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Return to News ListingNCCPB Celebrates 50 Years

Presented by SeedToday Magazine
Decatur, IL
October 1, 2004


Scientific discoveries being made 50 years ago are required knowledge today.

The National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (NCCPB) was founded in 1954 by representation of thirteen commercial firms as a nonprofit organization to promote the achievement and interests of American plant breeders both in the United States and abroad.

By 1978, membership increased threefold. Today, there are 36 member companies.

"When the NCCPB was formed, the goal was to have a unified voice in working with many issues surrounding plant breeding," says Kevin Cavanaugh Ph.D., Research Director, Becks Hybrids and 2004 NCCPB President.

"In 1954, there were relatively few commercial plant breeders and most of the breeding was conducted in the public sector. Some of the major concerns were wrestling with issues surrounding intellectual property (IP) and access to germplasm."


Fifty years later IP issues are still a major focus for the NCCPB not only in the United States, but also worldwide. NCCPB is a well recognized voice in these matters on a global scale, Cavanaugh says.

Other areas of focus for NCCPB are attracting and training some of the brightest minds in science to have careers in the plant breeding sector.

Scholarships for graduate students are a big part of NCCPB's efforts of attracting great minds.

"NCCPB continues to play an important role in shaping policies on many significant issues that face the seed industry today," says Roger McBroom, Ph.D., Syngenta soybean breeder, St. Joseph, IL and NCCPB 2005 President. "Tomorrow's breeders will require a knowledge of biotechnology and genomics-topics that were not even on the cutting edge of scientific exploration in 1954."



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