Science Night at Jefferson Farm and Garden will return with another evening of scientific discussion on Thursday, Sept. 19, with a focus on plant genetics – specifically, corn.
The event, titled, “Plant Genetics – Where Our Food Comes From and How We Got To Where We Are,” will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A tour of the corn genetics demonstration field will go from 5:30-6 p.m., and a roundtable discussion will follow at 6 p.m. Another tour of the corn genetics demonstration field will last from 7-7:30 p.m. The Missouri Maize Center will be part of Science Night at Jefferson Farm and Garden as well, which is free and open to the public.
“Our first Science Night allowed us to really engage with the community and answer their questions, and we’re excited to offer another opportunity for individuals to meet with some of our outstanding scientists and geneticists,” said Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. “While our first Science Night was focused on weather and climate, this upcoming event will take a look at how plants have changed over the years, primarily in corn.”
The roundtable discussion will feature Jim Birchler, who is a Curators Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Birchler is just one of 10 MU faculty members who belong to the prestigious academy. He will discuss CRISPR technologies in modern agriculture.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have Dr. Birchler as part of the roundtable discussion,” Reinbott said. “This is an excellent chance for the public to have their questions answered by a member of the National Academy of Sciences, which is a rare opportunity.”
Sherry Flint-Garcia, a research geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, will also be part of the roundtable discussion. Flint-Garcia will talk about how crops have been modified during domestication and traditional breeding. Graduate students and post-doctoral researchers will join Birchler and Flint-Garcia during the roundtable discussion.
Flint-Garcia will lead the corn genetics demonstration field tours. Matt Amick, director of industry relations for Missouri Corn, will serve as the moderator.
“Corn has a really interesting history in this state, and we’ll discuss that history during our Science Night,” Reinbott said. “It’s fascinating to see how far we’ve come in regards to that plant.”
The Butterfly House at Jefferson Farm and Garden, as well as other educational displays, will be open throughout the event.
Jefferson Farm and Garden, one of CAFNR’s Agricultural Research Centers, is located at 4800 E. New Haven Road in Columbia. For more information about the Science Night at Jefferson Farm and Garden, call Reinbott at 573-882-4450 or email him at ReinbottT@missouri.edu. For more information about Jefferson Farm and Garden, visit jefferson.missouri.edu.