Dear Montana Farmers, Growers, and Stakeholders,

I am greatly honored to have been selected as the Plant Sciences Endowed Chair at Montana State University. It will not be an easy task, but I am confident that with the valuable contributions of farmers, growers, stakeholders and members of Montana State University, we will succeed in taking the cereal genetics and genomics research from its current status to new heights.

Let me briefly introduce myself to you. I received my PhD in plant genetics and breeding from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska in 2002. I led the grass genetics and breeding program at University of Nebraska-Lincoln for about 3 years and then returned to Turkey in 2004. Since June 2005, I have been a member of the HarvestPlus Wheat Alliance. This organization is led by the International Centre for Wheat and Maize (CIMMYT) in Mexico and is seeking to develop micronutrient-enriched wheat varieties over the next ten years. I have a long history of working in wheat molecular genetics and have a tremendous aptitude for learning new techniques for supporting cereal research. I am now fully able to use molecular biology tools in the laboratory as well as those required for field research.

We have an exciting future ahead in articulating the role of science and technology in meeting today’s needs to benefit the state of Montana through genomics, field research and collaborative projects. We are well aware that we must continue to rely on agriculture for food, fiber, and fuel. Up to this point, science and agronomical practices have focused on production and productivity; however, the new critical players in the field of agriculture at all levels are environmental fluctuation and ecological balance as well as abiotic (i.e. drought, heat..) and biotic stresses (i.e. insects, pathogens). As the Plant Sciences Endowed Chair, I will build a transparent science and discussion structure that strives to be inclusive of the talents and interests of you – the farmers, growers, stake holders and companies who create Montana agriculture. My main goal is to establish and lead an integrated research program encompassing classical and molecular genetics and genomics. An integrated field and laboratory research program encompasses: Genomics, proteomics and metabolomics of stem sawfly stress, drought and heat stress, and micronutrient deficiency. Establishment of this program will be achieved by the implementation of useful molecular genetics and genomics methods, novel germplasms, and higher quality well-adapted disease and pest resistant cultivars. My first-hand experience with many aspects of applied field research, along with a deep understanding of the overall biology of the species, will ensure the success of this program.

I look forward to collaborating with each of you to achieve these goals and meeting you at meetings and field days during the coming year. To access my webpage, please go to:
http://plantsciences.montana.edu/facultyorstaff/faculty/budak/index.html
Sincerely,
Hikmet Buda

Hikmet Budak, PhD Montana Plant Sciences Endowed Chair Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology
324 Plant BioScience Bldg. PO Box 17350
Montana State University Bozeman, MT 59717-3140
Telephone: 406-994-6717 Fax: 406-994-1848 plantsciences.montana.edu
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