Seed E-News 
June 1, 2017
Make your Plans for Minneapolis!     

We're just a few weeks away from the ASTA Annual Convention in Minneapolis!  As you make your plans for the week, be sure to check out the activity reference site   for information on tours, dining, shopping and other local attractions. For all the details on the meeting, visit our webpage.
In This Issue
ASTA Calls for Continued Support for Critical Ag Export Programs

ASTA is calling on Congress to oppose the administration's proposal to eliminate key USDA programs supporting agricultural exports for U.S. farmers and ranchers. It is estimated that elimination of the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) would result in the loss of $14.7 billion in U.S. agricultural exports per year. 
"MAP and FMD are incredibly effective public-private partnership programs offering a huge return on investment," said Andrew W. LaVigne. "These programs have a track-record of success in resolving technical trade barriers to the movement of seed and other agriculture commodities around the globe, and maintaining the leadership role of U.S. agriculture at the international level." 
ASTA has used these funds for decades to represent the U.S. seed industry in international forums that determine an array of seed movement policies. New policies take years to establish, and having a consistent U.S. presence is critical to ensuring international policies are aligned with our interests. Learn more

ASTA Joins with Coalition Urging Congress to Support Honey Bee Health in Farm Bill 

On May 22, ASTA and other members of the Honey Bee Health Coalition sent a letter  to the U.S. House and Senate Committees on Agriculture urging members to include programs supporting honey bee health in the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization.
"The 2018 Farm Bill provides a vital mechanism to improve and enhance conservation programs to ensure that U.S. agricultural policy supports honey bees - and to ensure that honey bees can continue to support U.S. agriculture," the letter reads.
This letter builds on the Coalition's past efforts to encourage collaborative strategies at the national level in the United States to support honey bee health. This has included providing USDA with consensus recommendations to increase the pollinator value and cost-effectiveness of conservation programs like the Conservation Reserve Program.
To learn more about the Honey Bee Health Coalition, visit

Seed Congress of the Americas Scheduled for Sept. 5-7 in Colombia  

The 6th Seed Congress of the Americas, hosted by the Seed Association of the Americas (SAA) and the Colombian Seed and Biotechnology Association (ACOSEMILLAS), will be held September 5-7 in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia).
Sessions will address a number of key topics, including intellectual property rights, biotechnology, phytosanitary issues, and seed treatment policies. The Trading Floor will offer a prime place to meet with colleagues and do business.
Visit the Congress website for more information and to register. 
Meetings & Education

Special Notice to ASTA Membership: Proposed FY 2017-18 Slate of Officers

The ASTA Nominating Committee has announced the proposed slate of ASTA Officers for FY2017-18. Voting will take place on Wednesday, June 21 at the Opening General Session  of the ASTA Annual Convention in Minneapolis. The nominations are as follows:
  • Chair-Tracy Tally-Justin Seed Co.
  • First Vice Chair-Jerry Flint-DuPont Pioneer
  • Second Vice Chair-Wayne Gale-Stokes Seeds
  • Rep. to/from Canada-Jim Schweigert-Gro Alliance
  • Rep. to/from Mexico- Pablo Fernandez-Dow AgroSciences
  • Central Region Vice President-Dave Pearl-The Cisco Companies
NOTE - Officer nominations can be taken from the floor during the General Session. If you wish to submit a nomination, please contact Brenda Rowe as soon as possible.
General Session Speaker Line-up Announced for ASTA Annual Convention

ASTA is pleased to announce the keynote panelists for the Opening General Session of the ASTA Annual Convention, June 21-24 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
Don't miss this thought-provoking and in-depth discussion with some of America's most prominent food companies: General Mills, Cargill and Land O'Lakes. Get a better understanding of what consumer challenges and opportunities are top-of-mind for these companies, and what this means for the seed industry. To learn more, click here.
We're looking forward to seeing you in Minneapolis! As you make your plans for the week, be sure to visit the activity reference site for tour details and local dining, shopping and other attractions.

Other News
AgGateway to Hold Ag Retail eConnectivity Seminar June 12-15 in Iowa

As part of its Mid-Year Meeting in Altoona, Iowa, June 12-15, AgGateway is hosting a half-day Ag Retail eConnectivity Seminar designed to introduce the many benefits of electronic connectivity to agricultural retailers and service providers. The session will be held Tuesday, June 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Ag retailers are encouraged to register now for this one-time event.

See the press release  for more information. To register, go to the "Events" section of and click on registration for the Mid-Year Meeting (participants may register for the full Mid-Year Meeting, or for the Ag Retail Seminar only).
AgGateway is a non-profit consortium of businesses serving the agriculture industry which helps member companies improve their profitability and productivity by promoting, enabling and expanding eBusiness in agriculture. 
NGFA-KSU Course Offers Training on FSMA Compliance

Registration is open for the National Grain & Feed Association (NGFA)-Kansas State University (KSU) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training course, Aug. 1-3 in Manhattan, Kansas. The program is designed for businesses needing to comply with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) rule for Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals. 
The course offers both Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) and accredited hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) training. Participants may register for just the FSPCA training or for both the FSPCA and HACCP training. Space is limited. For more information, visit the registration page and scroll to the NGFA-KSU Food Safety Modernization Act Training course listings. 
Seed Industry Mourns Passage of Former ASPA/TPI President Raymond Johnson 

It is with heartfelt sadness that we report the passing of longtime friend and former American Sod Producers Association (ASPA)/Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) president Raymond Johnson. Ray passed on Tuesday morning, May 23, 2017, with his wife Mary at his side until the end. 

Ray was raised on the family farm and began his turf career in the early 1960s installing sod and eventually working as a sod farm manager. By the mid '70s Ray and Mary became the owners of Shamrock Turf Nurseries. He was an early innovator and promotor of mechanization and efficiency. Ray served on the board of directors for ASPA/TPI becoming president in 1980. He felt extremely blessed to have the opportunity to get to know and work with so many well respected men and women involved in the turfgrass industry. Ray and Mary cherished the many friendships they developed over the years at conference's and study tours.

Left behind to celebrate his life are four children and their spouses, seventeen grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Good and Faithful Servant is the best description of a life well lived.

Cotter Funeral Home
 in Momence, IL is in charge of arrangements.