November 3, 2016 Seed E-News
In This Issue
At A Glance
UC Davis to Host Seed Production Course

UC Davis is offering a Seed Production course February 14-16, 2017 at the UC Davis Conference Center. This 3-day course will cover: the underlying biology of seed production and the key roles of bees and other insect pollinators; how to manage seed crops from agronomic, quality control, and genetic integrity standpoints; and how to meet new challenges through seed production research.

Discounted registration is available until December 20. For more information and to register, click here or contact Sally Mohr


ASTA Vice President of Finance & Administration Ann Jorss recently celebrated a landmark anniversary - 25 years of service to ASTA! As head of finance, human resources and administration, Ann plays an instrumental role in the operations of the association, and provides key "institutional knowledge" and expertise from her years of service. In addition to her financial role at ASTA, Ann serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the American Seed Research Foundation, the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders, First-the Seed Foundation, ASTA and the Seed Association of the Americas.

Please join us in congratulating  Ann on this monumental achievement!   

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ASTA Comments on Organic Standards 

ASTA's Organic Seed Committee submitted three sets of comments  last week in advance of the November National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting. The comments covered topics including: the use of conventional, untreated seed in organic agriculture; ways to manage seed purity in NOSB identified at-risk crops; and which breeding techniques should be allowed in organically certified seeds. 

View the full comments on the ASTA website.
Congress in Recess 

Congress is in recess until the week after the November elections. If you're a subscriber of ASTA's PoliSeeds newsletter, stay tuned for a special post-election edition analyzing the results of the races and the potential impacts on the seed industry. Contact Virginia Houston to subscribe. Please note, you must be an ASTA member to receive this publication. 

House of Representatives Urges Administration to Remember Biotechnology
On October 28, 113 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama expressing appreciation for the administration's efforts in engaging with the Chinese government on agricultural innovation and trade. Over the past several years, commitments were successfully secured from China to improve the approval process for products of agricultural biotechnology. This was a major topic during President Xi's state visit last year. However, despite these efforts a number of products are still pending approvals.
The Congressional letter was sent in advance of the November Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) meeting of the Chinese and American governments. ASTA helped lead the letter effort with several other industry groups, including the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, National Grain and Feed Association, and the National Corn Growers Association. The full text is available here.
ASTA Leads Delegation to China 

ASTA led a six-person delegation to China October 15-21.

The group started in Northern China where they visited the Nestle Dairy Farming Institute and Land O'Lakes facility to learn about the forage trials being conducted for the growing Chinese dairy industry. The group then traveled to Shengyang where they visited field trials for a 200,000-head dairy operation.

The remainder of the trip was spent meeting with partners in Beijing. At a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture, the delegation learned about changes to China's seed law and the potential impacts on seed companies doing business in China. They also met with representatives of the China National Seed Association (CNSA) and the U.S.-China Agriculture and Food Partnership to discuss 2017 programming. The group ended the trip by attending the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Seed Congress as special guests of CNSA.

Meetings & Education
CSS Session to Focus on Future of a Changing Industry 

This year's CSS & Seed Expo, December 5-9 in Chicago, will feature a special session reflecting on the past 20 years of industry changes. Moderated by ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne, Glancing Back and Moving Forward in a Changing Industry will showcase a panel of seasoned industry-experts including Sonny Beck, Beck's Superior Hybrids, and Paul Schickler, DuPont Pioneer. Panelists will discuss their personal career paths, methods for finding good talent, and predictions for the future, with a focus on developing people and corporate culture within their teams. The panel will be held on Wednesday, December 7 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. For more information including the full schedule of events, visit the CSS webpage

SIPA to Host Technical Education Unit in Conjunction with ASTA CS

Join the Seed Innovation & Protection Alliance (SIPA) for a technical education unit in conjunction with ASTA's CSS 2016 and Seed Expo in Chicago. Held December 6 from 8:00-11:00 a.m., the unit will focus on the enforcement of intellectualproperty rights. Presentation topics include:
  • the basics of enforcing IP;
  • standard operating procedures for enforcement of IP;
  • audits, including royalty audits of distributors, retailers and users;
  • detection methods for varieties and traits (markers, PCR assays, kits etc); and
  • settlement options.
The unit is open to all. To reserve a spot, RSVP to James Weatherly by December 1.
Hotel information is available on the ASTA website .
First-the Seed Foundation Promotes Seed-Industry Careers at National FFA Convention

Representatives from the First-the Seed Foundation (FTSF) participated in the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 19-22 in Indianapolis. FTSF hosted a booth at the Expo and interacted with hundreds of teachers, advisors and students expressing interest in FTSF classroom curriculum and seed-industry careers.
Also during the convention, FTSF Board Member Wayne Gale participated in a mock press conference where FFA students competed for the best journalistic coverage of the event. The press conference focused on Tomatosphere, a free program that uses tomato seeds that have gone to the International Space Station to teach students about plants, space, careers, nutrition and agriculture

More than 65,000 students and educators participated in the FFA Convention. 
Member News 
Welcome to ASTA's newest members! 

Quarry Seed Ltd.
Stonewall, MB, Canada
Exclusive soybean genetics and added-value crop inputs

Colusa Produce Corporation
Meridian, CA

North American Plant Genetics
Guelph, ON, Canada
Loveland, CO
Unique seed opportunities for U.S. corn and soybean farmers

Coral Springs, FL
Production, research, and commercialization of the first generation of Brachiaria hybrids
Ames, OK
Producer owned cooperative serving the agriculture, brewing, distilling, milling and baking industries.

Seeding Success
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