Photo: Matthew Dillon

Photo: Aviv Goldman

Irwin Goldman

Irwin Goldman is Professor of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has been teaching and conducting research since 1992. His program focuses on breeding and genetics of table beet, carrot, and onion. He teaches courses in plant breeding, vegetable crops, plants and human wellbeing, food and seed sovereignty, and evolutionary biology. He trains graduate students in the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics graduate program and advises undergraduates in horticulture and plant biology. Inbred lines, populations, and cultivars released from the breeding program are in use around the world by farmers, gardeners, and plant breeders. Goldman received his B.S. from University of Illinois, an M.S. from North Carolina State University, a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did postdoctoral work at University of Illinois before joining the faculty at UW-Madison. He has also served in a number of administrative roles at UW-Madison including Department Chair, Associate Dean, and Vice Dean. You can contact him at ilgoldma@wisc.edu or 608-262-7781.

It is now Spring, 2020, and we are selecting and cutting onion bulbs and planting them for seed production and crossing later this summer. The picture below is from April 19, 2020.

Current Lab Members

(see Personnel section for more information; place cursor over image for name)

Graduate Students and Faculty Associates

Undergraduate Students

Carrot, Onion, and Table Beet Breeding Program

(see Personnel section for more information; place cursor over image for name)


Our lab focuses on breeding and genetics of cross-pollinated vegetable crops; primarily carrot, onion, and table beet. The year 2019 marks our 70th year working with these crops, and over these years we have released numerous inbred lines, open pollinated populations, and germplasm for use by breeders throughout the world. Our lab also studies traits of importance in these crops and seeks to find new methods of breeding and genetic improvement. A theme running through our work is the examination of traits of consumer interest, such as health value, color, flavor, shape, and other quality attributes. Our lab is located in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706. You can obtain more information by writing to Irwin Goldman at ilgoldma@wisc.edu or by calling 608-262-7781.

Why Horticulture?       Why Plant Breeding?      Why Wisconsin?

Recent Events From Our Laboratory


Names and phrased carved into bricks at the UW Madison Carrot and Beet Lab in Madison, Wis., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Photo by Michael P. King/UW-Madison CALS


© Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin System, 2019