College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources


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NDSU oat breeder receives distinguished service award

Michael McMullen, oat breeder and professor in the NDSU Department of Plant Sciences, received the Distinguished Service to Oat Improvement Award from the American Oat Workers Conference. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions and service toward making oats a successful agricultural species.

McMullen has released 27 oat cultivars, and has generated and developed extensive volumes of germplasm with multiple crown rust resistance genes that are used by other oat breeders in several countries. He also developed a considerable volume of oat germplasm with improved nutritional traits; in particular, some of the highest beta glucan lines available. McMullen has registered several patents on oat varieties, received plant variety protection certifications, and been granted Plant Breeder’s Rights in both the U.S. and Canada.

McMullen earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University, master’s degree from Colorado State University and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

The American Oat Workers Conference advances oat improvement and culture in North America and the world. Its membership includes scientists and others actively engaged in the improvement, management and utilization of oats. For more information, visit and

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


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