A changing of (some of) the guard

Twenty-eight years ago today, on February 24th, 1992, I (Charlene Wight) joined what is now the Ottawa Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to work on oat genomics. Over those 28 years I have met many amazing people in the broader oat community, including Bruce Roskens, who recently retired from Grain Millers, Inc.. A summary of Bruce's career, which includes his being presented with the Award for Distinguished Service to Oat Improvement, has been added to the "Hall of Fame" section under "Retirements".

Bruce was instrumental in forming the Oat Global group, which has recently seen changes for two more members. Britta Hansen moved to a new position at Land O'Lakes Venture 37 at the end of January, which you can read about in the "Community News" section. Gabe Gusmini has moved on from PepsiCo and is co-founder and CEO of a new plant breeding business called The Plant Pathways Company.

There are other changes at PepsiCo as well. Oat breeder Tyler Tiede left the company last fall, and has been replaced by Tyr Wiesner-Hanks. Ceely Will has also joined the PepsiCo oat breeding team. Welcome to the oat community, Tyr and Ceely!

Here at Ottawa RDC, Judith Frégeau-Reid, leader of the Grain Quality Lab, retired last October. A summary of her career is also in the "Hall of Fame" section under "Retirements". Judith has been replaced by Mehri Hadinezhad, whom some of you met at the Cereals and Grains Association meeting last fall. On the genomics side, many of you will already know Wubishet (Wubi) Bekele, who was doing post-doctoral work with Nick Tinker. Wubi is now a research scientist in his own right, and will continue to work alongside Nick. Congratulations, Mehri and Wubi!

At the Brandon Research Centre of AAFC, Jennifer Mitchell Fetch will be retiring at the end of March. The new oat breeder for western Canada will be Kirby Nilsen. Congratulations and welcome, Kirby! Another retirement coming soon is that of Mike Bonman, plant pathologist at the USDA-ARS in Aberdeen, Idaho. A celebration of his career will be taking place on February 27th.

In other news, Weikai Yan (ORDC, AAFC) was recently made a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Jean-Luc Jannink (USDA-ARS at Cornell U.) made the 2019 "Highly Cited Reseachers" list, and Martin Mascher (IPK Gatersleben) won this year's Guenter-und-Anna-Wricke Preis (article in German). Then we have Anne Osbourn (John Innes Centre), who has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Anne was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society earlier in 2019. Congratulations to you all!

2020 has been declared the International Year of Plant Health. In the "Historical documents" section, a link to the "History of the Dominion Rust lab", reprinted in 2019 in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, has just been added.

As always, please keep an eye on the events calendar for upcoming meetings and courses. In January, Saaten-Union held their Oat Conference in Braunschweig, Germany. You can find a summary of that meeting, along with some short videos, in the "Other Meetings" section.

The registration deadline for the NAMA Spring Conference is February 26th, and abstracts for the 11th International Oat Conference (IOC11) in Perth, Australia, are due by March 31st. Registration for IOC11 is ongoing, and please note that there are plans for various satellite meetings after the main conference. You will be asked whether you have any interest in these when you register for the main meeting. In addition, Georgie Troup has offered to help anyone make plans while they are in the Perth area. She can be reached on Twitter @GeorgieTroup or by email at Georgina.Troup@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Finally, my "Web Harvest" from this past December through January is now available in the "Community News" section. Keep on being amazing, people!