She never intended to study in the field of agriculture but her microbiology courses sparked a fascination with new technologies that promised to transform farming, and Zehr soon found herself immersed in the subject she had intended to avoid.
A Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she worked at Purdue University in the sorghum improvement program. For almost two decades, she has been utilizing new technologies and tools, including biotechnology for improving the quality and productivity of seeds and agriculture.
Breaking glass ceilings is not easy for women and to head a company is certainly not that easy. But when one aspires and puts in the right effort, the results happen. Dr. Usha Barwale Zehr is Director and Chief Technology Officer at Mahyco Private Limited (MAHYCO), India. In addition, Dr. Zehr serves as Director of the Barwale Foundation, a non-profit research foundation. She also serves on the Board of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa.
Mahyco Pvt. Ltd focuses on research and development, production, processing, and marketing of seeds for Indian farmers. Founded in 1964, Mahyco is the pioneer of high-quality hybrid and open-pollinated seeds, through the use of cutting-edge technology and intensive research activities.
To know more about her you can listen to the below TEDx talk delivered by her.
My one-line take away- Roles are not based on gender but on ability & talent .
PS: I have planned to take up non-fiction this year as my theme for the A2Z challenge, where every day in the month of April ( except Sundays) I will be writing about women in the stream of science and their contributions. Disclaimer -The information collected is from different sources available online.
The main objective is to draw inspiration and share information about such great lives who did it, despite all difficulties in their life.