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Bob Hoff Oregon loses wheat breeder to private industry
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: March 16, 2010


Farm and Ranch March 16, 2010 Oregon State University has announced that it's wheat breeder and the head of the National Wheat Improvement Committee, Dr. Jim Peterson, has accepted a position in the private sector as the vice president of research with Limagrain Cereal Seeds.

Peterson will start on May 1 but will work part time at OSU through July 31 to facilitate the program’s transition. In his new job, he will help Limagrain, a subsidiary of a French farmer-owned cooperative, build a North American wheat breeding and seed program, which will be headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo.

Oregon Wheat Growers League President Darren Padget hates to see Peterson go.

Padget: “With the big companies getting into biotech and everything, I think it is going to be harder and harder to keep people in the public sector when the private sector is probably a little easier to work in, because these guys don‘t have to go solicit funds every year, lobby, all that kind of stuff. He is just going to be able to breed wheat. You can certainly understand that. It is going to be a big loss for Oregon State. However, the bright side he is leaving behind a first class program and whoever his successor is will be able to hit the ground running. So, that is the good news on the whole thing.”

Peterson has overseen the development of nine wheat varieties since coming to OSU in 1998. They accounted for more than 60 percent of all winter wheat grown alone or in blends in Oregon last year. Peterson was also involved with the development of OSU’s herbicide-tolerant Clearfield varieties.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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