Pesticide and seed researchers in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources nominated Syngenta for the college's 2011 Outstanding Research Partner Award.
Plant sciences Professor Gary Franc and Assistant Professor Andrew Kniss have worked closely with Syngenta, especially with research and development scientist Pete Forster, who is based in Eaton, Colorado.
"Pete has been such a big supporter of a lot of our programs at the Powell Research and Extension Center and also at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle," notes Kniss. "He's always there with information when you need it."
The research partner award recognizes an organization that has sponsored significant research with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resource and/or provided long-term support to faculty member research, students, programs, or initiatives.
"Syngenta values working closely with our university research partners," Forster says. "The collaborative projects with the University of Wyoming have been instrumental to Syngenta as well as ag producers across the country in the development of new ag products and new uses for existing products."
Syngenta works with UW researchers in the areas of crop protection chemicals and drought mitigation research. "The company spans greater than just a pure, chemical basis," Kniss says.
Support from Syngenta has funded graduate students, allowed extension tours, and the weed tour Kniss directs each year.
Syngenta was formed in 2000 when the ag businesses of Novartis and AstraZeneca merged; however, its roots can be traced to 1758 and 1884, when Geigy and Ciba were established, respectively (for more, see syngenta.com). The company has research and development sites in Switzerland, Britain, India and the United States. Main production sites include those countries as well as Brazil, China, and France. Syngenta employs more than 26,000 people in 90 countries; about 5,000 employees work in research, technology, and development.
Syngenta is committed to advancing the science of agriculture, investing nearly $1 billion a year or $2.6 million a day in research and development, says Forster.
Its connection with the college spans many years. Syngenta sponsored research by Steve Miller, professor emeritus in the Department of Plant Science and former director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, and also that of Kniss, who was a graduate student of Miller, and other scientists.
"Gary works with diseases and I work with weeds," says Kniss. "They've sponsored a lot of diverse research. Pete has knowledge about each aspect. He can make weed, disease, and insect control as well as seed treatment recommendations. He's a great person to work with."