Foundation for Soy Innovation awards 2 scholarships to Missouri grad students
Solving problems facing farmers is a priority across Missouri, both in work funded by Missouri soybean farmers and their checkoff and in research conducted by passionate students and professionals. The Foundation for Soy Innovation empowers those working to further the soybean industry through an annual scholarship program. This year, the foundation awarded scholarships to Haylee Schreier and Caio Canella Vieira, both graduate students at the University of Missouri.
“We believe there is a bright future for soy,” said Matt McCrate, chairman of the foundation. “Through the Foundation for Soy Innovation, we’re working to support those who need to be at the table to really raise the bar on the work farmers have been doing. We’re also working to ensure we take full advantage of the opportunities ahead in soy uses like livestock feed, building products, biodiesel and high oleic soybeans. This scholarship is one step in that effort.”
Schreier is passionate about supporting the bottom line of farmers through weed control research. She works with Kevin Bradley on a project funded by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council testing the Weed Zapper.
Her research focuses on many problematic weeds, including waterhemp, cocklebur, marestail and ragweed. It tests the Weed Zapper’s ability to prevent them from setting seed in soybean production. Schreier plans to use the $1,000 award to share her results with others, putting it toward travel and conference fees.
Canella Vieira’s interest lies in soybean breeding and new varietal development. He studies under Pengyin Chen, working in the soybean breeding program at the Fisher Delta Research Center. His research is also supported by Missouri soybean farmers and their checkoff.
In addition to his graduate program, Canella Vieira has worked to build his professional profile and connections, as well.
“As a Borlaug Scholar with the National Association of Plant Breeders, I had the opportunity to be mentored by the North America Head of Plant Breeding at Bayer and later intern with the company,” he wrote in his application. “The combination of experiences from both private and public institutions have diversified my approach to plant breeding and expanded my understanding of each sector’s structure.”
He plans to use his scholarship to further professional development to build connections and benefit his research. In his work as a doctoral student, Canella Vieira is focused on developing a more data-driven approach to soybean breeding. His goal is to attend a conference on drone image processing next summer, he said.
The farmers behind the Foundation for Soy Innovation envision supporting early-career faculty and students in their work across the soy value chain through this scholarship program, established last year. Scholarship funds may be used for coursework, supplies, specialty training and/or participation in a professional conference.
The Foundation for Soy Innovation exists to advance the technology, ingenuity and partnerships integral to the future for soy, at every stage in the process. From innovation in how farmers produce soy to elevating the ways we put soy to work, to developing environmentally friendly soy-based products, there are great opportunities ahead.
The Foundation is led by soybean farmer and longtime seedsman Matt McCrate of Cape Girardeau.