Professor Anne Dorrance knew early in her career she wanted to find answers that would help growers improve their yields and bottom lines. With past experience in several different crops, she narrowed her research focus to soybeans upon joining the team at The Ohio State University in September 1997.
Originally from upstate New York, Dorrance was raised the granddaughter of a dairy farmer and the daughter of a college professor. She intertwined her roots in both agriculture and academia and now provides Ohio soybean farmers with innovative genetic solutions to control and prevent disease in their fields.
“In soybeans, the most effective way to fight disease is through genetics and resistance,” said Dorrance. “There is no need for farmers to utilize any further inputs and it is the most natural.”
Dorrance and her team at the Soybean Pathology Lab focus heavily on genetic improvement and the development of disease resistance in soybeans. She strives to provide growers with the best possible varieties for increased yields and maximized return on investment.
Throughout the summer, Dorrance spends several days a week out in the field observing her own data and working with students. She also assists crop consultants and county extension agents in troubleshooting severe pathogen problems as they arise on local farms.
When the growing season wraps up, Dorrance turns primarily to analyzing data and teaching classes like Field Crop Pathology. In addition to teaching, she advises graduate students, relaying her passion for developing disease-resistant soybeans to the next generation of researchers.
“My goal in life is to eliminate all soybean diseases,” said Dorrance.