The local, organic food movement has done a tremendous job of making us think about the people and places producing our food. We understand that from field to plate our purchasing decisions matter, and can lead to healthier meals for our families, a healthier planet, and healthier communities.
Farmers growing our food also have an important purchasing decision — the seed they sow. Our food really begins with seed, and with the people who steward seed for the benefit of all. This is the movement Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) works diligently to grow and nurture.
For more than a decade, OSA has worked side by side with farmers to save and improve non-GMO seed on their farms. Our research and education results in new stewards of this invaluable resource and more high-quality organic seed.
Thank you for your support of OSA. Your past donations have helped us train thousands of farmers in seed stewardship.
Take sweet corn, a summertime favorite we all eagerly await. Much of the sweet corn seed planted in the U.S. was developed — and is owned — by the biggest players in the business: Syngenta and Monsanto. Their control of corn reflects the highly consolidated industry, one that puts shareholder profits before the independence of farmers, not to mention the health of people and the planet.
Seven years ago, Minnesota farmer Martin Diffley joined an organic plant-breeding project with OSA and the University of Wisconsin. He wanted to develop sweet corn that addressed specific challenges he faced as an organic grower. The result of this collaboration is a new open-pollinated sweet corn variety called ‘Who Gets Kissed?’ This flavorful variety, uniquely adapted to organic conditions, is now available for you to grow on your farm or in your garden. It’s the first release in a series of open-pollinated sweet corn varieties developed in partnership between OSA, the University of Wisconsin, and organic farmers. Thanks to other collaborations taking place with farmers across the country, there will soon be other organic varieties available.
Martin is among the people who develop and sustain the seed that feeds us. As corporate ag giants patent seed and tighten their grip on what was once a public resource, the need to support public, organic seed work has never been so great.
Help us continue building partnerships that deliver seed developed by and for the organic community.
There’s no better way to expand and protect organic seed diversity than by putting seed in the hands of farmers. This is how we reverse seed industry consolidation — by reducing farmer reliance on a handful of major seed companies. This is how we build power to influence seed policy from the farm field up.
Make no mistake: Delivering on our mission takes more than plant breeders, farmers, and organizations like OSA. It takes seed advocates like you.
Farmers can take back control of the seed they sow, but first they need options like ‘Who Gets Kissed?’ and knowledge in seed saving and plant breeding, which is why we also published a manual this year for growers to learn how to conduct their own organic sweet corn breeding on their farm. We want to empower farmers to generate more seed diversity.
Your support is needed throughout the year. Please consider a recurring tax-deductible gift to OSA. A few dollars each month can add up to a generous annual donation.
We wish you a joyous holiday season.
P.S. Many of our educational courses and online manuals are offered for no charge. In this way, the opportunity to attend an event or download a seed manual is an enormous gift — and one that we can only give with the support of generous people like you helping us out. Please contribute today.