Seed E-News 
June 30, 2017

Catch up on all the News from ASTA's 134th Annual Convention!
Thanks to everyone who attended ASTA's Annual Convention last week in Minneapolis! It was an incredible week of learning, policy discussions and planning for the year ahead! Please take a moment to complete the convention survey to provide your crucial feedback on your experience.  For audio interviews and video from the meeting, visit the #ASTAAnnual virtual newsroom. Photos are available on Flickr. Read about the highlights in this week's edition of Seed eNews!
ICYMI: Beginning next year the Annual Convention will be re-named the "Policy and Leadership Development Conference." This new name better emphasizes the purpose of the event-to chart the future course of our association and build up the next generation of industry leaders.
In This Issue
Arkansas Considering Dicamba Ban  

On June 23, the Arkansas State Plant Board voted to ban the use of dicamba herbicide within the state, for 120 days. Pending approval by the Governor, the measure would then head to the Arkansas Legislative Council for a final vote. Action is expected to be taken within the next few days.
The Arkansas Agriculture Department has received 242 dicamba misuse complaints from 19 counties since June 23. If approved, the ban would effectively be in place for the rest of the growing season.

Iowa Puts Palmer Amaranth on State Noxious Weed and Seed List
As of July 1, Palmer Amaranth will be listed as a primary noxious weed and seed, and an invasive plant in the state of Iowa. This means, by law, seed sold in the state must be free from Palmer Amaranth.
The addition to the state's noxious weed law allows citizens to file complaints if neighboring landowners aren't managing their land to control the weed. If a complaint is filed, the county weed commissioner has authority to order the property owner to get the weed under control-or face daily fines for up to 10 days. 

The law generally does not apply to Palmer Amaranth on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. Iowa joins Minnesota and Ohio in listing the weed in its noxious weed and seed prohibitions.
ASTA Submits Comments to APHIS, FDA on Plant Breeding Innovation 

ASTA recently submitted comments in reference to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) proposed revisions to Part 340.
ASTA commended the agency for setting a goal of improving its regulatory system for genetically engineered organisms and for using its long experience in regulating these organisms as a basis for making these improvements. USDA's proposal rightly recognizes that some applications of gene editing result in plant varieties that are essentially equivalent to varieties developed through more traditional breeding methods, and treats these varieties accordingly in the proposal. ASTA supports excluding these categories of products through the definition of genetically engineered organism. 
However, ASTA expressed significant concerns with other aspects of the proposal, notably the proposed "up front" regulatory status evaluation and the incorporation of USDA'S noxious weed authorities into 7 CFR 340. Because of these concerns, ASTA does not support USDA moving directly to a final rule from this proposal. 
ASTA also submitted comments and supporting documentation in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) request for information on genome editing in plants. View them here. The association encourages the U.S. Government to take a leadership position and actively engage with other governments, particularly among our trading partners, with the goal of working toward internationally consistent, science-based policies.
Africa Seed Trade Association Visits ASTA

On June 20-26, ASTA hosted a delegation from the Africa Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) Board of Directors. During the visit, the delegation attended the ASTA Annual Convention in Minneapolis and visited the ASTA office in Alexandria to learn about association management and strategic plan implementation.
The delegation's trip was sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Participants included: AFSTA Board of Directors President Denias Zaranyika; Board of Directors Vice President Riadh Gabsi; Board Member Azariah Soi; Secretary General Justin Rakotaorisaona; and Africa Lead representatives, Jawara Lumumba and Edwin Odhiambo. 

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
FY16-17 ASTA Chair Mark Herrmann

ASTA Elects 2017-18 Leadership Team 

During the recent Annual Convention, ASTA members honored outgoing Chair Mark Herrmann for his stellar leadership over the past year, and welcomed Tracy Tally as incoming Chair. The newly elected members of the ASTA 2017-18 leadership team are:
  • 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
I ncoming Chair Tracy Tally is President of Justin Seed Company in Justin, Texas. He has more than 30 years experience in the seed industry and is the second generation Tally to run Justin Seed-a company that is more than half a century old. He is also a second generation graduate of the College of Agriculture at Texas Tech University (1986). Besides running Justin Seed for the past 25 years, he served as the ASTA Southern Region Vice President, an officer on the Texas Seed Trade Association Board, was previously a cer tifi ed crop adviser and serves for a variety of organizations in his community.  He and his   wife, Julie, live in Dallas and have four daughters, Emily, Elizabeth, Erica and Ellen who have been active participants in ASTA conventions over the years. 

A special thanks to all ASTA boar
d members and committee chairs for their dedicated service, and to all of our me mbers for their active participation and involvement in ASTA throughout the year! 
FY17-18 ASTA Officer Team left to right
Second Vice Chair Wayne Gale  
Chair Tracy Tally 
First Vice Chair Jerry Flint 
Dr. Stephen Smith Honored with ASTA Lifetime Honorary Membership Award 

ASTA Chair Mark Herrmann (left) with Dr. Stephen Smith.
Dr. Stephen Smith, Iowa State University, is this year's recipient of the ASTA Lifetime Honorary Membership Award. Honorary Members distinguish themselves through leadership, vision and service to the American seed industry. The award was announced on June 23 during the Gala Banquet at ASTA's Annual Convention.
"Dr. Smith has been an ardent supporter of ASTA's activities on the domestic and international levels for over 20 years," said ASTA Chair Mark Herrmann.  "He is known worldwide, well respected and deeply committed to the seed industry. An unfailing volunteer, a tireless worker and an unrelenting defender and advocate of intellectual property rights, he has traveled the country and the world attending meetings, giving speeches, organizing symposia and other activities related to intellectual property, germplasm protection and breeding for the seed industry. Respected by his colleagues in industry and government, domestically and internationally, he has become a 'go to' person in the industry on seed intellectual property.

Dr. Smith has served on intellectual property committees of ASTA and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He also chairs the International Seed Federation (ISF) Intellectual Property Committee. 

Joe Funk Receives ASTA Distinguished Service Award

SEED TODAY Editor Joe Funk was recently honored with the 2017 ASTA Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes those whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the association and the seed industry. The award was announced on June 21 during the Opening General Session of the ASTA Annual Convention.
"Joe has been faithfully serving agriculture and the seed industry with in-depth reporting on our rapidly changing business for 30 years," said ASTA Chair Mark Herrmann. "He's not satisfied to just research a topic and write about it; more often than not, you'll find Joe making a personal trip to see first-hand the subject of his article."
Funk, a Central Illinois native, was raised on a dairy/grain farm near Bloomington in the heart of the world's best farming area. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Agronomy and a minor in economics. His work experience from there included 10 years with the USDA as County Executive Director and a few years as a district sales manager for a regional seed company. Joe began writing for Grain Journal in 1987 and was appointed Editor of SEED TODAY in 1998, about a year after the magazine began publication.
Next week Joe will begin his encore career as an external agriculture communications consultant.
Other News
ASRF Operation Students Participate in ASTA Annual Convention

The American Seed Research Foundation (ASRF) hosted a group of graduate students at the ASTA Annual Convention, June 21-24 in Minneapolis. The ASRF Operation Student Connection (OSC) program offers grade students majoring in seed biology or seed science and technology the opportunity to gain an inside look at the seed industry, while establishing valuable personal connections.
Thanks to the talented group of OSC students who participated in this year's meeting. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
  • Narinder Singh, Kansas State University
  • Vivian Bernau, The Ohio State University
  • Jorge Venegas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Brian Pfeiffer, Texas A&M University
  • Mei Zhao, University of Georgia
  • Qiang (Richard) Chen, Rutgers
Check out our Latest Video from Planter Demo Day!

Check out the latest video from our Planter Demo Day to learn how agriculture innovations, including seed treatments, contribute to sustainability. This project is a partnership between ASTA, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and National Corn Growers Association.

Watch the video HERE.