First Maunder-Borlaug scholarship awarded to Wilber student

Morgan Tranmer
Morgan Tranmer

Bruce and Kathy Maunder have dedicated their lives to a passion and commitment for education from a global perspective, especially for students in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

It seems fitting then that the Maunders, along with Bruce's mentor Norman Borlaug, are namesakes for a new UNL scholarship. The scholarship, offered once a year to a CASNR student pursuing an education focused on global food security, has been awarded to Morgan Tranmer of Wilber its inaugural year.

Bruce Maunder, a UNL alumnus in agronomy, developed his interest in international agriculture and food security from a year overseas as a high school senior and through his career as DeKalb's worldwide sorghum research director. He was responsible for hybrids grown or tested in 45 countries, leading to development of more than 150 commercial sorghum hybrids.

Maunder's research emphasized biotic and abiotic stress tolerance affecting crop improvement. Maunder also worked with Borlaug, the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner celebrated for his leadership of the "Green Revolution" that helped feed the world.

Maunder spent seven years as an active member of the World Food Prize leadership.

"The World Food Prize has allowed me to be acquainted with outstanding contributors to reducing famine and raising the standard of living," Maunder said. "I was fortunate to be active in plant breeding the second half of the 20th Century, a time frame that allowed basic genetic principles to feed twice as many people from virtually the same amount of land."

Tranmer, a freshman majoring in agronomy and entomology, was a participant in the 2012 World Food Prize Nebraska Youth Institute and a Borlaug-Ruan Intern to Kenya in 2013. She hopes to work in developing countries after her graduation.