World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Robert Fraley to Donate Award to Support
Advancement of Women in Plant Science
World Food Prize Award to Be Matched by Monsanto and Fraley to Establish
Fraley-Borlaug Scholars in Plant Science Scholarship at University of Illinois
DES MOINES, Iowa -- October 15, 2013
World Food Prize 2013 laureate Dr. Robert T. Fraley, Monsanto’s executive vice
president and chief technology officer, today announced that both he and
Monsanto will match his share of the World Food Prize award to establish the
Fraley-Borlaug Scholars in Plant Science scholarship.
The scholarship will fund female students at the University of Illinois who
are studying plant breeding and biotechnology. The matches will bring the
total initial endowment to the University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer
and Environmental Sciences to $250,000.
Fraley, an alumnus of the University of Illinois, made the announcement as
part of the 2013 World Food Prize. The World Food Prize awarded Fraley and
fellow 2013 laureates Dr. Marc Van Montagu and Dr. Mary-Dell Chilton for their
world-changing achievements in founding, developing and applying modern
“The advances being made in breeding, biotechnology and agronomics to improve
crop yields are truly amazing – but, our work isn’t done,” Fraley said.
“Through the Fraley-Borlaug Scholars fund, we’re making an investment in the
future to unlock the potential in the next generation of female scientists who
will continue to drive innovation in safe and sustainable food production.
Women are underrepresented in this scientific community today, yet they also
make up the majority of smallholder farmers around the world and stand to gain
the most from current and future innovations in plant science.”
Dr. Norman Borlaug is recognized as the father of the Green Revolution and is
credited with saving more than 1 billion lives as a result of improved wheat
production. He created the World Food Prize in 1986 to honor those who have
made significant and measurable contributions to improving the world's food
“My grandfather strongly believed in filling agriculture’s intellectual
pipeline with young people,” said Julie Borlaug, Associate Director of
External Affairs at the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at
Texas A&M. “I know he would be very proud of Dr. Fraley and Monsanto’s
announcement today, and honored to have this scholarship fund created in his
Beginning in 2014, Monsanto plans to announce the annual beneficiaries of the
Fraley-Borlaug scholarship in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize
Borlaug Dialogue symposium.
“Dr. Fraley’s work has helped shape modern agriculture science and is a
real-life example of our mission to find solutions to the world’s most
critical challenges,” said Dr. Robert Easter, president of the University of
Illinois. “We’re proud to count him among our alumni and to be his partner in
inspiring the next generation of female innovators.”
The new Fraley-Borlaug Scholars in Plant Science scholarship is another
example of Monsanto’s long-term commitment to educating the next generation of
scientists. The company established the Beachell-Borlaug International
Scholars Program in 2009 with the goal of aiding Ph.D-seeking students in the
development of highly educated rice and wheat breeders who can serve as future
leaders in the field of agriculture.
“At Illinois, our mission always has been to pioneer the science and the art
of learning. It is one of the pillars of our strategic plan,” said University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Dr. Phyllis Wise. “This generous
gift from Robb and Laura Fraley and Monsanto will ensure that promising women
with a dedication to a career addressing international crop productivity and
world hunger will have the opportunity for the transformative learning
experience Illinois offers.”
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions
and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.
Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers
to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural
resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our
commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter^®
at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at
www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
About the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the
University of Illinois
The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) offers
tremendous opportunities for students and faculty to achieve success. More
than 2,500 undergraduate students and nearly 750 graduate students have the
opportunity to network, learn about careers, and contribute to the life of the
College. ACES research encompasses initiatives in bioenergy, biotechnology,
integrated landscapes, environmental sustainability, food and agricultural
systems, global climate change, family resiliency, public policy and more.
About the Illinois Plant Breeding Center
The Illinois Plant Breeding Center (IPBC) housed in the Department of Crop
Sciences at the University of Illinois is one of the premier programs in the
world designed to foster the education of undergraduate and graduate students
interested in careers in plant breeding and biotechnology. Currently, the IPBC
has a membership of 31 active faculty, six emeritus professors and 67 graduate
students making it the largest program for the training of plant breeding
professionals in the world.
Sara Miller, 314-694-5824
University of Illinois
LeAnn Ormsby, 217-244-4786
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