Foundation Seed Coordinator is Proud of Facility’s Accomplishments
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Jeff Wright grew up on a small farm near Rush Springs, Oklahoma. He attended Cameron University in Lawton where he graduated with a B.S. in Agriculture. Soon after college, he started farming and worked at Braum’s Dairy for about a year. He married his wife, and pursued work in Missouri, Texas and Kansas. Throughout that time, he worked in product development, managing corn and grain sorghum trials, and helped sales teams better understand necessary characteristics for hybrids for the region. When an opportunity came to return to Oklahoma, he took it, and has stayed ever since, where he and his wife raised their daughter.
Wright manages Foundation Seed, which is a self-funded program in the university. At Foundation Seed, they sell these seeds to seedsmen and farmers mainly in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, but they have shipped seeds to other states and countries.
“We work very close with the breeders in increasing new varieties of wheat, peanuts, barley and grasses. We also maintain pure seed stock of older varieties that are adapted to our region,” Wright said.
Throughout his time working in agriculture, primarily for small ag businesses, and later the private seed industry for around 12 years, Wright said he has taken all his experiences to heart.
“It’s been like a puzzle put together from growing up on a small farm and having a passion to farm or work in agriculture,” Wright said. “I think this just gives me an all-around perspective of what we do at Foundation Seed.”
One of the accomplishments Wright is most proud of is the new facility that he and those at Foundation Seed moved into a few years ago.
“We have had great industry support and have been able to add new equipment over the last 10 years as well that helps us to be more efficient and better as a program,” he said.
Foundation Seed’s team has also spent more time increasing small amounts of Exp seeds developed by the Wheat Improvement Team so that if released, can speed up the time and increase the amounts that can be used commercially, with the hopes to improve farmers’ productivity while also helping to feed a growing population.
“It’s very exciting to see what is coming down the pipeline of varieties and how they can have an impact on not only the growers but the industry as well,” Wright said. “I have made a lot of great friends and get to work with a lot of great people in the ag industry.”
Some aspects of working at Foundation Seed Wright enjoys the most are being able to farm, as that is what he has always wanted to do, as well as working with students.
“I just farm across this great state of ours,” he said. “The seasons are always changing, and we are doing something different in each of those. Since I have been here, there have been over a dozen students who after their graduation have went to work in the seed industry.”
Wright said he finds it very rewarding knowing those at Foundation Seed have helped students with skills they can use in their careers.
Outside of work, Wright likes to spend time with his family and friends, ride 4 wheelers on sand dunes or on trails in the mountains and go fishing.