WASHINGTON, D.C.-The National Potato Council awarded Michael Hardigan, graduate student in Michigan State University's Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Program, its 2012-13 Academic Scholarship.
Hardigan's coursework is focused on developing the skills to implement modern, highly advanced genetic and genomics techniques that NPC believes will continue to enhance U.S. potato production. Hardigan is currently involved in research projects to identify drought tolerance characteristics in wild potatoes as well as the genes responsible for hybrid vigor, which contribute to fitness and result in larger tuber yields.
"These projects, along with my ambition to pursue a future career in potato research, will play an important role in moving U.S. potato production forward into the 21st Century," Hardigan said.
Each year, NPC awards one $5,000 scholarship to a graduate student pursuing advanced studies to enhance the potato industry. Hardigan stood out in a field of qualified applicants, all of whom are helping to push the industry toward a strong future. Final scholarship selection was based on academic achievement, leadership abilities and the potential commercial value of the applicant's academic work.