First the Seed Foundation Launches New Website
First the Seed Foundation (FTSF) launched a new website
earlier this month. Firsttheseedfoundation.org is targeted at educators, and allows them to compare and register for various FTSF programs, including
Grow a Career, Ambassador Program, Planting a Seed and Tomatosphere.
Your support of the Foundation's initiatives is an investment in your industry and in your business. To learn more, visit
Fall is officially here, and ASTA meetings are fast approaching! Have you started planning your schedule? Visit our meetings page for the latest agendas and travel information.
PS -- Do you know someone who would benefit from receiving Seed E-News? Have them Sign Up!
ASTA Co-Hosts Congressional Briefing on Genome Editing
On September 19, ASTA and the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (National C-FAR)
cohosted a Capitol Hill research seminar
on the topic of genome editing. Led by Dr. Ann Blechl of the USDA Agricultural Research Service lab in Albany, California, the two sessions-one in the Senate and one in the House - were well attended by more than 80 Congressional staff and stakeholders.
"The seminar provided an excellent example of the value of federally funded food and agricultural research, extension, and education in producing the scientific outcomes and outreach needed to meet 21st century challenges and opportunities," said Andy LaVigne, President & CEO of ASTA and President of National C-FAR.
The program covered the evolution of plant breeding to include more sophisticated tools, how breeders are using genome editing, and its potential to more economically and efficiently sustain the diverse, nutritious and high quality food we enjoy today.
Senate Looks at Competition in the Seed Industry
On September 20, the
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a
on consolidation and competition in the U.S. seed and agrochemical industry. Witnesses included representatives from DuPont, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto, the American Antitrust Institute, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association and National Farmers Union. During the hearing, several Senators raised concerns that increased regulations are playing a role in consolidations across many industries.
"The U.S. seed industry is extremely diverse, both in terms of size and crops covered, with hundreds of regional and independent seed companies doing business across the country, producing seed for all sectors of the industry, including row crops, flowers, vegetables, grasses, forages and turf," said
ASTA President & CEO Andrew W. LaVigne in a statement prior to the hearing. "Because of the seed industry's past, present and future research and development investments, America's farmers have access to a better quality and larger variety of seed products than ever before. Plant breeders and companies have strived to continually improve the quality and performance of their products for America's farmers, gardeners and consumers. In bringing those new varieties to the market, seed companies spend significant resources to research, develop, and commercialize varieties at a significant cost and investment. This is a commitment that will continue into the future."
Read LaVigne's full statement here
Register for Regional Seed Trade Associations Fall Congresses
European Seed Association
The European Seed Association will host its annual Congress October 9 - 11 in Rome, Italy. The schedule includes three full days of trade meetings and ESA section meetings. For more information and to register, visit eas.conceptum.eu.
Asia and Pacific Seed Association
The Asia and Pacific Seed Association's (APSA) 2016 Congress will be held November 7-10 in Incheon, South Korea. The Congress is co-hosted with the Korean Seed Association (KOSA) and the Korea Seed & Variety Service. Post Congress tours will be held on Friday, November 11. Register by October 13 to qualify for the regular registration fee
and ensure your organization's name is listed in the Congress Delegate Book. For more information and to register, visit
ASTA Director of International Programs & Policy Michelle Klieger will be in attendance at the APSA Congress. To schedule a meeting with her on site, please contact her in advance.
Projects Sought for Vegetable and Flower Permanent Research Fund
ASTA's Vegetable and Flower Division is seeking ideas for future research projects to be funded through its Vegetable and Flower Permanent Research Fund (VFPRF). Projects can be funded for up to three years at $35,000 per year. The program is targeted primarily at university researchers and graduate students.
ASTA members are also invited to become members of the VFPRF Committee fund, and to participate in selecting the projects for funding. Membership is granted by annual dues based on member-company vegetable and flower seed sales. The Committee meets at the winter ASTA Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference and holds regular conference calls.
For more information on Committee membership, or to submit your research suggestions, contact Tom Day or John Mizicko.
Tom Day John Mizicko,
Sakata Seed America
Are you attending ASTA's 2016 CSS & Seed Expo? Be sure to mark your calendar for key sessions and events you won't want to miss!
Build your Schedule for 2016 CSS & Seed Expo
Tuesday's General Session will feature AgResource Company's Dan Basse back by popular demand with his 2016 Agricultural Economy Report.
Wednesday's "Glancing Back and Moving Forward in a Changing Industry" session, moderated by ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne, will feature a panel of seed industry leaders discussing best-practices for developing people and corporate culture within teams.
Thursday morning will feature a two-part breeding series covering the impacts of gene editing technologies on global seed business and the application of phenomic data in breeding pipelines. After the breeding session, stop the Seed Expo for the "Seed the Future" student poster reception for lunch and networking.
Visit the 2016 CSS & Seed Expo webpage for the full schedule of events.
Welcome to ASTA's Newest Members!
ASTA recently welcomed the following new members to the association:
Innovation and commercialization of advanced seed care technology.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Field & Harvest Equipment/Services
Robotic palletizing solutions supplier.
Finding Black Ink, LLC
Consulting services for start-ups, tune-ups, turnarounds, mergers and growth businesses, particularly in the seed industry.
San Francisco, California
Plant-based foods retailor
Manufacturer and developer of inspection, separation and sorting systems.
Specializing in turf, forages, legumes, cover crops and other seeds.
Vegetable seed grower.
Comprehensive legal services for businesses, governmental entities and individuals.