Iowa State University Symposium to Focus on Next Generation Agriculture and Seed Industry Outlook

Manjit Misra, Seed Science Center director

AMES, Iowa — The Seed Science Center at Iowa State University will host experts from around the world in April to discuss agricultural innovations and opportunities in a symposium titled “Next Generation Agriculture: Emerging Innovations and Opportunities.”

The April 12 symposium, to be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames, will offer two sessions that will explore the topics of Seed Industry Outlook: Challenges and Opportunities and Next Generation Innovations and Technologies in Agriculture. The symposium is open to the public.

“Agricultural technology is advancing rapidly within the seed industry,” says Seed Science director Manjit Misra. “From scientific advances that will propel agriculture into the next generation, to recently increased mergers and acquisitions — this symposium will examine how these changes will impact the industry and economy, farmers and ultimately consumers.”

Keynote speaker for this year’s symposium is Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, who will discuss “From the Green Revolution to the Gene Revolution: Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders and Innovators.” Michael Crum, vice president for economic development and business engagement at Iowa State, will deliver the luncheon address, “The Role of ISU’s Research Park and the Cultivation Corridor for Economic Development in Iowa and Beyond.”

Other symposium speakers include:  Michael Gumina, global CEO of RiceTec AG; and B.M. Prasanna, director of the global maize program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and the CGIAR research program on maize.

The moderator for the afternoon session will be Catherine Woteki, former chief scientist and undersecretary for research, education and economics, Department of Agriculture.

This year, a special half-day session will be offered April 13. Speakers will provide an in-depth focus on the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique for crop improvement, and will highlight methodology, public and private activity, regulation status and societal questions.

Jeff Wolt, professor of agronomy and co-director of the ISU Crop Bioengineering Consortium said:  “We are seeing a significant acceleration in the pace and complexity of biotechnology innovation in agriculture, and genome-edited crops are on the forefront of this scientific progression.” 

For a full list of speakers visit:

Individuals interested in attending the symposium should register before April 12 by calling 515-294-6222 or by visiting

The symposium is sponsored by a generous contribution from the family of Leroy Everson, former director of the Iowa State University Seed Laboratory.

The Seed Science Center is a center of excellence in seeds at Iowa State.