Seed producer and plant breeder Heron Breen of Fedco Seeds and Fruits of Our Labors Farm of Saint Albans, Maine, has been elected to the Organic Seed Alliance Board of Directors. The OSA team is delighted to welcome Heron and all that he brings to our seed community, and we will celebrate his new role as we participate with him in the Northeast Organic Farmers Association New York Winter Conference, January 18-19, 2019, in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Below is a letter of introduction from Heron:
Dear Organic Seed Alliance Community,
My heart glows when I think of my first attendance of the Organic Seed Growers Conference: I was elated to find this gathering of people who cared about seed and thought critically about seed policy. In my own “bubble,” I had been going about my business not knowing of the thriving seed community around the country. With a new feeling of belonging & engagement, I realized that I could name myself a “breeder” of sorts! Returning home back across the country, I was eager to participate in and strengthen that greater community.
To me, one word describes the clearest strength OSA as an entity and a community attains: ALLIANCE. Thru my career in a seed business & as a farmer, I have seen the personal and professional support between companies, seed growers, gardeners and farmers be of most integrity when we act from an understanding of our Alliance. This word means despite differences of opinion or interpretation, we have each others’ backs. It means in the hurdles of small or large scale, as we weather the hard choices of markets, morals, and momentum, we lean on each other. We share, teach, learn, listen, grieve and celebrate…together. The longer this road, the more we will need each other. And I say this knowing of fractures of the moment, the ongoing trust that must be built, earned and exercised. As an OSA board member, please know this Alliance is fixed in my mind.
OSA as an entity and community has created a safe, consistent and now expected event every other year. It is a welcome pilgrimage & reunion for so many. In addition, OSA has maintained the following “arms” of engagement: First, the resources of applied seed production & breeding offered on-line and in workshops achieve clarity and depth. Second, the field research is based in collaboration & good science. Third, the national and community policy work is truly topnotch. Fourth, regional outreach is well planned & executed.
But I know this work does not just happen. It requires budgeting & raising funds, always being mindful of stakeholders & overall community, retention & development of valuable staff, and clear planning with room for meeting the needs of the moment. I am truly honored that I get to help with this work, in some small part, as an OSA board member.