Broccoli breeder Akira Nishi in the Salinas field discussing broccoli varieties.
Broccoli breeder Akira Nishi in the Salinas field discussing broccoli varieties.

Education:

B.S. – Horticultural Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Years of Service at Sakata–2005 to Present

Currently Breeding: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage and Greens

Akira, what inspired you to become a vegetable plant breeder?

Throughout my childhood my father bred orchids during his free time at his friend’s orchid farm. I sometimes visited the farm with my father and I was continuously amazed at the vast range of orchid varieties. Over the years, I saw so many people who were very excited about the orchids bred by the farm. This experience was a great source of inspiration to me. I started to realize that I wanted to be a plant breeder and to make something new and surprise people.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is every moment I evaluate our inbred and hybrid varieties to see how they perform. The plants look different to me every day, even in the same field. It means that every time when I look at plants, I can get some new findings that are important for breeding – which is very fun!