Seed World

Symposium to Focus on Next-Generation Agriculture


Agriculture, science and the supporting technologies are evolving at a rapid pace. What was once on the horizon is now here. So what’s on the next horizon? The Iowa State University Seed Science Center will host the 2017 Leroy and Barbara Everson Seed and Biosafety Symposium looking at “Next Generation Agriculture: Emerging Innovations and Opportunities.”

The symposium will be April 12-13 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames, Iowa; however, each day is a separate registration fee.

On April 12, experts will provide a seed industry outlook, highlighting the challenges and opportunities, and hone in on next-generation innovations and technologies. Speakers include:

  • Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation.
  • B.M. Prasanna, director of the Global Maize Program for CIMMYT and CGIAR’s research program on maize.
  • Mike Gumina, CEO of RiceTec.
  • Steve Sonka, fellow at the University of Maryland’s Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets.
  • Jim Schweigert, president of Gro Alliance.
  • Dileepkumar Guntuku, global program leader for Iowa State University’s Seed Science Center.
  • Bruce Battles, Seedcare technology manager at Syngenta.
  • Samson Konlan, food security specialist in USAID’s Economic Growth Office.

Registration is $125 per person for individuals not affiliated with a university or college. For those who have university connections as a student, faculty or staff, check the registration site for special pricing at

On April 13, the Seed Science Center will host a half-day session on genome editing for crop improvement. Registration for this session is $25 per person. Participants will hear an overview of CRISPR-Cas-9 editing for crop development. Speakers will focus on methodology, public and private activity, regulation status and societal questions. Prasanna will also share his insight during this session. Other speakers for this part of the symposium include:

  • Jeffry Sander, a DuPont Pioneer plant scientist.
  • Kan Wang, an Iowa State University professor and co-director of Crop Bioengineering Consortium.
  • Thomas Lubberstadt, an Iowa State University professor and director of the R.F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding.
  • Clark Wolf, an Iowa State University professor and director of the Bioethics Program.
  • Jeff Wolt, an Iowa State University professor and director of Crop Bioengineering Consortium.

For questions and more information about the symposium, contact Cassie Welch, symposium coordinator, at 515-294-5681 or