Monsanto expands WestBred wheat operations to meet growing global demands

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Farm Forum

In its commitment to dedicate increased resources to meet the growing demands of global wheat consumption, Monsanto Company recently announced several new additions to its WestBred wheat team, including Steve Sebesta as Northern Region Commercial Manager.

Sebesta brings 30 years of professional seed industry experience in private and public sectors to seed suppliers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. In addition to working at Cargill Hybrid Seeds as a plant breeder and research station manager in the hybrid wheat and sunflower research programs, he worked at the North Dakota State Seed Department as deputy commissioner and was responsible for management of Seed Certification, the Diagnostic and Seed Quality labs, and Seed Regulatory programs. Sebesta graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in agronomy and a Master of Science in plant breeding (wheat), and has lived in North Dakota for the last 29 years.

In addition to Sebesta, Monsanto has hired several other agricultural professionals to support the WestBred wheat operations. Dennis Delaney has been hired as the Wheat Seed Supply Manager; Kaitlyn Nelson has joined as Marketing Communications Specialist; Randy Longest has assumed the role as Wheat Account Manager Lead; and John Fietsam has been named Wheat Technical Product Lead.

“Our WestBred wheat team is growing, and we are attracting people with a diverse combination of experience, knowledge and talent,” said Jeff Koscelny, Monsanto U.S. Wheat Commercial Lead. “We are fortunate to attract this high caliber of professionals who can give wheat growers the opportunity to be more productive and more competitive in a global market.”

Since acquiring the assets of Western Plant Breeders and WestBred LLC in 2009, Monsanto has invested numerous resources into improving all aspects of its wheat business, including dedicating more personnel to wheat and applying multiple technologies from other agricultural systems to improve wheat productivity.