WSU’s first Robert E. Allan Plant Breeding Symposium is set for 1-5 p.m. Monday, April 18, in Johnson C107. It will be followed by a free social, 5-7 p.m. in the Ensminger Livestock Pavilion, with food, drinks and a bluegrass band.

The free symposium is presented by the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences and Plant Pathology in honor of wheat geneticist Robert E. Allan. He retired in 1996 from the federal USDA/ARS Wheat Genetics, Physiology and Disease Research Unit on the WSU Pullman campus, but he continues an active research program and is a valued resource for WSU faculty, students and staff.

Symposium participants are welcome to come and go, depending on the speakers they wish to hear. The schedule is:
• 1:10 p.m., Welcome, R. James Cook, interim dean, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.
• 1:15 p.m., Comments, Robert E. Allan.
• 1:30 p.m., “Improving Alfalfa to Save Midwestern Agriculture,” Charlie Brummer, forage breeder, Iowa State University.
• 2:30 p.m., Break.
• 3 p.m., “Historical and Biological Bases of the Concept of Heterotic Groups in Maize,” William Tracy, sweet corn breeder, University of Wisconsin.
• 4 p.m., “Breeding Corn for Sustainable Production Systems: Despite Charlie Brummer’s Views on the Matter,” Margaret Smith, open pollinated corn breeder, Cornell University.
• 5 p.m., Social.