Bill Tracy. Photo by Judith Burstyn/UW-Madison Department of Chemistry.

Bill Tracy, agronomy professor and sweet-corn breeder, was named the recipient of the nation’s first endowed chair focused on plant breeding for organic crops. The $2 million endowment is supported by Organic Valley and Clif Bar & Company, with the help of a matching gift from UW alumni John and Tashia Morgridge. The news was shared during Organic Valley’s Grass Up! educational event at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

The UW-Madison Clif Bar and Organic Valley Chair in Plant Breeding for Organic Agriculture was awarded to Tracy in recognition of his research and work with students.

Tracy leads the world’s largest research program focused on the breeding and genetics of traits important to organic sweet corn growers and has developed five cultivars under organic conditions which are currently on the market. Throughout his career he has mentored more than 40 graduate students and served as an academic adviser to more than 300 undergraduate students.

Read more about the research endowment in the Wisconsin State Journal.