2008 OCIA R&E Scholarship Recipient
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Awards - OCIA Research & Education Scholarships
Todd_ReidTodd Reid, a graduate student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was selected as the recipient of the OCIA R&E 2008 Scholarship Award.

Reid will use the $1,000 award towards finalizing and disseminating results for his project entitled, “Breeding for Competitive Organic Spring Wheat.” The project aims to advance the field of organics by providing information that will assist organic cereal producers in selecting competitive cultivars of wheat. “This should help them improve both crop yield and weed management on their farms”, said Reid.

The first objective of the research is to determine how competitive wheat traits are inherited, which traits are closely related to yield, and how selecting for them can be improved. Secondly, Reid will determine where any competitive physical traits are located on the wheat DNA. he will determine if different breeding lines are selected when grown under organic versus conventional management systems. The fourth objective is to determine how the trait differences between the management systems are inherited.

Reid’s long-term career goal is to become a professor of plant science. “I hope to continue plant breeding as a career and will include organic breeding as a part of any program I develop. My collaboration with farmers has shown me that producers care about research and have a vested interest in the outcomes,” said Reid.

Reid also hopes that in the long term, his research will provide evidence to create an organic wheat breeding system. Reid states that such a system will increase the awareness of organic agriculture, provide much needed organic cultivars, and may spread beyond wheat to include other field crops and horticulture crops.