MU gets $100,000 for plant science studies

Friday, September 9, 2011 | 7:40 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Student laboratory research in plant science will be aided by a $100,000 grant MU received Wednesday from the Monsanto Company.  The gift will be distributed to the Monsanto Undergraduate Fellowship program throughout the next three years.

The program's purpose is to prepare high-achieving undergraduate students for careers in agricultural science. 

"It allowed me to do research in a lab that otherwise might not be able to fund me," Monsanto Undergraduate Research Fellow Greg Yeckel said of the fellowship. "It made a lot more sense than just regurgitating facts."

Yeckel worked with the program in 2007. He is now a graduate research assistant in the Life Sciences Center studying parasitic nematodes that cost the U.S. billions of dollars in soybean crop losses.

Students participating in the program work with a plant science research group, where they create research projects and participate in field work.

"You get to experience doing what hardcore science is all about," Yeckel said. "I was able to learn a lot better because you're able to apply what you've learned in a real world setting."

The Monsanto Undergraduate Fellowship Program was founded in 2002.

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