Jorge Venegas, University of Nebraska–Lincoln agronomy doctoral candidate, specializing in plant breeding and genetics, received the national Roger Krueger Memorial Scholarship from the American Seed Research Foundation at the American Seed Trade Association conference June 22 in Minneapolis.
The ASRF established a memorial scholarship of $2,000 to remember and honor Roger Krueger who was a long-time board member of the ASRF and a Monsanto executive.
The mission of the ASRF is to encourage basic research in seed biology that has the potential for application to more than one crop species and to facilitate the transfer of resulting technology to benefit the seed industry, farmers/growers and consumers on a global basis.
Kueger took a special interest in mentoring and challenging the recipients of the Operation Student Connection. This program is one of the key functions of ASRF — assisting and encouraging graduate students, majoring in seed biology or seed science and technology, to attend and participate in the annual convention of the ASTA.
Venegas, an OSC program participant, is currently working on a wheat breeding project within the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture under the supervision of Robert Graybosch, a USDA-ARS research geneticist.
His duties in this project include wheat breeding activities such as greenhouse crosses, field planting, maintenance, phenotyping and harvesting. He also works in the laboratory doing phytate and nutrient bioavailability analysis of wheat flours which often times include transgenic sorghum testing.
Venegas, who is advised by Stephen Baenziger, professor and Wheat Growers Presidential Chair, hopes to present his Ph.D. defense this November and receive his doctorate in December.
Founded in 1883, the ASTA is one of the oldest trade organizations in the United States. Its membership consists of over 700 companies involved in seed production and distribution, plant breeding, and related industries in North America.
Go to the ASRF website to learn more about the OSC program.