Seed Scientist Francis Kwong passed away

Francis Kwong - photo: Ball Horticultural Company

Francis Kwong – photo: Ball Horticultural Company

Francis Kwong, 65, Director of seed technology for PanAmerican Seed in West Chicago, Illinois (US) passed away July 30. “He will be missed greatly here at Ball. He had the mind of a scientist and the soul of an artist,” says Anna Ball, president and CEO of Ball Horticultural Company. PanAmerican Seed is part of Ball. In a press release, the company describes how Kwong’s commitment and dedication to the industry for seed production helped PanAmerican Seed farms produce high-quality products and solve problems where others could not. “His research was also instrumental in groundbreaking seed products such as Angelonia, Calibrachoa, and New Guinea Impatiens.”
Kwong had a 38-year career in the seed industry where he spent a majority of them with PanAmerican Seed Company. He was born in 1952 in southern China. In 1969, he came to the United States to pursue his interest in agriculture. He got a master’s degree from Oregon State University in Corvallis. He went on to get a doctorate in the same field, agriculture, from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indianapolis.
From there he moved to the Netherlands for a job with what was then Sluis & Groot. Following several mergers and acquisitions, this company is now part of S&G, a trademark of Syngenta. In 1986, he returned to the US to work at PanAmerican Seed.