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First Allan Plant Breeding Symposium, April 18

PULLMAN, Wash. — Crop breeders from Cornell, Iowa State and the University of Wisconsin will discuss crop breeding in the public interest at the first Robert E. Allan Plant Breeding Symposium,1 p.m. to 5 p.m., April 18, in room C107 of Johnson Hall at Washington State University.

“All three breeders will offer ideas on how to sustain agriculture well into the future with use of traditional and modern plant breeding techniques,” said Steve Jones, WSU winter wheat breeder.

The symposium recognizes Allan’s longtime and continuing contributions to WSU and the Pacific Northwest’s wheat industry, according to Jones.

Allan, who retired in 1996 after 38 years, has an active research program and is regarded as a valuable resource by both faculty and students.

“He trained many scientists and continues to mentor all of the current plant breeders at WSU,” Jones said. “He also added millions of dollars to the state’s economy with the development of the most widely grown wheat varieties in the region.”


  • 1 p.m. — Introduction by R. James Cook, interim dean, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.
  • 1:15 p.m. — Robert E. Allan, retired geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Wheat Genetics, Physiology and Disease Research Unit at Pullman, will offer reflections and commentary.
  • 1:30 p.m. — Charlie Brummer, an Iowa State forage breeder, will speak on “Improving Alfalfa to Save Midwestern Agriculture.”
  • 3 p.m. — William Tracy, a University of Wisconsin sweet corn breeder, will speak on “The Historical and Biological Bases of the Concept of Heteortic Groups of Maize.”
  • 4 p.m. — Margaret Smith, corn breeder and associate director, Cornell Cooperative Extension, will speak on “Breeding Corn for Sustainable Production Systems: Despite Charlie Brummer’s Views on the Matter.”
  • 5 p.m. — Social, WSU Livestock Pavilion.

The symposium is sponsored by the departments of crop and soil sciences and plant pathology.

The event is free and open to the public. Contact Jones at (509) 335-6198 for further information.

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Sound Files

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Who will speak at the symposium.

(11.5 sec) …nationwide.”

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Master Gardeners are Washington State University field educatiors.

(7.4 sec.) “……and beautification of local communities.”