Press Release

Leading Global Biotech Authority Pamela Ronald to Keynote ISA Symposium

August 24, 2015



Leading Global Biotech Authority Pamela Ronald to Keynote ISA Symposium


BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – August 24, 2015 – Pamela Ronald, professor and director of the Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation at University of California-Davis, will present the keynote address at the International Biotechnology Symposium, Aug. 31, in Bloomington, Ill.  The symposium is presented by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA).  


Ronald is recognized by "Scientific American" as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Biotechnology."  In what is expected to be an insightful and wide-ranging presentation, Ronald will discuss biotechnology, genetic innovation and global food security.  She is coauthor of the book, "Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food."


Her insights on biotechnology and genetic innovation in agriculture have been recognized by global leaders including Bill Gates, who called her book, "important for anyone that wants to learn about the science of seeds and challenges faced by farmers."  Her 2015 TED Talk on plant genetics, food security and sustainable agriculture has been viewed more than one million times on YouTube and has been translated into 17 languages.


"We are excited to secure Pamela Ronald as our keynote speaker," says Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and ISA chairman.  "She is recognized as one of the preeminent experts on biotechnology worldwide and is sure to share some compelling insights at the symposium."


The International Biotechnology Symposium, planned as a half-day event preceding the Farm Progress Show, will give farmers, association and regulatory leaders, technology providers and international trading partners the opportunity to contribute to a conversation about building biotechnology acceptance.  The program will focus on new biotech trait approvals, trade with China and Europe, and the role of biotechnology in food supply, global market and food security solutions.  The symposium is supported through membership funding and industry sponsorships.


Registration is still open for the event to be held at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Bloomington. Registration is $100 for American Soybean Association members and $150 for non-members.  To register and learn more about the program, visit


About Professor Pam Ronald

Pamela Ronald, PhD, is director of the Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation and a professor at the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California-Davis. Ronald led isolation of the rice XA21 immune receptor and the rice Sub1A submergence tolerance transcription factor.  She and her colleagues received the USDA 2008 National Research Initiative Discovery Award for work on rice submergence tolerance.  She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair and National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Journalism Award.  She is coauthor with organic farmer and husband, Raoul Adamchak, of Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food.


ISA represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts.  The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education.  Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmers' interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.  ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.  For more information, visit the website


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Amy Roady                                                             




Kristin Liska