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Semilla Nueva’s Boise Roots

While Semilla Nueva is based in Guatemala, it was really born in Boise, Idaho, rooted in co-founder Curt Bowen’s upbringing on a small organic farm. Its launch in 2010 and its subsequent evolution owe much to the involvement of numerous Boise community members, many of whom remain involved today. Kathleen and Ben Simko are a…

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Meet Our Farmers: Don Zacarias

Meet Don Zacarias Bautista Martínez from Comapa, Jutiapa, in southeast Guatemala. He’s a hardworking farmer and father of five who feeds his family with what he grows. His only income comes from maize. His family’s bank account is a big plastic grain silo that holds 2,000 pounds of corn (worth about $400). They sell part…

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Semilla Nueva: An example of how international development can work 

On March 6, US Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made opening remarks at a full committee hearing on global food security, discussing the world’s collective failure to tackle this persistent problem, and named Semilla Nueva’s collaboration with USAID as an example of what is needed to improve US…

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Elisa Hernández, Semilla Nueva

Elisa Hernández: Making a difference in every community she visits 

Elisa Hernández, one of Semilla Nueva’s 10 Commercial Technical Advisors, known by the Spanish acronym ATCs, is passionate about her work. “Every year, I work with over 400 small farming families who can transform their lives using our seeds,” she says. Semilla Nueva’s ATCs are crucial to expanding the use of biofortified seeds in Guatemala….

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Cultivating a Legacy: Beltrán Ventura’s experience with biofortified hybrids 

Beltrán Ventura Tum developed a deep respect for the land and a love of farming by accompanying his father to the field as a young boy. “From the time I was little, my father stressed the importance of respecting and caring for the land, and I saw him take great pride in his work,” Beltrán…

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Ensuring a Brighter Future: Glenn and Marlys Haughie’s Impact on Semilla Nueva

Glenn Haughie and his late wife Marlys, childhood sweethearts from Clarkfield, Minnesota, shared a deep passion for improving the lives of others. They married just before Glenn began studies at Harvard Medical School in 1961. After graduating, Glenn worked as a public health physician at the county and state levels in New York. In the…

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A Game-Changer in Breeding Maize for Better Nutrition

In February, Semilla Nueva launched its first gene editing project with scientists at the University of Wisconsin. This technology could transform Semilla Nueva’s ability to scale biofortified maize. “Imagine a pair of tiny precision scissors that allow us to insert a gene for nutrition into the DNA of a maize variety known for its high…

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