Noble Foundation names leader of small grains program
Mark Newell of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is only the fifth person in 60 years to head the small grains breeding program.
ARDMORE — The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation has named the new head of the organization's small grains breeding program.
Mark Newell is only the fifth person to lead that program in 60 years.
Newell, who joined the foundation earlier this year, will focus on improving two species — rye and oats — which are used by regional producers only for grazing.
“Ranchers depend on small grains for cattle production from September through May,” Newell said in a news release. “So providing varieties with improved performance can have a significant impact.”
Newell was working on a degree in forest biology at Colorado State University when a professor introduced him to plant breeding. He ended up getting a master's degree in dry beans breeding from the university before focusing on small grains during doctoral research at Iowa State University.
His studies used molecular data and traditional plant breeding techniques to select superior plants, according to the release. He graduated in 2011 and was hired by the Noble Foundation.
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