February 9, 2017 Seed E-News
In This Issue
At A Glance
What is plant breeding innovation? What do plant breeders do? And what could new breeding techniques like gene editing mean for the future of agriculture and our society? Find answers to these questions and more at Seeding Innovation 
website-- a public-facing educational resource developed by ASTA.
 
The plant breeding innovation microsite is a multimedia platform that houses FAQs, a blog, plant breeder profiles, videos, one-pagers and other educational resources about the evolution-and future--of plant breeding. Visit www.seedinginnovation.org and follow @Better_Seed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more.  Watch the Man on the Street video as a preview of what's to come!
The Seed Innovation & Protection Alliance (SIPA) is hosting a members-only Technical Education Unit on March 7 at the California Seed Association Annual Meeting in San Diego. The session will be provided live and by webinar from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. PST.
 
The program will feature a 90-minute discussion and Q&A with Dennis Birtles of Agro Protection International on the topic of investigations and audits around seed intellectual property. To reserve your spot, RSVP to James Weatherly by February 28. Click here for hotel information. 
Colorado State University's (CSU) Seed Technology Educational Program (STEP) is offering eight courses  in seed technology to train seed analysts to work in State or Commercial Seed Laboratories. Offered online through the Continuing Education Department at CSU, the program is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants a career in seed technology, or for current analysts working to become a Registered Seed Technologist (RST) or a Certified Seed Analyst (CSA).
 
STEP also has a unique website with over 1700 color seed photos of native, crop and weed seeds to help the seed analyst and anyone in the seed industry identify unknown or questionable seeds. For more information on STEP and SeedImages.com, contact Karen Allison or (970) 491-6905.
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It was another record-breaking year for ASTA's 56th annual Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference, held January 28-31 in Orlando, Florida! With nearly 950 registrants representing 31 countries, and 131 company locations in the Trading Room, it was a truly unique and international forum for learning, doing business and gearing up for an exciting year ahead! Read more about it in this edition of Seed eNews. 

PS -- Do you know someone who would benefit from receiving Seed E-News? Have them  Sign Up!
Big News!
 
 
 
Disney Partnership to Tell the Story of Better Seed, Better Life!  

While everyone loves Disney, attendees at ASTA's 56th annual Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference learned there was a more strategic reason why ASTA has brought a series of conventions to Disney properties two years in a row-this year in Orlando, and last year in Anaheim .
 
During the General Session, representatives from Disney's Horticulture team announced a partnership with ASTA to tell the story of the evolution of plant breeding and the "Magic of Seed" at their upcoming 24th Annual EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.  The  festival has grown in popularity in each of its 20-plus years to an audience that is now over 7 million visitors!

The 2017 festival will feature an ASTA garden visually depicting the evolution of popular vegetables and flowers over the years, thanks to plant breeding. Through story-boards closely based on ASTA's Better Seed, Better Life communications initiative, and expert gardener and plant breeder speakers, the story of plant breeding will be brought to life in a very public way by the experienced storytellers of Disney's Horticulture team.

As part of the partnership, ASTA speakers will deliver a series of presentations during the festival's opening week, and festival attendees will receive
 Tomatosphere
 seed packets with Better Seed, Better Life branding. Additionally, master gardeners from the University of Florida will serve as greeters and informational resources for visitors on a series of displays about the value of seed throughout the Epcot Festival Center. ASTA's Communications Committee is planning promotion around the event, including a meeting in Orlando at the end of April to increase awareness.  
Federal
FSMA Webinar Follow-up
  
On Monday, February 6, ASTA held a webinar on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and its impacts on seed production facilities. The presentation was given by Maile Hermida, a partner at the Washington D.C. law firm Hogan Lovells who has worked extensively with ASTA and the Food and Drug Administration on this issue. Her presentation and a background document from Hogan Lovells can be found on the ASTA members-only website under Legislative and Legal Issues.
 
The National Grain and Feed Association and Kansas State University are holding an FSMA training course May 23-25 in Manhattan, Kansas for businesses that need to comply with FDA's rule for Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals. You can register for the course here
International 
New Brazil NI 52 Ad HOC Working Group

Last December, Brazil released a revision to its regulations for importing seed for research and breeding purposes (NI 52). The regulations outline a complex and lengthy process for obtaining approvals for importing small seed lots for research and breeding purposes. It's likely this process would prevent seed companies and public breeders from getting their breeder seed into the country in time to meet their already narrow planting windows.

ASTA plans to send a delegation to Brazil in late February to discuss these new requirements and other seed import-issues with government officials. To that end, ASTA is assembling a small ad hoc working group to review NI 52 and to identify potential alternatives to present at these meetings. For more information or to join the working group, contact Ric Dunkle at (703) 226-9275.
Meetings & Education
56th Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference Sets Records  
 

It was another record-breaking year for ASTA's 56th annual Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference, held January 28-31 in Orlando, Florida! With nearly 950 registrants representing 31 countries, and 131 company locations in the Trading Room, it was a truly unique and international forum for learning, doing business and gearing up for an exciting year ahead!

Session proceedings, presentations and photos from the conference are available online. If you attended the conference and have not yet provided us with your feedback, please take a few minutes to fill out the post conference survey, and be entered for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

Highlights included a Global Business Session on Cuba, a Plant Breeding Innovation panel with public and private sector experts, a special presentation and announcement from Walt Disney World's Horticulture team (read more below), and student poster presentations from the University of Florida Challenge 2050 group, sponsored by HM Clause.

We look forward to seeing you next year at the Sheraton San Diego, January 27 - 30, 2018!
Register Today for ASTA Management Academy


Registration is open for the 2017 American Seed Trade Association Management Academy, March 6-10 in West Lafayette, Indiana! A partnership between ASTA and Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business, the academy is designed specifically for seed-industry professionals.

Craig Newman, recently retired president and CEO of AgReliant Genetics, will serve as the program's Executive in the Classroom for 2017. "The ASTA Management Academy is the best professional development program for seed industry professionals available today because it is professional, educational, diversified, effective and motivating," he said.

Attendees will work through structured exploration of key management topics and skills, including: marketing, financial and strategic management, and organizational leadership. The content is applicable for both experienced decision makers and those who are new to the seed industry.


 

Learn more and register here!

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.


American Seed Trade Association | (703) 837-8140 | info@amseed.org | http://www.betterseed.org/
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Alexandria, VA 22314