Dr. Welch was born in Lancaster, CA. He graduated from Antelope Valley High School, Lancaster, CA in 1961. He received his B.S. degree from California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, majoring in soil science. His MS and PhD degrees were from the University of Calif., Davis California majoring in soil science and plant nutrition. In 1971 he accepted a research associate position at Cornell University in the Department of Agronomy. In 1972 he accepted a federal government position at the USDA-ARS, Robert W. Holley Research Center for Agriculture and Health as a plant physiologist. His research has mainly focused on micronutrients aimed at at understanding their movement from soils to plants to animals and humans. He has been very interested in understanding the factors that control the bioavailability of micronutrients in food crops to humans. Currently, he has been striving to develop close links between agriculture, nutrition and human health to find sustainable solutions to malnutrition through using agricultural tools. One of his current efforts is with the global CGIAR HarvestPlus program directed at improving the bioavailable amounts of iron, zinc, selenium, iodine and provitamin A carotenoids in edible portions of staple food crops through plant breeding strategies.