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This week’s distinguished visitors

Jerry Glover, agroecologist from The Land Institute, interacted with scientists and directors at El Batán during 25-28 August. The Institute is a non-profit organization located in Kansas, USA, that works to develop perennial versions of food crops like wheat and maize. Among other things, Glover gave a seminar entitled “Perennial solutions to farming’s annual problem,” and discussed ways and research areas in which CIMMYT and the Institute can work together.

Additionally a distinguished delegation of representatives from Syngenta visited CIMMYT headquarters during 26-28 August to talk about broadening the company’s research collaborations with the center. Members of the group were Drs. John Atkin, chief operating officer, Crop Protection; Rob Neill, global head, Marketing Crop Protection; John Bloomer, general business manager, Cereals; Rollie Sears, AGRIPRO senior development manager; Karsten Neuffer, head of Strategy & Planning; and Marcelo Valentín, director general, Mexico Office. They arrived the same day that the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) announced a two-year partnership between Syngenta, CIMMYT, and SFSA to identify and map genetic markers for use in wheat resistance breeding against Ug99 stem rust (see media release on the front page of the CIMMYT web portal).

On 21 August 2009, Hans Van de Water, of the Flemish Interuniversity Council, Department of Development Cooperation, Belgium, spent the day at El Batán to learn more about CIMMYT, with and eye to promoting the center in Belgium as an international organization eligible for development support and other forms of partnership with that country, especially support for graduate student work. “I received a four-year PhD scholarship from them during my stay at CIMMYT as a student, prior to accepting my current appointment,” says Bram Govaerts, cropping systems expert in the Conservation Agriculture Program.