Dr Rita Mumm is a professor, entrepreneur, visionary and change-maker. Her formidable path began in Illinois, where she completed college studies through to a PhD while also raising young children. Dr Mumm’s plant breeding career has given her rich experience in the corporate world, academia and entrepreneurship.
In this episode of Plant Breeding Stories, Mumm recounts how managing a one-acre hobby garden helped set her direction. We follow her plant breeding journey as she explains what it was like to work at the forefront of agricultural biotechnology, developing novel herbicide and insecticide-resistant corn traits at DeKalb. Mumm shares how she transitioned from a corporate role to one in academia to support the recruitment and training of future plant breeders. Finally, we learn about her latest endeavours at USAID and as Director of the African Plant Breeding Academy at the University of California Davis, where she helps train plant scientists across Africa to improve continent-wide nutritional security.