The Borlaug Scholars program is established by the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) and funded through the Agronomic Science Foundation (ASF) to develop the plant breeding science professions by strengthening the next generation of leaders.

Undergraduate and graduate students in U.S. universities pursuing a plant breeding related subject were encouraged to apply.

This year, the NAPB was able to sponsor eight Borlaug Scholars, who will be attending the 2018 NAPB Annual Meeting August 7-10, 2018 at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada:

Adam Bolton, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studies the physiology and genetics of salt and heat tolerance in diverse carrot germplasm with the goal of developing new breeding material.

Austin Dobbles, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota. He is studying how unmanned aerial vehicles can be used for high-throughput phenotyping of soybean iron deficiency chlorosis.

Kevin Falk, a Ph.D. candidate studying soybean breeding at Iowa State University. He is conducting a genetic scan of the diversity of soybean root system architecture in the lab and field. For this project, Kevin developed research methods, deployed phenomics and machine learning.

Elizabeth Prenger, a Master’s student studying soybean breeding and genetics at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the genetics and improvement of soybean seed composition.

Katelyn Fritz, an undergraduate from Iowa State University double majoring in Agronomy and Global Resource Systems with focus areas in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology as well as Central America. After graduation Katelyn hopes to combine these degrees to work in the field of biofortification.

Andrew Herr, an undergraduate from Iowa State University majoring in Agronomy. He is currently conducting undergraduate research that uses image analysis to extract corn root phenotypes for use in genomic prediction. He plans to attend graduate school to further expand his understanding of plant breeding.

Dorothy Kirsch, an undergraduate Biology major at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, Minnesota. She is currently an intern at the DuPont Pioneer Research Station in Algona, IA.

Tavin Schneider, an undergraduate at Montana State University, studying Plant Sciences with a minor in Genetics. After graduation in December 2018, she intends to enter a Master’s program for Plant or Crop Science, specializing in Plant Breeding and Genetics.

Borlaug Scholars are paired with volunteer mentors within the NAPB, who are committed to the professional development of the recipients. Borlaug Scholars receive financial support for travel, lodging, registration, and other costs related to attending the NAPB Annual Meeting. Anyone interested in becoming a donor can visit

Want to catch up with these scholars? It’s not too late to sign up for the NAPB Annual Meeting! Registrations are accepted until July 27, 2018. Visit for info and to register!