BS’08 Horticulture, MS’11 Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics
Based in Waterville, Maine, Emily Haga is a plant breeder for Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Her work entails developing new varieties of tomatoes and lettuce to support the needs of small-scale farm- ers who participate primarily in local markets. The opportunity to apply her passion for food, farming and science to develop solutions for problems faced by local farmers has been most satisfying to Haga. As an undergraduate at CALS, Haga participated in two independent research projects—one concerning plant flowering times, the other an evaluation of pepper germplasm for adaptation to Wisconsin’s short growing season—that gave her hands-on experience in her intended field. As a master’s student, Haga conducted a multiyear field study on early blight resistance in potatoes. Haga’s time at CALS exposed her to a wide range of disciplines within the field and provided her with skills that she draws on each day as a member of the seed industry, she says.