Seed World

Sakata Seed America Welcomes Bill McCarthy

Group of people holding the WELCOME ABOARD written speech bubble

Sakata Seed America is proud to announce the appointment of well-known industry plant breeder, Bill McCarthy, as its new Associate Director of Research and Development. Bill began his career at Sakata 27 years ago before spending 22 years as a plant breeder for Seminis, Monsanto and Bayer.

“Bill changed the sweet pepper industry with the introduction of high-yielding and highly disease resistant products that have dominated the market in open field bell peppers for over a decade,” says Jeff Zischke, senior director of research and development at Sakata Seed America. “This includes Double Up, one of four successful pepper products that Bill created for Sakata, which we are still selling today. I am thrilled to have Bill join Sakata as we continue to develop a wide array of genetics in pursuit of enticing products for both growers and consumers. Bill will influence investment, direction and focus of Sakata’s breeding programs as well as providing leadership to our talented staff.”

“Innovation and expansion in sustainable, responsible breeding is paramount at Sakata,” states Dave Armstrong, president and CEO of Sakata Seed America. “The Associate Director of Research and Development is a new role at Sakata Seed America, reporting to Jeff Zischke, Senior Director of R&D, and based out of our state-of-the-art Woodland Innovation Center. We welcome Bill back to our team and look forward to seeing what he brings to this opportunity.”

Bill is equally enthusiastic about his return. “Throughout my career, I have been passionate about creating environmentally-friendly products that reduce pesticide use for growers. Sakata Seed has a vision of sustainability and innovation that I have always admired. I am excited to return to Sakata, where my career began, and to work with such a talented and passionate staff to develop more market-leading products together,” adds Bill.

Bill McCarthy obtained his Ph.D. (minor in Plant Pathology) and a M.Sc. (minor in Genetics) in Horticulture from University of North Carolina in 1993 and 1989 respectively. Bill also obtained his bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Michigan State University in 1987.