Research associates join Limagrain Cereal Seeds

by Eric Schroeder
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FORT COLLINS, COLO. — Hayley Butler and Zach Gaines have joined Limagrain Cereal Seeds, a subsidiary of Group Limagrain, the largest plant breeder and seed company in Europe. Both Ms. Butler and Mr. Gaines are graduates of Colorado State University.

“Our decision to select Fort Collins as the location for our North American subsidiary was based in no small part on proximity to Colorado State University,” said Frank Curtis, executive vice-president and chief operations officer at Limagrain Cereal Seeds. “As C.S.U. graduates, both Hayley and Zach exemplify the kind of talent, experience and initiative we look for in our team members. We are very pleased to have them working for Limagrain.”

Mr. Gaines most recently was a production manager at Anheuser-Busch in Los Angeles. Earlier, he was a research technician in the malt barley breeding program at Busch Agricultural Resources.

“My role here at Limagrain is very similar to what I did initially with Anheuser-Busch — only I’ll be working with wheat this time instead of barley,” Mr. Gaines said. “It’s exciting to work for a company that will be a major player in the U.S. wheat market.”

Ms. Butler will work closely with Mr. Gaines on the wheat breeding program until Limagrain’s local quality lab is up and running. A Colorado native with 14 years of experience working in Colorado agriculture, Ms. Butler said she is looking forward to overseeing the quality lab, essentially a testing environment that helps researchers evaluate how the various wheat varieties perform in real-world scenarios like mixing and baking.

“It’s essentially my dream job — when the quality lab is in place, I’ll be baking breads and cookies, using instruments like the mixograph and near-infrared spectroscopy to help breeders make better-informed decisions about wheat quality,” she said. “In the meantime, I’m working alongside Zach, entering data, preparing seed for plant trials, working in the greenhouse … one of the best parts about working in agriculture is the diversity of the job.”

Group Limagrain was founded in France in 1942. The farmer-owned company has 7,000 employees and is the largest seed company in the European Union. Fort Collins serves as the North American headquarters of Limagrain Cereal Seeds, the newest subsidiary of the Limagrain Group. L.C.S. also has regional research stations in Washington, Indiana, Minnesota and Kansas.
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