Congratulations to the winners of the
2022 FFAR Fellows Lightning Talk Competition!

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Fellows, the FFAR Fellows, are 80 PhD students from 25 universities across the U.S. and Canada studying agronomy, food science, genomics, biosystems engineering, and a dozen other fields in agriculture and the life sciences.

What brings these graduate students together? The desire to work with others to address the grand challenges in food and agriculture while building the teamwork, leadership, and change-making skills needed to meet those challenges. The annual FFAR Fellows Lightning Talk Competition is a way for fellows to create and practice their science communication skills in a supportive peer-mentorship environment, and then share their talks with the public.

A committee of science professionals selected the first and second place winners in the competition. The People’s Choice Award was decided via an online vote by the public.

To learn more about the FFAR Fellows, funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and industry and other sponsors, and managed by the College of Agriculture and Life Science at NC State University, see: and follow us on social (see links at the top of the page).

First Place

Second Place


Preventing Liver Abscesses: A Balancing Act for Cattle Producers

By Tyler Thomas, 2021-2024 FFAR Fellow.

People’s Choice Award

Other finalists in the 2022 competition


Better Vaccines to Save More Lives

By Echo Pan, 2020-2023 FFAR Fellow.


Friend or Foe? Shifting Perceptions of Bacteria in Agriculture

By Lauren Andersen, 2020-2023 FFAR Fellow.


Helping Plants Talk to Soil Microbes

By Siwook Hwang, 2020-2023 FFAR Fellow.


Using UVC Light to Produce Healthy, Fungicide-Free Potatoes

By Shane Hansen, 2020-2023 FFAR Fellow.


Cellulose to Steak: Exploring Microbes on a Mission

By Sara Tondini, 2020-2023 FFAR Fellow.


Developing and Improving Tools for Plant Genome Editing

By Simon Sretenovic, 2020-2023 FFAR Fellow.