FIVE POINTS, Calif., Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) announced today that alfalfa breeding veteran, Mark Smith, has been appointed as the Company's Director of Breeding and Genetics. Dr. Smith will have primary responsibility for the continued research and development of the Company's dormant germplasm pipeline recently acquired from DuPont Pioneer which includes more than 60 developmental varieties. Dr. Smith will also be working with S&W's integrated R&D group on crossover research, including both conventional non-GMO and GMO development.
Dr. Smith joins S&W Seed Company in connection with its recent acquisition following 28 years in the alfalfa seed industry with DuPont Pioneer where he managed its germplasm and varietal development alfalfa project. In 1987 he was hired as an alfalfa breeder by Pioneer Hi-Bred International developing numerous varieties for the Western U.S. for resistance to alfalfa stem nematode as well as non-dormant product development for the world. He further went on to oversee and manage the research and development of alfalfa seed varieties across the entire U.S. He is the past president of the Western Alfalfa Improvement Conference and currently serves as Secretary of the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference. He has served on numerous committees for the alfalfa community including two rotations on the National Alfalfa Variety Review Board.
Dr. Smith received a B.S. degree in Crop Science from New Mexico State University, and a Masters of Science studying forage breeding. Mark obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics and Plant Breeding from Mississippi State University, minoring in experimental statistics while working in the forage breeding program.
Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, commented, "I am extremely pleased to have Mark join the integrated S&W research and development group. Mark will continue working with the very strong development pipeline of alfalfa germplasm that he and his team have been working on while at Pioneer which has produced some of the highest yielding, most winterhardy and reliable seeds on the market. Mark's experience with biotech breeding, which has helped produce established varieties in the market today, will also prove valuable as we further expand our breeding capabilities. The ability to further integrate our research and development teams and partners should help us to accelerate our know-how and capabilities, utilizing best practices and base germplasm from which to breed. As an agronomist, I am elated at the capability to develop the very best in alfalfa seed varieties to help farmers around the world address the various challenges with which they are confronted, and maintain a leadership position in alfalfa seed breeding for years to come."
Dan Gardner, vice president of breeding and genetics for S&W Seed Company, added, "I am excited to have Mark Smith on board to continue the legacy of the alfalfa breeding program that Pioneer developed. The unique germplasm brings unparalleled yield to alfalfa growers and we look forward to offering the products over a wider market, including the S&W brand. Mark's extensive abilities elevate the entire breeding effort at S&W and bring real world experience in development of traits that are the future for S&W."
About S&W Seed Company
Founded in 1980, S&W Seed Company is a global agricultural company, headquartered in the Central Valley of California. The Company's vision is to be the world's preferred proprietary seed company which supplies a range of forage and specialty crop products that supports the growing global demand for animal proteins and healthier consumer diets. The Company is the global leader in alfalfa seed, with unrivaled research and development, production and distribution capabilities. S&W's capabilities span the world's alfalfa seed production regions with operations in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys of California, five other U.S. states, Australia, and three provinces in Canada, and S&W sells its seed products in more than 25 countries around the globe. Additionally, the Company is utilizing its research and breeding expertise to develop and produce stevia, the all-natural, zero calorie sweetener for the food and beverage industry. For more information, please visit www.swseedco.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may," "future," "plan" or "planned," "will" or "should," "expected," "anticipates," "draft," "eventually" or "projected." You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and other risks identified in the Company's 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, and other filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE S&W Seed Company