Brad May presents the grand prize for the Better Seed, Better Life Student Video Contest to Kevin Falk, who received the award for the second year in a row. (AgWired photo)

Chicago, IL (December 10, 2019) - For the second year in a row, Kevin Falk, Iowa State University, is the grand prize winner of the Better Seed, Better Life Student Video Contest. Falk was honored this morning during the Opening General Session of ASTA’s CSS & Seed Expo 2019 in Chicago.

Watch his winning video here.

The Better Seed, Better Life Student Video Contest is a collaboration between the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) and the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of American and Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies). Open to both graduate and undergraduate university students, this year’s contest focused on the theme, “Our Planet, Our Health, Our Food – it all starts with the Seed.”

Falk is a recent PhD graduate of Iowa State University where he focused on soybean breeding. He holds a master’s in plant breeding from the University of Manitoba and worked in canola breeding and crop protection programs at Monsanto then Bayer for five years prior to pursuing his PhD. His PhD work focuses around harnessing technology to develop high throughput phenotyping platforms and machine learning approaches to advance plant breeding.

Falk is interested in science, agriculture and using media to connect and communicate with the public. He recently accepted a position with Corteva Agriscience as an Integrated Field Sciences Research Scientist with aspirations to cultivate innovation in plant science.

Second place went to Matthew Wilson, University of Missouri; and third place went to Hannah Van Eendenburg, University of Colorado Boulder. Videos were judged by an expert panel of volunteers from ASTA, NAPB, and Tri-Societies. Winning students received cash prizes.

Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) represents over 700 companies involved in seed production, plant breeding and related industries in North America. ASTA is the leading voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. The association's broad membership offers varieties from alfalfa to zucchini and all production types including conventional, organic and biotech. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.

Kevin Falk