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About the network

Our nationwide team aims to breed and release improved cover crop varieties by:


Advancing cover crop genetics using traditional breeding, marker-assisted selection, high-throughput phenotyping, genome sequencing, and multi-environment trials;


Engaging farmers through surveys to identify breeding targets, facilitating on-farm selection, and conducting participatory variety testing to select lines for release;


Multi-environment testing of advanced breeding lines at over a dozen nationwide sites (including USDA-NRCS-PMCs) to identify what varieties perform best in specific regions.

See what we do


Contact us!                                                        

Cornell University - Ithaca, NY

Breeding: Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Cereal Rye
Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Cereal Rye, Winter Brassica

Project Director: Virginia Moore                                     

Co-Project Director: Matt Ryan                                      

Network Coordinator: Solveig Hanson                          

Research Support: Ryan Crawford, Jamie Crawford, Chris Pelzer, Kristen Loria

Students: Raksha Thapa, Erika Everest

Past Contributor: Jenyne Loarca

USDA-ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research - Beltsville, MD

Breeding: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Cereal Rye
Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Cereal Rye

Co-Project Director: Steven Mirsky                                

Research Support: Ruth Mangum, Allen Burke

Past Contributor: Jude Maul

North Carolina State University - Raleigh, NC

Breeding: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Cereal Rye
Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Cereal Rye, Winter Brassica

Co-Project Director: Chris Reberg-Horton                    

Co-Project Director: Ramon Leon Gonzalez                 

Co-Project Director: J. Paul Murphy                              

Research Support: Alyssa Woodard, Esleyther Henriquez

Past Contributors: Lais Bastos Martins, Sarah Seehaver Eagen, Democ Rebong

University of Georgia - Athens, GA

Breeding: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch

Research Lead: Jessica Barb                                             

USDA-ARS Dairy Forage Research - Madison, WI

Breeding: Hairy Vetch
Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Winter Brassica

Co-Project Director: Heathcliffe Riday                           

Hairy Vetch Lead: Lisa Kissing Kucek                             

Research Support: Neal Tilhou

Past Contributor: Elizabeth Matejczyk

University of Minnesota - St. Paul, MN

Breeding: Hairy Vetch, Cereal Rye
Trials: Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea

Co-Project Director: Nancy Ehlke                                   

Co-Project Director: Robert Stupar                                

Research Support: Steven Mulkey

Past Contributors: Adria Fernandez, Nick Wiering

Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS

Breeding: Winter Brassica
Trials: Winter Brassica

Research Lead: Mike Stamm                                            

North Dakota State University - Carrington, ND

Breeding: Winter Pea
Trials: Winter Pea

Research Lead: Mike Ostlie                                             

Past Co-Project Director: Steve Zwinger   

USDA-ARS Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research - Pullman, WA

Breeding and Seed Increase: Winter Pea

Co-Project Director: Rebecca McGee                           

USDA-NRCS Jimmy Carter Plant Materials Center - Americus, GA

Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Winter Brassica

Research Lead: Nicholas McGhee                                 

Auburn University - Auburn, AL

Trials: Crimson Clover

Research Lead: Marnin Wolfe                                         

University of Missouri - Columbia, MO

Trials: Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Winter Brassica

Project Director: Rob Myers                                            

Research Lead: Kerry Clark                                             

Natl Cover Crop Variety Dev. Project Mgr: Mollie Herget

Student: Joey Meinert

Past Contributor: Kimberly Griffin

USDA-ARS Livestock, Forage, and Pasture Management - El Reno, OK

Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea, Winter Brassica

Research Lead: Travis Witt                                               

Texas A&M University - College Station, TX

Trials: Crimson Clover

Research Lead: Gerald Smith                                         

USDA-NRCS Smith Plant Materials Center - Knox City, TX

Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch

Research Lead: Brandon Carr                                         

Past Contributor: Dustin Wiggans

USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research - Mandan, ND


Research Lead: John Hendrickson                                 

Research Lead: David Archer                                     

Research Support: Holly Johnson

USDA-NRCS Pullman Plant Materials Center - Pullman, WA

Trials: Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea

Research Lead: Steven Lee                                                                               

Past Contributor: Jessica Wayment

USDA-NRCS Great Basin Plant Materials Center - Fallon, NV


Research Lead: Chris Bernau                                                                          

USDA-NRCS Lockeford Plant Materials Center - Lockeford, CA


Research Lead: Margaret Smither-Kopperl                                               

USDA-NRCS Corvallis Plant Materials Center - Corvallis, OR

Trials: Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch

Research Lead: Amy Bartow                                                                      

Research Support: Ian Silvernail

University of Alaska - Fairbanks, AK

Trials: Hairy Vetch, Winter Pea

Research Lead: Mingchu Zhang                                                                

USDA-NRCS Elsberry Plant Materials Center - Elsberry, MO

Seed Increase

Research Lead: Ron Cordsiemon                                                                

USDA-NRCS Aberdeen Plant Materials Center - Aberdeen, ID

Seed Increase

Research Lead: Derek Tilley                                                                         

USDA-NPGS Temperate Forage Legume Genetic Research - Prosser, WA

Seed Production Trials & Seed Increase

Research Lead: Brian Irish                                               

USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center Administrators

Trials & Seed Increase

National Program Leader: John Englert                        

Eastern Region Plant Materials Specialist: Allen Casey

Central Region Plant Materials Specialist: Joel Douglas

West Region Plant Materials Specialist: Heather Dial  


Mark Doudlah - Evansville, WI

Wendy Johnson - Charles City, IA

Jonathon Moser - Mandan, ND

Theresa and Dan Podoll - Fullerton, ND

Steve Zwinger - Carrington, ND

On-Farm Variety Trials

     Nico Enjalbert                                                                                SeedLinked


USDA - Agriculture & Food Research Initiative - Sustainable Agriculture Systems

USDA - National Institute of Food & Agriculture - Organic Research Extension Initiative

National Institute for Food and Agriculture

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

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