In January 2017, at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference (PAG) in San Diego, Forrest Chumley received an IWGSC Leadership Award for his vision and 10 years of dedication to and support of the IWGSC.
To launch an international consortium that will survive beyond the first couple of years requires vision and determination. This is what Forrest Chumley brought to the IWGSC. When he arrived at Kansas State University after working for Dupont, he couldn’t believe that the bread wheat genome was not being sequenced. Through his persuasiveness at KSU and in discussions with the Kansas Wheat Commission, a grower organization, he secured the funding to hire Kellye Eversole to establish the sequencing consortium and launch a coordinated, international effort to sequence the wheat genome and design a strategic roadmap to ensure that the resulting sequence was of high quality. Had this not occurred, it is unlikely that the IWGSC would have been able to provide resource after resource and, ultimately, a high quality sequence to the international community.
Forrest Chumley is a veteran of the agricultural biotechnology industry. He spent more than 30 years in research and business leadership roles with Heartland Plant Innovations, DuPont Company, K-State Research and Extension, and Edenspace Systems Corporation. Forrest is currently a Senior Advisor on science and special projects with Heartland Plant Innovations.