Name:

Michael Kovach

Company:

Monsanto Co.

Title:

North Region Varietal Crops Breeding Lead

Focus:

Row Crops (corn, soybeans)

Why did you choose this career?

I grew up working at Baronner’s vegetable farm in central Pennsylvania.  This inspired me to pursue a career working with plants–and I became passionate about plant breeding after working in the Tomato Breeding Lab at Penn State University.  Genetics fascinates me—and plant breeding gives me the ability to create new and improved crop varieties and hybrids that have never existed before!  I love the idea that the products we develop will be grown by farmers and their harvests will be made into the food, feed, and fiber to support a growing world population.

How long have you been a breeder?

I have been in this business for 7 great years.

What challenges are you working to address through your work?

As the seeds and traits industry continues to evolve rapidly, our challenge is to develop and employ new technologies, analytics, and automation to deliver genetic gain more efficiently than ever before.

What is the coolest thing about your job?

I have the opportunity to work with the coolest bunch of plant nerds in the world!