ASTA's CSS 2015 & Seed Expo was a huge success!  More than 2,800 people attended the annual event to learn, network and get a first-hand glimpse of the latest industry tools and innovations.  This special edition of Seed E-News covers some of the highlights.  If you haven't already, please take a few minutes to fill out the CSS 2015 survey.  Your feedback is extremely helpful as we plan future meetings. 

In this issue:
On Air and on the Web: Catch up on CSS Media Coverage
 

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Click below for CSS media highlights:  
To access ASTA's portal for session videos click here.  

Photos are available on the  ZimmComm Flickr page .

Pictured (left to right): Mike Adams, AgriTalk Host;Tim Johnson, ISF President; John Latham, ASTA Legislative Committee Chair. 


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Back by popular demand for the fifth year, AgResource President Dan Basse presented his 2016 economic outlook for agriculture at Tuesday's Opening General Session.
Basse talked about a "world awash in grain" with record global wheat and soybean crops and the second largest corn crop here in the U.S. in CY '14 -'15.  "We were very impressed with the crop last year," said Basse.  "When you look at the kind of flooding we had in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri and to then come up with a record U.S. soybean yield...is really testament to the seed genetics and agronomic benefits that we now have."

With too much grain, however, has come lower prices for farmers, and 2015 saw the biggest drop in farm income since 1932, and Basse expects grain and livestock prices to remain relatively cheap.

For more of Basse's presentation, watch his segment with Max Armstrong on This Week in Agribusiness, filmed at the conference.
Washington Post Columnist Talks Science 
Communications
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Washington Post columnist and Cape Cod oyster farmer Tamar Haspel led two well-attended sessions on science communications and influencing public opinion. Haspel stressed that in order to be more effective communicators the agriculture industry should do more listening and try to better understand the views of its audience.  

She offered the following tips to communicate more effectively about science:

1. Be convinced.
2. Reconsider the word "bias."
3. Drop "anti-science" from your vocabulary.
4. Vet your sources. Manage your media.
5. Acknowledge both risks and benefits.
6. Find the smartest person who disagrees with you, and listen.
7. Understand and appeal to values.
8. Reach across the aisle.

"Science is complicated, especially when it comes to agriculture," Haspel said in an interview on site with Gale Cunningham, farm director at WYXY radio in Champaign, Illinois . "The way we make decisions about science isn't always fact-based. Human beings tend to be led by our emotions, our values, our cultural affiliations - and all of those things get in the way of our seeing science clearly."
Follow her on  Follow us on Twitter

Visit AgWired  for more. 
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A record number of students participated in the ASTA CSS 2015 and Seed Expo.

"We designed the entire Thursday program this year to be a one day track for students...and it just worked," said ASTA Director of Meetings and Services Jennifer Crouse. "We offered a free lunch event for the first time inside the Seed Expo, which facilitated great interaction with the students during that period."

The poster presentations this year nearly doubled the previous record of 17 to 30 student posters from universities all over the country.  "We've seen a lot of students come away from the poster presentation experience and come again as attendees because they're now seed industry professionals themselves," said Crouse, who added that they are looking at ways to expand the poster program more next year.

All students receive complimentary registration for ASTA meetings with a copy of their student ID. The ASTA Future Seed Executives (FuSE) also has the Campus Connections program, which allows juniors working towards a career in the seed industry to apply for travel expense grants to attend ASTA's annual convention.

Listen to Crouse's interview on AgWired for more.

Ukrainian Delegation Participates in CSS 2015 & Seed Expo

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ASTA was pleased to welcome Ukraine's Director of the Department on Farming and Technical Policy, Agriculture Sector, Mr. Volodymyr Topchii and First Deputy Head of the State Inspection for Agriculture Mr. Yuriy Zastavnyy to CSS 2015 & Seed Expo.
 
Topchii and Zastavnyy attended several sessions and met with 30 ASTA member-companies to discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in the Ukraine. 
 
Ukraine imports 90-percent of its seeds.  With corn and soybean acres expected to increase by 35-percent in the next three years, now is an excellent opportunity for the U.S. seed sector to increase its exports to the region.  For more information, contact Michelle Klieger.
Thanks to our Sponsors!
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ASTA thanks all of the sponsors that contributed to the success of the CSS 2015 &Seed Expo.  This conference wouldn't be possible without their generous support!




Join ASTA at the Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference! 
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Join ASTA January 30 - February 2, 2016 to Grow Something Magical!  The Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference, held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California, will go behind the scenes of the Most Magical Place on Earth.  Experts will share the Disney philosophy on food, nutrition, horticulture and agriculture sciences while giving exclusive access to Disney theme parks.

Register by December 22 to take advantage of special early registration rates.  For more information and to register, visit the webpage  or consult the ASTA mobile App.  
 

Seeding Success

 

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