Laurie McKenzie, Research & Education Associate with the Washington State-based Organic Seed Alliance, develops new crop varieties for organic production systems. A typical day for her might include evaluating breeding trials in the field, collaborating with seed companies and farmers to establish breeding priorities, or sharing the latest seed research at an industry conference.
In this episode of Plant Breeding Stories, Ms McKenzie shares how she was inspired to pursue plant breeding after working at a community-supported-agriculture farm and a seed production farm. She shares with us her the people who shaped her career and her passion for her work while also explaining how breeding for conventional and organic systems both differ and complement each other in solving food insecurity challenges. She digs into what traits she breeds for to meet the needs of the organic market, and reveals her proudest career achievement – spoiler alert, it involves very colorful carrots.