"As the Senate debates the 2013 Farm Bill, I urge you to support the amendment sponsored by Senator Tester that aims to reinvigorate classical plant breeding to ensure farmers have the seed they need to be successful. Developing regionally appropriate seed varieties held in the public domain is paramount to the success of U.S. agriculture."
Classical plant breeding is cost-effective, proven, and the best source of the diverse, complex traits that allow farmers and researchers to respond to changing conditions, new challenges, and new market opportunities. It's not controversial, it has obvious benefits for researchers and consumers, and it's good for every American farmer, no matter what kind of crop they choose to grow.
Your call will help ensure that public research dollars deliver diverse, public seed choices to American farmers.
Spring 2013 Newsletter
Farmers have been at the heart of Organic Seed Alliance’s work since our inception. We rely on farm experience, knowledge, and land to inform each component of our work to build organic seed systems –- from breeding to production to distribution. We believe the role of farmers in stewarding our seed must be promoted, protected, and propagated as vigorously as the conservation of seed itself.
This spring, we hope you’ll take time to build your knowledge in organic seed, whether it’s learning how to save seed on your farm or in your garden, conducting organic seed variety trials, or asking your favorite seed distributor how the seed you purchase was produced.
OSA is celebrating a landmark anniversary this year. After ten years of advancing the ethical development and stewardship of seed, we’ve established a track record of fostering seed systems that form the foundation of a sustainable food future. And to build on that record, we are asking you to join us in this work.
Your tax-deductible gift to OSA ensures continued growth of our programs so we can make even more gains in organic seed research, education, and advocacy.
Farmers who save and improve seed are innovators in their own right. Their seed decisions and practices impact the quality and integrity of the food we eat, the health of our environment, and the viability of this invaluable natural resource. The Farmer Seed Stewardship initiative represents a network of farmers who identify themselves as "seed stewards." Learn more here.
7th Organic Seed Growers Conference
Save the date! Join us January 30 - February 1, 2014, in Corvallis, Oregon, for our biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference. Conference hosts include Organic Seed Alliance, Oregon State University, Washington State University, and eOrganic. Learn more about the conference and how to become a sponsor here.
Read about our 6th Organic Seed Growers Conference here.
2012 California Organic Variety Trial Report
Published in January 2013: This report is the result of variety trials conducted in 2012 by Organic Seed Alliance in Arcata and San Jaun Bautista, California. Researchers evaluated close to 100 varieties. Data was collected from both on-farm trial locations in the summer and fall of 2012. This report includes detailed descriptions of trial locations, trial methods, trial result evaluations, and recommendations. Download the report.
Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit
Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) is a highly effective on-farm breeding method that involves a close collaboration between farmers and researchers. The approach provides farmers an opportunity to adapt crop varieties to their specific regions and organic farming practices. The toolkit includes a background on the theory and practice of PPB, case studies of successful projects, and worksheets to facilitate project planning and execution. Download a free copy here.
Southeast Organic Seed Stakeholder Survey
Read findings from a 2012 organic seed survey conducted in the Southeast region of the US. Findings point to enormous interest among farmers and other agricultural professionals in strengthening seed systems in the Southeast that address the needs of the organic community. Read the press release and download the report (opens PDF).
As part of NOVIC, OSA has partnered with seven local farms to trial six vegetable crops: carrots, corn, broccoli, snap peas, winter squash, and beets. We’re teaching farmers how to breed on-farm for organic conditions. Learn more here