Bill Tracy


University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor and Chair, Department of Agronomy
Madison, WI


Among Bill's earliest memories is a fascination with the diversity of plants. He feels incredibly fortunate to have been able to pursue his passion by studying and breeding sweet corn for more than 40 years. He works closely with commercial sweet corn breeders and has developed sweet corn inbreds grown commercially on every continent with arable land. Breeding of sweet corn began at UW in 1919, when there were numerous public sweet corn breeding programs. Bill, the fourth UW sweet corn breeder, now leads one of the two remaining public programs. This past February, Bill was named the Clif Bar and Organic Valley Chair in Organic Plant Breeding at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is the first ever endowed chair in organic plant breeding, awarded to someone with a track record in developing cultivars under certified organic conditions and training graduate students in organic plant breeding. He currently advises four graduate students working on research related to organic plant breeding.