Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will host a listening session to hear from farmers, seed growers, seed companies, plant breeders, and other food and farming stakeholders about issues they face with intellectual property rights (IPR) on seed. IPR decisions affect all growers, regardless of how they farm or garden (organic or otherwise) and have very real ethical and cultural implications for community seed systems. Listening session hosts will invite participants to answer the following questions: How does IPR impact your farming operation, gardening pursuits, and plant breeding or research? What questions do you have about IPR, and what resources do you need? What resources do you already have? Are there opportunities for improving how IPR is used in the seed system? Input gathered will directly inform future educational events and policy recommendations in 2021.
Cathleen McCluskey is the outreach director at Organic Seed Alliance. Cathleen supports OSA communications, and coordination of regional and national outreach efforts, and is the chair of the biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference.