Image of popcorn ear in field.

Fall 2020: September 28 – October 30, 2020

Professional Certificate

One Unit

The module is also offered for noncredit professional development. Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) may earn 7 Crop Management and 3 Pest Management CEUs.


P. Stephen Baenziger


Noncredit Professional Development by credit card


Genetic variation is the driving force behind crop breeding efforts; and, in this module, individuals learn the importance of creating the necessary genetic resource variation for conventional and modern plant breeding programs.  Learners will gain mastery in applying plant breeding strategies to obtain germplasm and genes from cultivated plants and their wild relatives, and explore genetic diversity from world’s great centers of crop diversity. Learners will also recognize where modern biotechnology provides the ability to move genes from one species to another to create genetic variation. The origin of crops and how crop ancestors have co-evolved with many crop diseases/insects and plants are highlighted.


Online learners have the option of participating in live lectures presented twice weekly to resident, on-campus students, or viewing the taped lectures online. The resident class section, which will be available “live” via the Internet for distance learners, will meet on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in 272 Plant Sciences Hall on UNL’s East Campus.


High speed Internet access, email, and the ability to view videos.


  • Plant Breeding: Principles and Practices, course notes by P. Stephen Baenziger (recommended)
  • Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding, by George Acquaah (recommended reference text)

Course notes may be downloaded from online class environment. Purchase Acquaah book from the University Bookstore or from


At least one prior course in genetics is recommended.


Noncredit Professional Development Module: $270 total cost

Who it's for

Among those who would benefit from taking this session are:

  • Seed industry personnel
  • Agronomists and crop consultants (Certified Crop Advisors may earn 7 Crop Management and 3 Pest Management CEUs.)
  • Food industry personnel
  • Extension educators, agents and specialists
  • Producers
  • Certified Crop Advisors