Registration is open for the 2019 Student Organic Seed Symposium!
“Seed stories: Narratives of self, science, spirit, and social context”
August 22-25, 2019 | Dodgeville, WI | Bethel Horizons Retreat Center
Rowen White / Sierra Seeds
Ken Greene / SEEDSHED
Jason Cavatorta / EarthWorks Seeds
Kristyn Leach / Namu Farm Dan Cornelius / Intertribal Ag Council
Yusuf Bin-Rella / Food Routes
What is SOSS?
SOSS is annual gathering of graduate students and other professionals working in organic seed systems.
What are the goals of SOSS?
The goal of SOSS is to create a community grounded in both scientific rigor and regenerative ethics, in which the organic seed movement can grow. To connect and support graduate students working in organic seed systems, in order both to strengthen their current research and facilitate post-graduate opportunities.
What makes SOSS unique?
SOSS is centered on graduate students. While professionals from both private and public seed sectors are essential to the gathering, they are present primarily as mentors. SOSS is small. The gathering is intentionally limited to 75 attendees or fewer, and the schedule allows time for in-depth, informal conversations as well as thought-provoking programming. Plant breeding for resilience in organic systems is the primary focus of many SOSS attendees, but people working on seed quality, seed production, and socioeconomic dimensions of organic seed systems are welcome too.
What’s the story with “Seed Stories?”
Each of us has a story — a lifelong series of causes and events, people and places — that has led us to work with organic seed systems. Each of our stories has context. Each narrative represents a confluence of personal choices, cultural values, and socioeconomic structures. And importantly, none of these stories is finished. SOSS 2019 is an invitation to share, re-examine, and re-imagine our seed stories.
What questions will guide SOSS 2019?
- What drew you to work with seeds?
- What keeps you working with seeds?
- How do science and spirit interact in your work with seeds?
- Do you find tension or complementation between intuition and scientific enquiry?
- How have your identities (race / ethnicity / gender / class / sexual orientation / ability/ etc.) shaped your work with seeds? How have your identities shaped the questions you ask and the resources you have to answer them?
- What questions about productivity — aesthetics, power, ecology, or something else — do you want to answer in future seed projects? What insights might scientific paradigms, instruments, or technologies provide?
- Which questions can’t science answer?
- Does thinking about the stories of seed varieties, or of the seed professionals who create them, change our conversation about plant breeding techniques and technologies?
- About intellectual property?
- About privilege?
- If your plants took notes on you, what would they observe?
Is SOSS different than SOSP?
Yes. SOSS is the major annual event of the Society of Organic Seed Professionals (SOSP), the parent organization that has grown out of the SOSS network. SOSP is fiscally sponsored by Organic Seed Alliance.
Do I need to pay when I register?
No! To defer payment, please select the “unpaid student” registration option. If you would like to be considered for a travel scholarship please email firstname.lastname@example.org. SOSS organizers will reach out after June 1 to discuss available funds. SOSS is committed to inclusivity. Please choose the deferred payment option (“Unpaid Student”) and/or apply for a travel scholarship if funding is an issue.
Email: email@example.com. Or check out the symposium schedule, travel info, and speaker profiles for more details. We look forward to seeing you this August!