About the 2009 Lecturer | Dr. Bruce Maunder

Dr. Bruce Maunder has earned recognition for his preeminent contributions as an agricultural scientist, industry leader, and for increasing the world food supply through research. Dr. Maunder lives in Lubbock, Texas, and is enjoying "semi-retirement" following a 37-year career with DEKALB Genetics Corp.

Born and raised in Holdrege, Neb., Dr. Maunder attended the University of Nebraska and earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1956. He moved to West Lafayette, Ind., and added two Purdue University degrees– a master’s in agriculture in 1958 and a doctorate in agriculture in 1960. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Nebraska in 1991, and an honorary doctorate of agriculture from Purdue University in 2003.

Dr. Maunder began his career in 1960 with DEKALB AgResearch as a sorghum breeder. A positive work ethic fueled by pure enjoyment of this research allowed him to excel in product development with some 150 forage and grain hybrids grown in more than 35 countries on 4 million hectares. For his efforts, Dr. Maunder was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Sorghum Research at DEKALB in 1991.

Experiences while a student at the University of Nebraska and Purdue University enabled Dr. Maunder to recognize the need for diversity of germplasm and also to rely extensively on the utilization of the world collection. His humanitarian instincts were encouraged by researching a traditional crop for much of Asia and Africa and also by his opportunity to serve as an external evaluator of United States AID research for 22 years.

Dr. Maunder contributed to state and federal academic activities through lectures, reviews, and advisory committees, and provided financial support with grants and scholarships. He was able to combine his education with opportunity to increase agricultural production worldwide during a period when the world’s population more than doubled. He gained recognition as a worldwide leader in plant breeding and genetics.

Currently, Dr. Maunder volunteers his expertise with the National Sorghum Producers, federal and state programs, and private sector activities, including the World Food Prize. In his years of retirement, he has given papers and written technical material for 13 conferences affecting 12 countries. The most recent recognitions for his efforts include the Monsanto Distinguished Career Award, the American Seed Trade Distinguished Service Award, the Australian Award for Worldwide Sorghum Improvement, and the Henry Beachell Distinguished Alumni Award.