Breeding Innovations in Feed and Forage Barleys

August 9, 2022 from 1:15 pm to 2:00 pm

Speaker: Yadeta Kabeta & Dr. Jennifer Zantinge, FCDC Olds College

Breeding Innovations in Feed and Forage Barleys

The Olds College Field Crop Development Center (OCFCDC) has a long history of developing new feed and forage barley varieties for producers, including a new one with improved nitrogen use efficiency. Advances in DNA and high throughput phenotyping technologies and continuous refinement of the breeding process have improved efficiency and precision in breeding better varieties. Some of the recent achievements in feed barley breeding in western Canada and the application of genomic technologies to accelerate breeding progress will be discussed.

Bio: Yadeta Kabeta, FCDC, Olds College
Yadeta Kabeta is a barley breeder and leader of the Feed and Forage Barley Program at Olds College Field Crop Development Center (OCFCDC). In this position, Kabeta is responsible for the development of germplasm and varieties of barley suitable for feed and forage utilization. Kabeta has strong research collaboration with other public and private breeding programs here in Canada and around the world; he works closely with industry stakeholders (crop commissions, cattle commissions, seed growers); sits on the Prairie Recommending Committee for Oat and Barley; and is currently the coordinator of the Western Canadian Feed and Forage Barley Cooperative Trials.

Kabeta has been a senior author on many pre-reviewed articles. He authored or co-authored 50+ journal articles and conference proceedings on cereals and pulses. Kabeta obtained PhD degree in plant breeding/genetics from the University of Saskatchewan, SK; and MSc and BSc in Plant Sciences from Almaya University of Agriculture, Ethiopia.

Bio: Dr. Jennifer Zantinge, FCDC, Olds College
As a farm kid, Jennifer enjoyed attending agriculture field days with her dad. She was always amazed by the cannulated cow which inspired her to later attend the University of Guelph. She ultimately graduated with a PhD focused on molecular biology, genetics, and virology. After working at AAFC Lethbridge, her research gradually pivoted to crops from animals. Dr. Zantinge has 20+ years of research experience leading the molecular genetics/biotechnology laboratory at OCFCDC, as well as authored/co-authored papers, lead grants and developed patents related to her work. Through the application of genetic markers, the OCFCDC Biotech lab has contributed to the development of new barley varieties with improved malt quality and increased disease resistance. The adoption of new lab-based techniques are allowing OCFCDC to better select traits and breed new elite varieties in less time targeted for production in Alberta and Canada.

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