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In this issue:
Don't Forget to Register for ASTA's Farm & Lawn Seed Conference
Make plans to attend ASTA's Farm & Lawn Seed Conference , November 8 - 9 in Kansas City, Missouri, held in conjunction with the Western Seed Association's (WSA) Annual Meeting. As a reminder, all Farm and Lawn Seed Conference attendees should also register for the WSA .
Highlights include an update on the Soil Health Partnership by Dr. Nick Goeser, National Corn Growers Association, and an overview of what's ahead for the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) National Seed Strategy by BLM's Mike Tupper.  T he full agenda is available here .
ASTA's popular Seed Industry Issues Summit and Breakfast returns Monday, Nov. 9 from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.  RSVPs for the breakfast are encouraged and can be made by emailing Virginia Houston , ASTA Associate Director of Domestic and Government Affairs.
Thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors, no additional registration fee is required for WSA registrants to attend ASTA programming.  Click here for information on exhibiting at the meeting and  sponsorship opportunities still available.
Seed Industry Comes Together to Form Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance
Responding to an increasing need to promote the importance and understanding of seed innovation, members of the American seed industry recently announced the formation of the Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance (SIPA).   ASTA is pleased to be a member of this alliance which will serve the goal of creating a unified and consistent voice for education and best practices around intellectual property protection and its value to the seed community.
Currently, SIPA is developing educational materials for outreach to seed companies, public and private researchers and others, as well as best practices for breeders to consider when evaluating needs related to intellectual property rights.  The alliance will also conduct educational workshops with topics relevant to leadership, sales and marketing, and research and development personnel. 
SIPA welcomes membership from across the seed and agricultural industry.  To learn more, visit: .

Reserve Your Spot for the AMSAC/ASTA Phytosanitary Workshop
Registration is now open for the AMSAC/ASTA Phytosanitary Workshop, November 4-5 in Mexicali, Mexico. The workshop will explore ways to streamline the safe movement of seed across the U.S.-Mexico border, and is limited to 40 industry participants (20 from the U.S. and 20 from Mexico).
Topics of discussion will include: sampling and testing, small lots of seed/research seed, pest risk assessments, accreditation opportunities, untreated seed/organic seed movement, and more.
For more information, including a copy of the full agenda, contact Kelly Crist at .  To reserve your spot, RSVP to Kelly by October 23               
Volunteer with Future Ag Professionals
ASTA, in partnership with the First-the Seed Foundation and the Future Seed Executives committee (FuSE), is seeking volunteers to serve as judges at the annual Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) science fair on Friday, December 11, immediately following CSS 2015 & Seed Expo.  
Please consider taking advantage of this excellent (and fun!) opportunity to show support for our nation's rising ag professionals.  The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and ASTA will provide transportation to and from the school.
Let's make a strong showing for the seed industry!  A limited number of judging spots are available.  RSVP by November 15 to Ann Jorss .  We hope to see you there!

EPA Announces Revised Farm Worker Protection Standards
Some key proposed changes include: requiring pesticide applicators to be at least 18 years old; creating whistleblower protections so farm workers can confidentially submit complaints over pesticide abuses; providing pesticide application records for all farm workers for the past two years; requiring easy access to all workers or their representatives for records involving exposure to hazardous chemicals; and posting pesticide hazard information in central locations, in both English and Spanish.
ASTA, in conjunction with the Pesticide Policy Coalition (PPC), expressed concerns with the proposal in comments submitted to EPA last year.  In the comments, the PPC argued that the proposed rule did not take into account numerous advances in application technology and farm mechanization since the rule was last revised 22 years ago.  ASTA is currently reviewing the final proposal and analyzing its potential impacts to the seed industry.
Agreement Reached on Trans-Pacific Partnership 
On Monday, the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations announced a tentative agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The massive trade deal-which faces months of debate in Congress-will tie together nearly 40 percent of the world's economy, from Canada to Japan to Australia.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praised the deal, saying it would provide "a more level playing field in trade for American farmers."  TPP countries currently buy about 42 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports, he noted.
ASTA is currently reviewing the details of the agreement, and will closely monitor the Congressional debate to ensure the seed industry fully benefits from this deal.

NCCPB Offers Graduate Student Award
The National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (NCCPB) is offering up to three awards of $2,500 for graduate students pursuing a PhD in Plant Breeding at a U.S. university.
Principal selection criteria include:
  • Significance and originality of basic or applied plant breeding thesis research;
  • Strong scholastic achievement in graduate level plant breeding and related course work; and
  • Evidence of integrity, professionalism, and effective leadership skills as determined by peer, graduate advisor, and graduate faculty evaluations.
The deadline for applications is October 23.  Students must be U.S. citizens to qualify.  For more information, visit


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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