Monsanto Gift Establishes Graduate Student Fellowship at ISU

A $150,000 gift from Monsanto Company will establish a fellowship to train graduate students studying seed science at Iowa State University. The Monsanto Graduate Fellowship in Global Seed Policy and Regulations will benefit graduate students in the College of Agriculture who are conducting research on issues related to global or domestic seed policies, including protection of intellectual property rights. "Monsanto's commitment to graduate education at Iowa State is an investment in the future of the seed industry," said Manjit Misra, director of the Seed Science Center, which will administer the fellowship. "The new fellowship will help us prepare our students to address important policy issues affecting the most critical part of our agriculture and food supply — the seed." "We're committed to helping students of diverse backgrounds pursue advanced education in seed science and seed-related science policy," said Ted Crosbie, vice president of Global Plant Breeding at Monsanto. "We are hopeful the fellowship will play a positive role in preparing Iowa State graduates for careers as leaders and professionals in the seed industry." "We're grateful for Monsanto's support of education of our students in agricultural sciences," said Catherine Woteki, dean of the College of Agriculture. "The Seed Science Center is uniquely qualified to train graduate students in these issues. For many years, the center has diligently pursued introducing science into policy to the benefit of international trade." The Monsanto gift is part of a fundraising initiative led by the Iowa Seed Association to raise $1 million to support Iowa State graduate students. The Monsanto gift brings the total amount raised to $780,000. The Seed Science Center is home to the world's largest public seed testing laboratory, conducting tests on more than 300 species. The lab's seed health testing is key to the annual export of millions of dollars of American seed. As the administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Seed Health System, the center works to standardize tests for seed diseases. The Seed Science Center in the College of Agriculture is part of the Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University. More than 200 faculty from the Colleges of Agriculture, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences and Engineering conduct research in nine centers of the institute. Monsanto's gift was made through the ISU Foundation, a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to securing and stewarding gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State University. The gift comes from Monsanto funds earmarked for educational purposes and received through pre-litigation settlements of seed patent infringement matters. Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.