About OSGATAThe Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) develops, protects and promotes the organic seed trade and its growers, and assures that the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed, free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture.
The creation of a healthy organic seed trade is paramount to the success of the National Organic Program (NOP). Organic farmers require quality organic seed in order to meet NOP guidelines, but more importantly, to maximize the overall integrity and success of their organic system. At the onset of the organic rule (October, 2002), a clear lack of organic seed quantity and quality required the NOP to develop an exemption for the use of organic seed. While the exemption is necessary at present, no farmer should lack the seed best suited for their production and market.
Additionally, organic seed systems face risks from transgenic contamination, with many unanswered questions and concerns such as who should be responsible for testing organic seed for the presence of contamination. The promotion and development of a vibrant organic seed trade will result in the manifestation of seed systems suited to the ecological, economic, local, and sustainable challenges and needs of organic farming.
Today our membership is comprised of organic farmers who produce seed crops, organic seed breeders, organic seed companies, and affiliate organizations and non-voting associate members composed of colleagues that support organic farmers and organic seed systems. We believe that we need healthy partnerships in which the organic community invests in organic seed systems that:
OSGATA Board MembersDan Hobbs
Dan Hobbs has twenty years agricultural and rural development experience in the United States and South America and formerly served as executive director of The Organic Seed Alliance, NewFarms and Nuestras Raices, all 501(c)(3) organizations, and as a cooperative specialist with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. He is particularly skilled in the organizational aspects of value added agricultural cooperatives and other membership organizations and has extensive experience working with minority and resource-limited producers. Dan is a fifth generation Coloradan, holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies, and owns and operates a 30 acre organic seed and vegetable farm in Pueblo County Colorado.
Meredith Martin Davis
Meredith Martin Davis is part-owner and General Manager of High Mowing Organic Seeds, a certified organic farm and seed catalog company dedicated to supporting sustainable agriculture and local food systems by providing gardeners and professional growers with the highest quality organic seed. Prior to joining High Mowing, Meredith worked with small businesses in Vermont through the Micro Business Development Program, the Women's Small Business Program, and in her own business consulting practice. She served as the Executive Director of the Women Business Owners Network, and taught business classes for Champlain College, Woodbury College, and the Small Business Development Center. Meredith currently serves as a Board Member of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, a nonprofit trade organization that supports the development and organic integrity of the organic seed industry. Meredith has a double-major in Economics and Geography from Dartmouth College.
Jim Gerritsen, along with his wife Megan, has owned and operated Wood Prairie Farm in northern Maine for over thirty years. Wood Prairie Farm has been a MOFGA-certified organic farm since 1982. The Gerritsens are focused on the production of organic early generation Maine Certified Seed Potatoes, seed crops, vegetables and grain. Their seed potatoes are sold retail through their mail order catalog and web business. Additionally, they sell wholesale to several national mail order seed houses. They are active in the organic community. In addition to serving as President of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn., Jim has served on the Certification Committee of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for over 20 years. He has served as President of Organic Seed Alliance and continues on the OSA Board. Jim is on the Board of Directors of the Mailorder Gardening Assn, he serves on the Steering Committee of the local USDA St John Aroostook RC & D and is co-leader of Slow Food Aroostook. The Gerritsens farm and reside in the Aroostook County town of Bridgewater with their four children.
Nancy Redfeather has been a teacher and organic gardener for 38 years. She is founder of Hawai’i SEED, the Hawai’i Island Seed Exchange, Hawai’i GEAN, and co-founder of Biodynamics Hawai’i and the Know Your Farmer Alliance. She and her husband Gerry Herbert have created an experimental/educational mini-farm at Kawanui, Honalo where they have given community classes yearly since 2002 in home vegetable production, coffee and orchard production using sustainable/ecological practices. She dances with Na Wai Iwi Ola Halau under the direction of Kumu Hula Keala Ching. She was the Coordinator of the Hawai’i Island Food Summit October 2007 and currently is Coordinating The Kohala Center’s newest food self-reliance project, the Hawai’i Island School Garden Network, which includes all island schools. She is an avid seed saver and is always experimenting with new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that might do well in tropical climatic zones. Nancy can be reached at: email@example.com or 808-322-2801
OSGATA Executive Director, Sarah is responsible for OSGATA’s communications, policy work, OSGATA’s overall organizational development, and working with the Board of Directors. Sarah Sullivan of Portland, Oregon has extensive experience in organizational management, gardening, teaching, seed saving, community leadership, fundraising and legislative work. She moved to Portland in 2006 from Hawaii where she taught landscape and permaculture design and co-founded Hawaii SEED, the now-flourishing statewide coalition promoting sustainable, diverse, local agriculture.