Learn how basic science, particularly molecular biology and genetics, is advancing plant improvement, research and development.
Questions about this concentration can be directed to
Dr. Fred Kolb
Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator
AE-120 B Turner Hall
Crop Sciences alum David Mies had worked for 4 years in soybean breeding for FS and then 35 years as a corn breeder with Syngenta. While working for Syngenta, he had worked for seven years in China and two more years in a global position. After retiring in 2013, David has been working as a Plant Breeding Consultant globally.
He is passionate about plant genetics and breeding, but is even more passionate about learning. Even after “retiring”, he continues reading and studying to learn more in this rapidly changing field.
“In 2014, I was consulting with Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture on Maize Lethal Necrosis in Kenya. MLN is a very serious virus disease problem currently devastating corn production in over 8 countries in eastern Africa. I worked with the CIMMYT maize program to review their processes of developing resistant hybrids. In 2015, I worked on a consulting contract with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, reviewing seven international breeding programs in Africa to evaluate their effectiveness and improve their productivity. It was an extraordinary opportunity to observe crop production in five very different countries and learn about Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Dry Beans, and Groundnuts (aka peanuts).”
Through the American Society of Agronomy, David mentors students interested in working in science.
“In 2014, I was a mentor for a Chinese undergraduate student at Cornell University. She was interested in going to graduate school in plant breeding, so I helped her explore options and organize what she needed to do to get where she wanted to be.”
David continues to mentor crop sciences students across the United States and helps them “think outside the box.” He also works closely with the Champaign County Farm Bureau to help those not familiar with agriculture learn about production systems used by US farmers today. In addition to international visitors, many local residents and even some agriculture students can learn much by visiting farms.