Noble Foundation Selects New Director of FID

ARDMORE, Okla., June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation has selected E. Charles Brummer, Ph.D., as a new senior vice president and the director of the Forage Improvement Division.

With more than 20 years of experience, Brummer is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the leaders in genomics, plant breeding and forage development.

"Dr. Brummer is known throughout the United States and around the world as one of the very best in forage breeding and improvement," said Michael A. Cawley, president and chief executive officer of the Noble Foundation. "Beyond this wealth of experience and vast subject knowledge, Dr. Brummer's character and leadership make him the ideal steward of the Forage Improvement Division."

Brummer is only the second director of the Forage Improvement Division since its inception 13 years ago as one of the Noble Foundation's three primary operating divisions. "Having worked with the Noble Foundation throughout the past decade, I have a profound respect for this organization's significant contribution to agriculture and plant science research," Brummer said. "I am extremely motivated to continue the division's great success."

The Forage Improvement Division translates basic plant science research into tangible plant varieties. Within the Noble Foundation, the Forage Improvement Division links discoveries in the laboratory to those in the field, where they enhance agriculture in Oklahoma and around the world.

Brummer replaces Joe Bouton, Ph.D., who announced in January 2009 his wish to step down as director of the division in order to spend more time with family. Bouton will remain on the faculty of the Forage Improvement Division and continue his research programs at the Noble Foundation. "In my opinion, Charlie Brummer is the perfect fit for the Forage Improvement Division," Bouton said. "His scientific excellence and rigor, coupled with his passion for helping the forage producer, accommodate the Noble Foundation's mission extremely well. I am looking forward to continuing work in the Forage Improvement Division under Charlie's leadership."

After growing up on a Pennsylvania farm, Brummer earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy from Penn State University and then master's and doctorate degrees in agronomy from the University of Georgia at Athens (UGA).

He spent the next 12 years conducting research, including forage breeding, and teaching at Iowa State University, progressing from assistant professor to professor. While at Iowa State University, he won the Raymond and Mary Baker Agronomic Excellence Award and the Young Crop Scientist Award from the Crop Science Society of America (both in 2002).

"Having direct experience with production agriculture gives Dr. Brummer a unique perspective on the Noble Foundation's mission to assist regional agricultural producers and land stewards," said Billy Cook, Ph.D., director of the agricultural division. "Combined with his educational background and research, Brummer brings a comprehensive set of experiences and skills to the Noble Foundation."

Brummer most recently served as a professor of Forage and Biofuel Crop Breeding and Genetics at UGA and director of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics.

"There are few places in the world that can compete with the Noble Foundation in integration of plant breeding with basic research and downstream extension," said Rick Dixon, D. Phil., senior vice president, director of the Plant Biology Division and chair of the search committee. "Dr. Brummer is an excellent addition to the Noble Foundation because he strongly believes in such scientific integration and has demonstrated this belief in his published work. He will continue to advance a set of specific programs designed to deliver a critical component of the Noble Foundation mission."

During his career, he has served as editor-in-chief for the Crop Science Society of America and vice chair of the U.S. Legume Crops Genomics Initiative. Brummer, along with his wife, Pinar, will officially join the Noble Foundation in early August. "We're excited not only to join the Noble Foundation family, but the southern Oklahoma community," Brummer said. "This is an amazing opportunity for us professionally and personally, and we cannot wait to begin."

For media inquiries concerning the Noble Foundation, please contact J. Adam Calaway, Director of Public Relations, at 580.224.6209 or by e-mail at jacalaway@noble.org.

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. (www.noble.org), headquartered in Ardmore, Okla., is an independent, nonprofit institute conducting plant science research, plant breeding and agricultural programs to enhance agricultural productivity, which influences agriculture regionally, nationally and internationally. The Noble Foundation also provides grants to nonprofit charitable, educational and health care organizations.

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