Companies are invited to collaborate with the Illinois Plant Breeding Center in shaping the future of plant breeding education. Development of most new crop germplasm occurs in the private sector, so the Illinois Plant Breeding Center seeks to create interactive learning experiences for students through visits, internships, collaborative research, and mentoring. University/private sector partnering allows students to obtain insight into industry operation and practice, and ultimately provides industry with outstanding candidates for entry-level positions.

The Illinois Plant Breeding Center actively solicits partnerships for graduate student support. In 2008 alone, $1.36M in new graduate funding was added, thanks to generous contributions by Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, and private contributors. Fellowships are a very effective tool to attract gifted students to the field of plant breeding. In 2008, sponsored Fellowships helped produce a 50 percent increase in the number of graduate students enrolled in plant breeding at Illinois.

Current industry partners include seed companies, biotechnology developers, and food producers.  Partners may target funding to areas of specific interest for the company.

> If you have questions about the Illinois Plant Breeding Center or want to explore partnering with the Center, email Dr. John A. Juvik.