Dr. Stephen Smith grew up on a wheat, barley, sugar beet, and potato farm near Boston, Lincolnshire in eastern England. He completed his B.Sc. (University of London) and his M.Sc. and Ph. D. on the conservation of plant genetic resources evolution of maize (corn) at the University of Birmingham, UK. He continued research at North Carolina State University in Raleigh measure genetic diversity and further determining relationships between corn and its wild relative teosinte that is native to Mexico. He began a 9 month temporary position at Pioneer Hi-Bred in Des Moines in 1980 which then extended into a 35 year long career. His research interests include crop variety identification using DNA and the interaction of intellectual property protection on plant breeding and farm yields. He is appointed a member of the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council which advises the US Secretary of Agriculture on crop diversity issues. During 2015 he will transition from a full time employee of Pioneer to an affiliate Professor at Iowa State University. He is a past President and member of the Board of the Des Moines Symphony.