Breeder Mark Farnham retires

Mark Farnham in his research field at the Unites States Vegetable Lab in Charleston, SC, showing off broccoli that grew in the summer heat without defects

Mark Farnham was one of the key instigators of the Eastern Broccoli Project, which was made possible in the beginning because of the advances he made in heat tolerance in the 1990s and early 2000s. His position with USDA-ARS made it possible to invest in a far-sighted goal during that time, and that breeding has now been brought to fruition. Several of his broccoli parental lines and hybrids are, or will soon be, released for use in industry. As of today, August 1, 2020, Mark is a retiree.

In addition to maintaining a vigorous research program, Mark served as Research Leader for the US Vegetable Lab, helping assure the high performance of that unit.

Mark hired Zach Stansell to work in his program for many years. As a result of his excellent work with Mark, Zach went on to do his PhD at Cornell University with Thomas Björkman, and is now working for USDA-ARS in Geneva to complete the circle.

Mark is also known for his high-glucosinolate broccoli and downy-mildew resistant collards.

The Eastern Broccoli Project is fortunate to have Mark continue as an official collaborator through the end of the project so that he can continue contributing leadership in the breeding program, and make sure that his best germplasm is used by industry and his successors in public-sector breeding.

The Eastern Broccoli Project team wishes Mark the best in his retirement and in his continued engagement with us.