June 1, 2016 Seed E-News
In This Issue
At A Glance
Don't Miss the Jam Band Session at Annual Convention!


Are you attending the ASTA-OSA Annual Convention in Portland? Don't miss the Opening General Reception on Monday morning for a performance by the "Seed Industry Jam Band" and other special surprises!  This is a session you won't want to miss!  
Meet the Campus Connection Students


The American Seed 
Research Foundation 
recently announced its selections for the 2016 Operation Student 
Connection program.  
The program is a unique opportunity for graduate students in seed related disciplines to attend and participate in the ASTA Annual Convention.  Get  to know the students by visiting the ASTA FuSE
Facebook page.  B e sure to take some time to meet and congratulate the students in person at the Annual Convention in Portland! 

Countdown begins as we near our Annual Convention!  A special thanks to the Oregon Seed Association for their collaboration in hosting this year's event.  Read below to learn more about some of the exciting activities being planned for the week.  Enjoy!   

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State
Advocacy Matters

According to a recent report, the risks created by federal, state and local government actions are increasingly hard to ignore among both established and growing industries.  The report, by FiscalNotes a producer of a government relationship management platform, states "that up to 30 percent of a corporation's earning could be at the will of government action."

In recent years, Congress has only passed 3.8-percent of introduced legislation - about 2,000 bills.  That, compared to state's legislative activity-30-percent passage rate of bills introduced producing 250,000 new laws-solidifies the necessity for involvement.  The report notes five key strategies that should be incorporated into governmental affairs efforts by companies and the associations to which they belong:
  1. Applying big-data to politics;
  2. Tying results to actions;
  3. Investing in state and local politics;
  4. Developing in-house teams; and
  5. Integrating social media
Consider how you can step up your efforts in advocacy, including your engagement with ASTA, and state and regional associations, which is using  these strategies on your behalf at the national and state levels. 

Federal
Senate Hearing Highlights Urgency of Ratifying the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources 


On May 19, ASTA Executive Committee member and Past Chair John Schoenecker testified on behalf of the seed industry at a U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing  on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Treaty).  Overall, the hearing was extremely positive, and we're hopeful that the Committee will move forward on the Treaty in the near future. 

Other witnesses included: the Honorable   Judith G. Garber , acting assistant secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Mr. John J. Kim, assistant legal adviser for private international law, U.S. Department of State; and Mr. Edwin E. Smith, partner, Law Offices of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. 

The hearing was recorded via webcast and is available  here.
ASTA Submits Comments on Use of Thiram as Seed Treatment 


On May 27, ASTA submitted comments to the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) expressing strong concerns about the agency's intention to cancel the registration for Thiram for use as a seed treatment. PMRA is currently reviewing the registration for a number of important fungicides used as seed treatments including Thiram, Captan, and Iprodione. Thiram is widely used as a seed treatment on vegetable seed that is treated in the U.S. and then exported to Canada. U.S. sales of vegetable seeds to Canada are valued at approximately $40 million annually..Thiram is the preferred choice as a seed treatment for vegetable seed exporters and Canadian growers because of its broad functionality, low cost, and the extensive list of countries where it is registered.  ASTA asked that PMRA revisit its decision based on new risk data and low potential exposure resulting from the use of Thiram as a Seed Treatment. ASTA's comments can be found here
      
Join SeedFirstPAC in Oregon for a Special Evening of Local Wine Tasting! 

As part of the ASTA Annual Meeting  in Portland, SeedFirstPAC invites you to a special evening of wine tasting in celebration of the renowned wines of the American Northwest!  With sweeping views of beautiful downtown Portland and amazing local wine, this will be an event you won't want to miss! 

Held Monday, June 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Departure Lounge rooftop of The Nines Hotel, the event will support the SeedFirstPAC, a seed industry political action committee formed in 2015 to expand the reach of the seed industry in the halls of Congress. 
  
The event requires separate registration and payment ($100 per person/ $180 per couple), so please bring a personal form of payment for admission. (Per FEC rules, SeedFirstPAC cannot accept corporate payments).  Additionally, all event attendees will automatically be entered into a raffle to win bottles of Oregon wine! Please contact Virginia Houston for more information and to RSVP (while walk-ins are welcome, we would appreciate an RSVP by June 13 for planning purposes).
International 
Christophe is pictured left with Tim Johnson of ASTA at the World Seed Congress
Jean-Christophe Gouache Sworn in as New ISF Chair

Congratulations to Jean-Christophe Gouache of France on being sworn in as the new President of the International Seed Federation (ISF)! Gouache was officially sworn in last month during the ISF World Seed Congress in Uruguay.

Formerly Vice President of ISF, Gouache is an agricultural engineering graduate of the National Agronomic Institute in Paris.  Since 1981 he has held a variety of positions within the Limagrain Group, starting as a corn breeder and progressing to Chief Operating Officer of LG Seeds (Groupe Limagrain), Illionois, and CEO of Pharmaceutical Company Dolisos (part of Limagrain Group).

A member of the Limagrain Executive Committee since 1998, Jean-Christophe held the positions of Corporate Vice-President for Scientific Affairs, CEO Field Seeds Division and CEO Vegetable Seeds Division.  Jean-Christophe is Corporate Vice President for International Affairs of the Limagrain Group and Vice President of the High Council for Biotechnology in France. In addition, Jean-Christophe is a member at large of the European Seed Association Board and a board member of the French Seed Association (UFS).

2016 ISF World Seed Congress Highlights Breeding Innovations, Phytosanitary Issues 

During the ISF World Seed Congress, May 15-18 in Uruguay, industry and government representatives from around the world gathered to discuss issues of critical importance to the global seed industry.  ASTA participated in all the key meetings of interest, including the Breeders, Seed Treatment and Environment, and Phytosanitary Committees.
 
The Breeders Committee held its open meeting featuring a panel on plant breeding innovation, with speakers representing the international grain and produce industries and private and public breeders.  Panel members provided their perspective on the importance of innovation in plant breeding and the potential impact of public policy.  Another panel focused on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, with discussions focusing on the Treaty's standard material transfer agreement.
 
The Phytosanitary Committee covered a variety of issues including harmonization of seed regulations in the COSAVE region, and new international seed standards being developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).  Committee members received an update on a Phytosanitary Working Group project report on mapping out and clarifying the roles, responsibilities and functions of national and regional seed associations and ISF regarding phytosanitary matters, and a project aimed at identifying best practices for phytosanitary risk-reduction and seed export and re-export processes. 
Meetings & Education
Attend Social Media 101 in Conjunction with ASTA Annual Convention 


Join the ASTA Management Skills Committee for a special workshop focused on using social media to engage your customers and advocate for the seed industry.   Held in conjunction with the
ASTA-OSA Annual Convention , the workshop will take place on Sunday, June 19 from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. in the Studio Room at the Nines Hotel.
 
The workshop will cover a variety of topics, including:
 
  • Setting up accounts
  • Using the channels that are right for you
  • Learning when and how to respond or engage
  • Incorporating ASTA's core messages
 
Whether you're new to social media, or looking to take your skills to the next level, this interactive session will equip you with the tools you need to successfully engage with your audiences online.
Other News
Meet ASTA's New Intern!


ASTA is pleased to welcome Ms. Dianna Rulon as its summer intern!  Dianna is the daughter of Rodney and Natasha Rulon from Arcadia, Indiana. She grew up on their fourth generation family farm in Indiana where she learned about conservation and no-till practices and their impact on sustainable agriculture. Dianna is currently doing her undergraduate studies at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska with a dual major in Political Science and Communications.

Dianna competes with the Hastings College Forensics team where she uses her platform to educate her peers on agricultural issues, helping her college place 15th in the nation at the annual AFA-NIET Nationals in Gainesville, Florida. Dianna is the president of the Hasting's agriculture awareness group, AGvocates, where she strives to expand agricultural awareness, not only on her campus but also in the surrounding community. After completing her undergraduate degree Dianna plans to attend law school where she will specialize in agricultural law and hopes to have an impact on future agricultural policy issues.
Seeding Success
 
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