NDSU research: ‘Top-class professors who are the best in the business’


Venkateswara Rao Kadium can envision his future as he carefully tends a small vineyard just to the west of NDSU’s main campus.

Kadium is seeking his master’s degree in plant sciences, focusing on genomics and plant breeding. He is a member of NDSU’s research group developing grape varieties that are cold-weather hardy and will benefit the growing wine industry in the Midwest. The work is under the direction of Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, assistant department head and professor of high value crop production.

“What gives a better feeling than working in the vineyard during the beautiful North Dakota summer? I enjoy everything I’m doing, ranging from phenology study to genotyping,” said Kadium, who grew up on a farm in southern India. “Moreover, working with grape plants and making wine is lot of fun.”

Kadium plans a career as a plant breeder, and he chose to journey to Fargo to continue his education for a simple reason – he wanted to learn from the best.

“NDSU is a renowned land grant university conducting diversified research,” Kadium said. “The plant sciences department here is very broad with research on crop production, variety development and processing. The advanced research of different crops ranges from wheat to grape. Research at NDSU provided me the opportunity to imagine myself in farmer’s shoes to better understand their problems and to formulate solutions.”

At NDSU, hands-on research is a vital element of student learning. That’s a concept Kadium fully endorses.

“Research at NDSU gave me the opportunity to work with top-class professors who are the best in the business, and learn about different techniques, equipment widely used in plant breeding and new variety development,” he said. “I’m sure the knowledge I gained will help me to excel as a plant breeder in the future.”

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