Vegetable Breeding Working Group (VGBR)

VGBR is part of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS)

Minutes (2010 meeting)

  • Vegetable Breeding Working Group Business Meeting
  • American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • 3 August 2010

Attendance. Beday Sideman, Beiquan Mou, Dilip Panthee, Hanny Elsod, Ivan Simko, James L. Brewbaker, Jim McCreight, Jit Baral, John (Jack) Juvik, Mark Farnham, Michael Bausher, Phillip Simon, Rebecca Grant.

General Business. Beiquan Mou (Chair, VBWG) opened the meeting by welcoming all participants in the meeting. He asked to introduce the attendee briefly by oneself. There were 13 attendees (see above) and one guest.

Approval of 2009 minutes
Dr. Beiquan Mou (Chair, VBWG) call for approval of minutes from the 2009 Vegetable Breeding Working Group business meeting with correction if there are any. There being no any corrections, the minutes were unanimously approved.

VBWG sponsored event at this conference
Dr. Beiquan Mou informed that Colloquium 4 entitled “Improvement of Horticultural Crops for Abiotic Stress Tolerance” has been co-sponsored with Environmental Stress Physiology Working Group. It is on Thursday, August 5 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at Desert Salon 4-6. He encouraged all participants to attend the colloquium.

2010 Vegetable Breeding Award of Excellence: James L. Brewbaker
The recipient of the 2009 Vegetable Breeding Award of Excellence was Dr. James L. Brewbaker.  Dr. Brewbaker is a Professor of Horticulture and Genetics at the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Science, College of Tropical Agriculture at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Brewbaker was recognized for his excellent contribution to vegetable breeding through breeding sweet corn for tropical adaptability and disease resistance. He has registered 19 populations of tropical sweet corn, 9 populations of field corn, 140 near isogenic lines and 12 RIL populations. He has also been recognized as “the father of tropical sweet corn”. He has published more than 260 papers and trained 50 graduate students who have become leaders in crop breeding. In the acceptance speech, Dr. Brewbaker stressed the need to work on improving nutritional status of crops including corn. He said that about 300 thousand kids go blind every year in tropical countries because of lack of access to the yellow corn, which is rich in the precursor of vitamin A. Dr. Brewbaker expressed concern over the declining public breeding positions in the universities and USDA. Despite his paralyzed vocal cord, he plants sweet corn every month and claims “nothing is more rewarding than plant breeding”. VBWG is honored to recognize such a well accomplished breeder, congratulations Dr. Brewbaker!

VBWG supported events in future meetings
Following possible topics were discussed for a VBWG sponsored colloquium or workshop for next year’s ASHS annual meeting to be held in September 25-28 at Waikoloa, Hawaii. Topics considered were:

  1. Breeding vegetables and fruits for the tropics
  2. Breeding vegetables for nutritional improvement
  3. Breeding status of vegetable crops: Now and 20 years later
  4. Status of breeding to feed international hunger

After a lively discussion, it was decided that we will submit a proposal for a colloquium. If it did not get funded, we will consider for the workshop. Regarding topics for the colloquium, “Breeding vegetables and fruits for the tropics” will be pursued in collaboration with Fruit Breeding Working Group.

Election of new officers: Secretary elect needed
Dr. Mark Farnham, Vegetable Breeder at USDA-ARS, Charleston, SC was nominated to be the new secretary of the working group. The members present unanimously voted to elect Mark to this position. Congratulations Mark!

Other issues of interest

  1. Dr. Ivan Simko informed that there are two Post-Doctoral Research Associate positions available for up to three years at USDA-ARS, Salinas, CA to work on post-harvest processing quality and disease resistance in lettuce. Interested candidate can apply online or send resume to Dr. Ivan Simko at
  2. Dr. Phillip Simon said that there will be a 4th Annual Meeting of National Association of Plant Breeders from Aug 15 to 17, 2010 at Johnston, IA. He informed that this meeting will formally establish the National Plant Breeding Association. He encouraged all plant breeders to attend. He also informed that Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, Sorghum Breeder and World Food Prize Laureate will be addressing the meeting.

There being no further points for discussion, the Chair of the committee adjourned the meeting.

Prepared by Secretary Dilip Panthee.

Web site for our working group: