Del Tech Students Attend Biotech University

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Four Delaware Tech scholars recently completed Biotech University thanks to a scholarship from the Delaware Soybean Board.

Four Del Tech students, Kevin Shuman, Samantha Monroe, Caitlin Chaney and Jenna Hitchens attended Biotech University.

Four Del Tech students, Kevin Shuman, Samantha Monroe, Caitlin Chaney and Jenna Hitchens attended Biotech University.

Giving these young journalists the opportunity to learn about biotechnology and ask questions about how it works will help them help others understand the technology in their future stories.

Four Delaware Tech scholars recently completed Biotech University thanks to a scholarship from the Delaware Soybean Board.

Caitlin Chaney of Bridgeville, Jenna Hitchens of Georgetown, Samantha Monroe of Bridgeville and Kevin Shuman of Seaford completed the one-day course held at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in Phoenix Oct. 28. The course included classroom and lab work on biotechnology, including a hands-on DNA extraction experiment and a farm tour. The students now have the opportunity to compete in a multimedia contest to win scholarships and additional travel opportunities.

“Soybean varieties which have been improved through biotechnology represent the majority of our crop,” says Jay Baxter, a Georgetown, Del., farmer and chairman of the Delaware Soybean Board. “Yet in spite of how common they are, we see and hear a lot of misunderstandings about them. Giving these young journalists the opportunity to learn about biotechnology and ask questions about how it works will help them help others understand the technology in their future stories.”

Monroe, a former Delaware Tech student, currently is pursuing her bachelors in Media Communications at Wilmington University. Hitchens is also a DTCC grad. Chaney and Shuman continue their journalism studies at Del Tech.

Biotech U is co-sponsored by the United Soybean Board, the National Corn Growers Association, the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute and Arizona Farm Bureau.

Delaware farmers plant about 180,000 acres of soybeans each year, and the crop generates approximately $60 million in value to the state. Delaware’s agricultural industry contributes about $8 billion per year to the Delaware economy.

The Delaware Soybean Board consists of nine farmer-directors and the Secretary of Agriculture. Funded through a one-half of one percent assessment on the net market value of soybeans at their first point of sale, the checkoff works with partners in the value chain to identify and capture opportunities that increase farmer profit potential. One-half of the soybean checkoff assessments collected by the state boards are forwarded to the United Soybean Board.

About Delaware Soybean Board: The Delaware Soybean Board administers soybean checkoff funds for soybean research, marketing and education programs in the state. One-half of the checkoff funds stay in Delaware for programs; the other half is sent to the United Soybean Board. To learn more about the Delaware Soybean Board, visit http://www.desoybeans.org.

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Susanne Zilberfarb
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