April 22, 2016 Seed E-News
In This Issue
At A Glance
ICYMI: ASTA President & CEO Featured in Forbes

Forbes recently published a blog post by ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne highlighting the connection between seed and our quality of life.  Many of the things that enhance our quality of life can be traced to a seed.  The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the fuel that powers our cars - all of these things and more start with a seed.  Read about it here and help us share the message of how better seed creates better life! 
Amazon Smiles

First the Seed Foundation has aligned itself with Amazon Smile.  Just as if you would shop on Amazon, you can now do the same on AmazonSmile but with a bigger purpose.  Go to the AmazonSmile, log on like you would with your traditional Amazon account, and select the First the Seed Foundation as the charity.  AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to First The Seed Foundation when you checkout.  So easy, but what a huge difference it will make!
Seed Industry Blazing Trails! 

As we gear up for ASTA's joint annual convention this June in Portland with the Oregon Seed Association, we want to hear from you.  Tell us how your company is blazing trails in the seed industry! We'll feature your stories at the convention. Contact ASTA's Director of Meetings & Services Jennifer Crouse

Big things are happening at ASTA!  We're currently gearing up for our Annual Convention in June in Portland, in conjunction with the Oregon Seed Association! Be sure to register if you haven't already! Visit the website for travel information and the latest listing of sessions and special tour opportunities.  Also, In case you missed it - check out a guest blog post  in Forbes by ASTA's own Andy LaVigne, president & CEO, to learn about how better seed creates better life! 

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Seed Bills See Movement at State Level 

There's a lot happening right now at the state legislative level.  There's been significant movement on bills we've been tracking in the areas of preemption, arbitration, seed libraries, neonics, labeling, and more. View a summary here. For more information, contact ASTA Director of State Affairs, Pat Miller

Ag, Food, Research Groups Urge Ratification of Plant Genetic Resources Treaty

ASTA and a diverse group of more than 80 agriculture, food and research groups representing both industry and the public sector are urging the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold a hearing on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The Treaty-which would create a specialized, global system for the management and exchange of plant genetic resources from international gene banks-was signed by the U.S. in 2002, but is still pending ratification in the Senate. 
"By the year 2050, farmers will be required to grow twice as much food as they currently produce to feed rapidly growing numbers of people inhabiting earth," stated the groups in a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Ranking Member Ben Cardin.  "Food will be grown in the face of greater strains on water, soil, and energy resources.  A significant portion of addressing this burden falls to plant breeders who, if they are to be successful, must have the tools necessary to meet this goal."  

For more information, see ASTA's press release.  
Guide to Seed Treatment: Pollinator Stewardship 

A s planting season begins across the country, ASTA reminds farmers to be diligent in taking proper precautions to minimize pollinator exposure to treated seed.

When planting, be aware of the presence of honeybee hives, or crops or weeds in the flowering stage within or adjacent to the field.  Ensure that no blooming weeds are present in the field.  Avoid off-site movement of dust by observing wind speed and direction.  And finally, be sure to follow planting depth instructions, and observe plant-back guidelines found on the seed tag.

For more information, visit the website or contact your seed dealer. 
U.S. Seed Delegation Visits China 
ASTA sent a five-person delegation to Beijing, China April 4-8 for meetings with government and industry representatives.  During the trip, the group had the opportunity to meet with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to learn more about China's new seed law.  

The delegation also met with Chinese seed industry representatives to discuss a corn seed pilot project which would facilitate the shipment of a small number of corn seeds directly from the U.S. to China - something which is currently prohibited by Chinese law.  Initial feedback on the project was positive.  ASTA will continue to work with Chinese partners, USDA, and ASTA member companies to get the project off the ground. 
ASTA Hosts International Executive Committee Meeting 

ASTA's International Executive Committee held its spring meeting April 11 and 12 at ASTA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.  During the meeting, the Committee met with representatives from USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service and A nimal and Plant Health Inspection Service , as well as representatives from the Brazilian and Chilean Embassies. 

The group also discussed ASTA's efforts in priority markets, and decided to create a dashboard to monitor countries and/or regions in which ASTA is not currently active. This dashboard will help identify additional markets where ASTA could develop programming for the benefit the U.S. seed industry. To learn more about ASTA's international efforts, or become more active in ASTA's country working groups, email Michelle Klieger , ASTA Director, Programs & Policy.
Meetings & Education
Krysta Harden to Keynote ASTA Annual Convention 

Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Krysta Harden will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming joint ASTA-Oregon Seed Association Annual Convention, June 18-22 in Portland, Oregon.  

Harden, who recently joined DuPont as Vice President of Public Policy and Chief Sustainability Officer, will discuss less ons learned from her experience in the public and private sectors, and will offer her vision for the future of the seed industry. 

During her time at USDA, Harden helped to shape food and agriculture policy, including leading implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill. At USDA and throughout her career in agriculture, Harden has focused on growing the ranks of agriculture and expanding opportunity for women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees. Prior to her service as deputy secretary, she held USDA leadership positions as chief of staff to the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and assistant secretary for Congressional Relations. 

Visit the conference webpage for more information and to register. 

Join ASTA's Future Seed Executives for a Communications Roundtable 
Join ASTA and FuSE on April 26th at 3:00PM EST as they collaborate for a roundtable discussion on topics such as: Strategy & Initiatives withinASTA's Communications division.  Bethany Shively, ASTA Director of Communications and Nikki Barnes, Marketing & Memebership Outreach manager will be sharing their methodology for telling a clear and authentic story about the seed industry to all stakeholders through guided messaging tactics and social media engagement.  To join the conversation follow the directions below:

Conference Call Information
PIN: 54400568#
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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