Within a rising sea of dire news this fall was a seed of hope. In October, the 91 scientists of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that the people of this planet must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop mitigation tools now to avoid catastrophic consequences for global health. The report also identified promising ways to mitigate impacts on food security, “such as developing varieties better adapted to changing climate conditions.”
We nurture the promise that seed holds for our planet every day at Organic Seed Alliance (OSA). This year marks OSA’s 15th year of organic research, farmer education, and policy advocacy that keeps seeds in the hands of the people, not the patent holder. Our programs equip farmers to face climate challenges and engage them in on-farm plant breeding that delivers resilient, adaptable vegetable and grain varieties. While delivering mitigation tools, our work also counteracts the cause of our climate crisis by strengthening organic practices that avoid the excess pollution and carbon footprint of chemical agriculture.
Over these 15 years, our small but strong organization has trained thousands of farmers, contributed to the improvement of hundreds of varieties of organic crops, spurred more public investment in organic research, and published the only comprehensive assessments of organic seed in the U.S. Farmers we’ve trained, like Marco Colby and Hanako Myers of Midori Farm in Quilcene, Washington, have made the leap from new seed savers to organic seed producers, adding diversity and resilience to local and regional food systems.
Our programs first took root in the Pacific Northwest, but our work now extends nationally, with synergistic benefits for all the farmers we serve. We reach new farmers every day as we build robust regional seed systems linked through a national network of seed growers. Our programs support co-ops, seed hubs, and diverse seed companies, whether they grow on the California coast or the piedmont of Virginia. From leading a workshop on a small organic farm in Wisconsin to rallying with coalition partners for a fair Farm Bill in Washington, DC, OSA is making a meaningful impact thanks to your interest and support.
As we celebrate our anniversary, we are asking you to join us in constructive, science-based work that is an antidote to so many problems facing our food supply: changing climates, corporate consolidation and patenting of seed, and pesticides in our environment. Your help is especially needed now as federal organic programs that fund our research have been held hostage to partisan politics during this Farm Bill year.
If you believe in the hope inherent in every seed, please give now and nurture a year of progress toward OSA’s mission. Thank you for supporting the critically important work of charting a sustainable path for our food supply, starting with seed.Donate Today