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In this issue:
U.S.-China Seed Industries Renew MOU
On October 27, ASTA and the China National Seed Association (CNSA) extended a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations for another three years.  Under the previous MOU, ASTA and CNSA held a dozen events to promote intellectual property rights, technology transfer, high quality seed and science-based phytosanitary measures.  The latest MOU, signed at the CNSA office in Beijing, creates a coordinating committee of company representatives to oversee and ensure that future programs align with the goals of the MOU.

The ASTA delegation included: Risa DeMasi, Chair; Mark Herrmann, First Vice Chair; John Schoenecker, Immediate Past Chair; Tim Johnson, Immediate Past Chair, International Seed Federation; Andy LaVigne, President & CEO; and Michelle Klieger, Director, International Programs and Policy. USDA Agriculture Special Zhang Lei, from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, also participated in the meeting.

Following the signing ceremony, the ASTA delegation traveled to Anhui Province to tour the seed facilities of Winall Hi-Tech Seed Co., Ltd. and Anhui Jianghaui Horticulture Seed Co., Ltd. Before returning to Beijing, the group met with provincial officials to discuss the implementation of the proposed Chinese seed law, the "green path" for expedited seed variety registrations, the impacts of counterfeit seed on Chinese food security and biotechnology research.
ASTA Promotes Pollinator Health
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ During the week of October 19, ASTA members and staff participated in several meetings on the topic of pollinator health.   Meetings with the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and the Honeybee Health Coalition focused on advancing practical solutions for improving the health of pollinators through increased planting of forage, research, and improved communication between bee keepers, growers and pesticide applicators. The White House's recently released National Pollinator Strategy presents increased opportunities for collaboration with both Federal and non-Federal partners.

ASTA representatives also attended a meeting hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to support the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge of which ASTA is a founding partner organization. The Challenge seeks to encourage planting for pollinators in urban and suburban areas. If you're interested in promoting the challenge through your own communications channels, contact Jane DeMarchi at
Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Biotechnology Hearing
On October 21, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a hearing on agriculture biotechnology where Senators from both parties spoke to the importance and safety of biotechnology and the need for a single national food labeling standard.

The hearing comes less than 10 months from the July 1 effective date of the labeling mandate in Vermont -- the first state to implement its own unique GMO labeling standard. Though Vermont's law is currently being challenged in federal court, a judicial decision is unlikely prior to July 1.

While the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation in July that would provide a uniform national labeling solution, the Senate has yet to take action.  ASTA is part of a coalition advocating for federal legislation to provide clarity for the agriculture and food value chain and avoid a patchwork of state-based mandatory labels.
Don't Miss ASTA's Management Academy!
ASTA is once again partnering with the Purdue University Center for Food and Agricultural Business to offer the annual ASTA Management Academy . The 2016 academy will be held March 7-11, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana. 

The five-day workshop is led by award-winning Purdue faculty members, and offers an excellent
opportunity for managers to strengthen their leadership, decision-making and management skills. Using a blend of lectures, breakout sessions and group discussions, the program encourages networking and idea-sharing with industry peers from across the value chain. Specific topics to be covered include: strategic business tools, management skills, large-grower selling tactics, and financial management. 

For more information or to register, visit the website .   For questions, contact Aissa Good
Registration Now Open for "Blazing Trails" Educational Unit
Registration is now open for the ASTA - Future Seed Executives (FuSE) November Educational Unit, November 18-19 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The two-day event will include a strategic communications seminar at the Dow AgriSciences facility, a sales and marketing session (including a tour and tasting) at Sun King Brewery, and a tour of the National FFA Campus and Merchandise Center.

The cost is $75 to attend, and transportation will be provided between events. A discounted group rate has been arranged at the Holiday Inn Express. For more information and to register, click here
UC Davis Announces Seed Production Course  
The University of California, Davis is hosting a seed production course February 2-5, 2016. The course will focus on the biological, genetic, agronomic and technological processes and practices involved in the production and processing of agricultural seeds and methods to employ those processes to influence seed quality.

The class is targeted at seed industry professionals and will primarily emphasize horticultural crops as well as selected agronomic crops, including sunflower, alfalfa and canola. The content will be delivered through lectures, case studies and group discussions.

Early bird registration ends December 1. For more information,  click here or contact Rebeca Madrigal at (530) 752-8759 or
ASTA Welcomes New Member!
ASTA is pleased to welcome Sensient Colors LLC as its newest member.  Sensient Industrial Colors, a U.S. based business unit of Sensient Colors that serves the agricultural industry, has been a leading dye and pigment innovator since 1905.  

Sensient Industrial Colors has consistently delivered unique seed colorant technologies that provide brilliance in seed coverage, appearance and dust-off remediation.


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.

American Seed Trade Association 

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