Source: Monsanto Company

Monsanto Company has announced a $10 million grant to establish the Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program, which will help identify and support young scientists interested in improving research and production in rice and wheat, two of the world's most important staple crops, through plant breeding techniques.

Monsanto is funding the program, which will be administered by Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the Texas A&M University System, for the next five years. The program honors the accomplishments of Dr. Henry Beachell and Dr. Norman Borlaug, who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively.

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of global judges chaired by Program Director Dr. Ed Runge, who is also a professor and Billie B. Turner Chair in Production Agronomy (emeritus) within the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University at College Station.

"We are honored to administer this program and work with students around the world to bring new ideas and research techniques to rice and wheat breeding," Runge said. "Research in these two staple crops has fallen behind others, and it is my hope this program will help jumpstart additional investment in two of the world's most important grains. We encourage any eligible rice or wheat breeders around the world to apply for the award."

Students interested in applying to the program can find more details by click here.

Applications will be accepted until May 31. Announcement of the first year's winners is planned to correspond with the World Food Prize held on Oct. 15 in Des Moines, Iowa. The announcement of the grant from Monsanto today marks the celebration of Dr. Borlaug's 95th birthday.

The establishment of Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program is part of Monsanto's three-point commitment to help increase global food production in the face of growing demand, limited natural resources and a changing climate. The company pledged in June 2008 to work in new partnerships with other businesses, citizen groups and governments to meet the needs for increased food, fiber and energy while protecting the environment.