2010-2011 Seed of the Year Scholarship

Stephanie Bach and Martin Harry, SeCan
Stephanie Bach and Martin Harry, SeCan

(Guelph, ON, February 8, 2010) – A University of Guelph graduate student from the Department of Plant Agriculture has been awarded the 2010-2011 Seed of the Year Scholarship.

Stephanie Bach, a Master’s student, developed an interest in plant agriculture while completing an internship in biotechnology during her undergrad at the University of Alberta.

“I worked on tissue culture and transgenic modification of a variety of plants, and realized just how much I enjoyed my time there and my work,” says Bach. “I wanted to learn more about agriculture, especially what goes on outside the lab. As Guelph is home to the best agricultural department in Canada, I think it was natural progression to come here.”

Bach received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta. She now works with Prof. Alan Sullivan, and is engaged in potato research.

“On a macro scale, the overall goal of this research group is to develop new potato varieties with beneficial compounds to benefit a whole host of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity,” says Bach. “On a micro scale, my goal is to find stable potato varieties that have beneficial starch and fibre profiles. Better nutritional profiles will help boost the potato’s reputation and reintroduce it into the North American diet.”

Prof. Rene Van Acker, Associate Dean of External Relations for the Ontario Agricultural College says people with skills in plant breeding are increasingly in high demand, as the world looks to supply more of its needs from renewable resources. “We are grateful for the Seed of the Year scholarship which helps to support the training and development of experts in this field,” he says.

The Seed of the Year competition encourages public breeders to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new field crop, forage, fruit, vegetable or herb variety. Any publicly developed Canadian variety is eligible to compete.

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For more information, please contact Martin Harry at mharry@secan.com or 1-519-423-6435