January 12, 2017 Seed E-News
In This Issue
At A Glance
Join ASTA for a discussion with leading university and industry experts on the political and business environment in Cuba. The session will take place on Sunday, January 29 as part of ASTA's Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference in Orlando. Speakers will include:
  • William A. Messina, Jr., University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Research and Development Manager
  • Dr. Frederick Royce, University of Florida, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Assistant In
  • Dr. Jack Payne, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Sr. Vice President
  • Matthew Johnston, HM CLAUSE, CEO
Another must attend event at the  ASTA Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference in Orlando! Don't miss the General Session, Monday, Jan. 30 at 8:30 a.m., featuring a special panel discussion on the impacts of plant breeding innovation on the global seed industry. Panelists will include:
  • Harold Browning, Citrus Research and Development Foundation;
  • Harry Klee, University of Florida;
  • Kevin Diehl, DuPont Pioneer; and
  • Dr. Bernice Slutsky, ASTA
Don't forget that CSS 2016 & Seed Expo proceedings are available online. Re-watch your favorite session or catch up on the ones you missed, or send a link to a colleague by visiting the proceedings gallery.

With the start of a new year, a new Congress, and a soon-to-be new Administration, change is the only thing that's certain right now in Washington, D.C. ASTA has already been busy getting to know the new members of Congress and meeting with the Trump transition team to discuss seed industry priorities for the coming year. But we can't do it alone - we need YOU!  Be sure to mark your calendars for ASTA's 2017 Storm the Hill, April 4 and 5 in Washington, D.C. The timing couldn't be more critical to make our collective voice heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill!   

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State of the States 

It's the start of a new year, which means it's time to pull out the crystal ball and make a few informed guesses to determine where the eyes of the state legislators are focused. It doesn't appear that agriculture in general-or seed specifically-is at the top of the list of concerns for the 2017 legislative sessions. However, several issues, including state-government program funding and energy, could have impacts on our industry.   
We're likely to see an overall reduction in regulatory programs as the result of tight budgets, with seed programs being told to "try to do more with less." With the Republican Party gaining strength in many of the state legislatures in the last election, it's expected that tight budgets will be addressed through decreased spending rather than increased taxes. As always, ASTA staff will keep you up-to-date as these issues progress.
NOTE:  Mark your calendar for the next monthly State Governmental Affairs Working Group conference call on Wednesday, January 18 at 2:00 p.m. Central Time (*this is a date change from previous notices).For more information, contact Pat Miller.
Join ASTA for a Webinar on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and its Potential Impacts on Seed Production Facilities

On Monday, February 6 at 12:00 p.m. ET, join ASTA for a special webinar to learn about how FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations may impact seed production facilities. The presentation will be given by Maile Hermida, partner at the law firm of Hogan Lovells. Ms. Hermida has considerable experience with FSMA, and has represented ASTA in its discussions with FDA for several years. For more information and to register, contact Virginia Houston.

Don't Miss ASTA's Storm the Hill, April 4-5, 2017! 

Registration for ASTA's annual Storm the Hill is now open! This exciting day-and-a-half legislative conference, April 4-5, offers ASTA members the unique opportunity to gather on Capitol Hill and advocate on behalf of the seed industry.

The event kicks off with an informal get-together on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning, participants are invited to join ASTA for an issues briefing and breakfast before heading to Capitol Hill for lobbying visits. We'll wrap up the day by 5:00 p.m.
Please note, you must be registered for the conference by March 7 in order for ASTA to set up Hill meetings on your behalf.  March 7 is also the deadline to reserve your spot in the ASTA room block  at the Crystal City Marriott. Contact   Virginia Houston  with questions.
ASTA Welcomes Final Rule on Chile Phytosanitary Regulations

For more than a year, ASTA has been actively engaged in discussions related to proposed phytosanitary regulations in Chile. After several delegation visits, commissioned scientific research, and an ongoing dialogue with Chilean industry and government, ASTA is extremely pleased with the outcome of the final rule, issued on December 16, 2017.
The rule will be discussed in detail during the ASTA Phytosanitary Committee meeting, Sunday, January 29 at 8:30 a.m. during the Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference in Orlando. The full text is available on the ASTA members only website

Register for the 2017 ISF Congress in Budapest

Registration is now open for the 2017 International Seed Federation (ISF) World Seed Congress in Budapest, Hungary, May 22-24. With the theme "Growing Beyond Bridges," the convention will focus on the goal of strengthening connections in the global seed industry. The annual World Seed Congress is ISF's flagship event bringing together the principal architects and decision-makers of the global seed industry. Learn more and register here.
Meetings & Education
University of Florida's "Challenge 2050" Student Delegation to Attend ASTA Vegetable & Flower Conference

Are you attending ASTA's Vegetable & Flower Conference later this month in Orlando? Be sure to visit the student poster presentations and get acquainted with some of the brightest minds in the next generation of our industry! This is the second year a student delegation is participating in the conference as part of the University of Florida's "Challenge 2050" program in collaboration with HM.CLAUSE.

The "Challenge 2050" program provides students with exposure to seed industry issues and potential career opportunities. The poster presentations will take place outside of the Trading Room on Monday, January 30 from 12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Special thanks to HM.CLAUSE for supporting the next generation of seed industry leaders by sponsoring the student delegation's trip to the conference.
The goal of "Challenge 2050"  is to develop the human capacity to meet the needs associated with a growing population of more than 9 billion people by the year 2050.
Member News 
Welcome to ASTA's first new member of 2017, Fox Seeds, Inc.!

Simcoe, ON
Asparagus seed 
Seeding Success
It's your membership and financial support that allows ASTA to do this work and get you the information you need. Please encourage other seed industry colleagues to join ASTA and contribute to the success of the industry.

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