Dr. Mendu selected as Montana State University’s Endowed Plant Science Chair

Montana State University filled its post for Endowed Plant Science Chair. It is welcome news to the grain industry.

What started as a dream years ago for Montana farmers is now a reality with the announcement that Dr. Venugopal Mendu has been selected as the Winifred Asbjornson Plant Sciences Endowed Chair at Montana State University.

Montana Grains Foundation Chair Dale Schuler from Carter explains why this is such exciting news for Montana’s grain industry.

According to Schuler, “What this will do is allow plant science research to focus on whatever the greatest economic challenge is for Montana grain producers. We’re kind of in a unique position right now with two new wheat breeders that also will be starting at MSU. This should help this researcher complement work that the wheat breeders are doing, as well as other research scientists at MSU.”

He says that the selection of Dr. Mendu will help take MSU’s Plant Science Department to the next level in plant breeding and research.

“An endowed chair position is a prestigious position,” he states. “It also has a perpetual source of funding from the revenue off of the endowment that allows the researcher to spend a little more time doing research and less time searching for money to fund that research.”

He goes on to say that Montana’s grain industry is also very thankful for Norm Asbjornson’s $2 million dollar donation to the MSU Plant Science Department because of what the researchers’ impact could be statewide.

“He said if we just increase the yield of wheat by one bushel an acre, just think of the impact it would have across the 180 million acres of wheat that are grown now,” he adds.

Dr. Mendu is currently an associate professor at Texas Tech University and will join MSU in January.