The fully booked Summer School Green Genetics took place from 29 August till 2 September. An international group of 35 students participated in this special program. This summer school is a cooperation between multiple Seed companies and Wageningen University & Research , organized by Wageningen Academy.
Why so special?
Wageningen Academy normally develops and organizes trainings and courses for professionals from business and government, this summer school is an exception. It is organised for 3/4th year Bachelor students. Furthermore, it is special because the programme is funded by the Dutch seed industry, offering students an expedition into the world of plant sciences. Academic lectures are combined with company visits. The diverse group of participants (different studies and nationalities) learned in five days the basics of green genetics, plant breeding and seed technology. They visited 6 sponsor companies: Schoneveld Breeding, KWS, Anthura, Seed Valley: Bejo Zaden, Dümmen Orange and Rijk Zwaan. Besides they followed several lectures at Wageningen, given by Sjaak van Heusden, Gerard van der Linden en Rient Niks of Wageningen University & Research, Plant Breeding.
View the full programme in the webapp.
The SSGG16 participants were asked to share their experiences after they finished the programme and evaluate the programme.
"For me, the Summer School Green Genetics was an eye-opening experience. It made me realise just how crucial plant breeding and seed technology actually is for our society, and the sheer amount of work it takes to develop new crop varieties. Never again will I take a vegetable breed that took a decade to develop for granted!"
Merijn Kerstens, SSGG16 participant
"Green Genetics was a great way to gain knowledge of players that are active in this sector and their activities."
Iliass Boo, SSGG16 participant
The highly motivated group (they sacrificed a week of their summer holidays to participate), raised critical and in depth questions regarding the information they were given by the lecturers and during the company visits.
The success of the summer school
After an intensive week, all students indicated that they would like to work in the plant breeding sector. Three of them found out that becoming a breeder is not their cup of tea –as they learned there are many other opportunities to start a career in the sector which sounded more appealing. The majority was confirmed in their interest for this profession and interested in starting a career as part of an international, multidisciplinary plant breeding team. Furthermore the lecturers at Wageningen University & Research left good impressions –John van ‘t Klooster received a lot of questions and interest for the education programmes related with breeding from Wageningen University. The enthusiasm for SSGG related themes started by the summer school is not just a fling as learned from previous editions. During the week we met a lot of previous participants, who now work for a company they visited during their SSGGG participation. Last year’s query indicated that 60% was and still is influenced in his or her choice for their career by the summer school.