition, living stipends and funding to conduct plant research in a developing nation.

With advanced degrees and field experience, our hope is that the Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars will carry on the legacies of Drs. Beachell and Borlaug to bring research to help farmers produce more wheat and rice for their communities.