A. Forrest Troyer

x2009 Agribusiness 

A. Forrest Troyer has devoted his life to developing improved corn hybrids for the farmer coupled with developing innovative and novel plant breeding methodologies for producing new corn hybrids. His impact on corn production is felt throughout Minnesota, the United States, and the world.

Born on a farm near La Fontaine, Indiana that has been in the seed corn 
business since the 1890s, Troyer is the third generation of his family to breed corn. He earned a B.S. from Purdue University in 1954; an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1956; and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1964. 

In 1958 Troyer joined Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company as a corn research station manager. He was subsequently promoted several times. In 1977 he became research director for Pfizer Genetics and was elected vice president in 1981. After the merger of Dekalb and Pfizer, Troyer served in various positions of increasing responsibility until his retirement in 1993. He then went on to serve as a business consultant for Cargill Hybrid Seeds until 1998, when he was appointed adjunct professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois. 

To date Troyer has personally developed or co-developed 40 commercial corn hybrids that have sold over 60 million bags of seed—more than enough to plant all the corn in North America for two years. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on genetic diversity and the genetic background of hybrid corn in the United States. He has published several substantial articles in the flagship journal Crop Science since his retirement that have become invaluable as references for both new and experienced plant breeders alike. 

In addition to his professional achievements Troyer is an ardent supporter of the University of Minnesota making several trips each year from DeKalb, Illinois to the St. Paul campus with his wife Joyce to attend departmental functions. Troyer’s commitment to educating the next generation of corn breeders is unwavering. Clearly there is no doubt that as one of his nominators so succinctly put it, “Dr. Troyer’s corn breeding career has been nothing short of remarkable.”