Seed News

OSGATA at the National Heirloom Expo

OSGATA will be attending the 4th annual National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, CA, on September 9th, 10th, and 11th. Dubbed the “World’s Fair of Pure Food,” this not-for-profit event is centered around pure food, heirloom vegetables, and anti-GMO activism. More than 100 speakers will be presenting at the Expo on

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New Survey to Assess State of Organic Seed

New Survey to Assess State of Organic Seed

OSGATA member Organic Seed Alliance recently announced their 2014 survey to assess the challenges and opportunities facing organic seed. Conducted every five years as part of an ongoing “State of Organic Seed” project, this national survey  monitors organic seed availability and use, challenges in sourcing organic seed, and organic plant

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Hoop Houses Produce Quality Dry-Seeded Crops in the Northeast

Hoop Houses Produce Quality Dry-Seeded Crops in the Northeast

  By Guest Blogger, Petra Page-Mann, Fruition Seeds (Originally posted on Fruition Seeds “Sow What?” Blog)             Lettuce & many dry-seeded crops are challenging to produce in humid climates, like the Northeastern U.S. Our hot, humid summers make saving certain kinds of seed nearly impossible.

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OSGATA Joins Coalition Filing Legal Petition with USDA over NOSB Independen​ce

OSGATA Joins Coalition Filing Legal Petition with USDA over NOSB Independen​ce

  Twenty organic farm and consumer groups have filed a legal petition with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in order to protect the authority and permanence of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The petitioners object to recent changes to the NOSB charter, renewed on May 8, 2014, that undermine the mandatory and

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USDA Seeks Comments on GE “Innate” Potato

USDA Seeks Comments on GE "Innate" Potato

USDA Comments Sought for Further Assessment on the Simplot GE “Innate” Potato. What are the Possible Risks? By Guest Blogger, Lyn Howe, PhD Physiology     The USDA seeks public comments on an environmental assessment and a plant pest risk assessment for a new GE potato, engineered to have fewer acrylamides

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Preserving Seeds for the Commons

Preserving Seeds for the Commons

  Preserving Seeds for the Commons By Guest Blogger, Lyn Howe, Beach Road Farm, HI       Presently over 75% of proprietary seeds are owned by 10 companies, but a new Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI), introduced by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, seeks to provide an alternative to this

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Student-Driven Organic Plant Breeding

Student-Driven Organic Plant Breeding

The Student Organic Seed Symposium (SOSS) launched in 2012 in an effort to increase the capacity to advance crop improvement for sustainable agriculture through fostering dialogue between students interested in organic plant breeding, researchers, and organic seed industry professionals. Now in their 3rd year, SOSS is preparing a three-day symposium to be held at

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OSGATA at the National Organic Standards Board Meeting

OSGATA at the National Organic Standards Board Meeting

April 29, 2014, kicked off the first day of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in San Antonio, TX. The USDA  has advanced with its illegal take-over of the NOSB.  The NOSB was established by Congress as a citizen oversight board of USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). This relationship is spelled out in

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Farming In Harmony with Nature

Farming In Harmony with Nature

  To commemorate International Mother Earth Day, the United Nations hosted its 4th Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature on April 22, 2014. OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen presented “Advantages & Challenges of Organic Farming: A Farming System Based on Harmony with Nature”

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Special Earth Day Screening of Open Sesame

Special Earth Day Screening of Open Sesame

  A special screening of Open Sesame- The Story of Seeds, is showing Tuesday, April 22, at 7:30pm at Union Square Stadium Theater in New York City. This Earth Day event features an informal seed swap and a Q&A with OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, Ken Greene from

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OSGATA President to Speak at United Nations on Earth Day

OSGATA President to Speak at United Nations on Earth Day

  OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen, a Maine organic seed potato farmer, will participate on a guest panel at the United Nations in New York City from 10am to 1pm EST, on April 22, 2014. The event marks the 4th Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature commemorating International Mother Earth Day. Gerritsen will

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Open Sesame- Request a Screening!

Open Sesame- Request a Screening!

  Open Sesame- The Story of Seeds, from Open Pollinated Productions, is a groundbreaking film with a mission: to raise awareness about the issues affecting seed on a global scale and how these issues, in turn, impact our food supply. Open Sesame poignantly argues that seed is the basis not only of agriculture, but also

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The Silent Spring by Donald Sutherland

    The Silent Spring by Donald Sutherland     There is a beautiful old towering Chestnut tree on the land we lease to farm.  One day in May I was commenting on how beautiful the flowering Chestnut tree was to Dick, the retired farmer whose land we lease. “That

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Prairie Road Organic Farm and Seed Honored as Farmers of the Year

Prairie Road Organic Farm and Seed Honored as Farmers of the Year

North Dakota seed and grain farmers, David, Ginger, Dan and Theresa Podoll of OSGATA member Prairie Road Organic Seed were named the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) 2014 Organic Farmers of the Year at the 25th MOSES Organic Farming Conference. Based in Fullerton, ND, Prairie Road Organic Seed, is dedicated

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Survey Says: Organic Farmers Pay the Price for GE Contamination

Survey Says: Organic Farmers Pay the Price for GE Contamination

Results from a recent survey of organic grain growers, pertaining to GE contamination avoidance and economic losses associated with contamination, highlight the risks and effects of GE contamination on organic farmers. Data collected and compiled by Food & Water Watch, in partnership with the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM), is

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New Resource on GE Contamination Avoidance Now Available

New Resource on GE Contamination Avoidance Now Available

  OSGATA is excited to announce the launch of a new book, Protecting Organic Seed Integrity, defining best practices for avoiding genetically engineered (GE) contamination in organic seed. Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court failed American farmers who had sought protection and their right to self-defense from GE contamination in the

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OSGATA at the 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference

OSGATA at the 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference

The biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference, hosted by the Organic Seed Alliance, is heralded as one of a kind. Held on January 31-February 1st in Corvallis, OR, this year’s conference promises to bring together hundreds of farmers, plant breeders, researchers, university extension, certifiers, food companies, seed production and distribution companies, and other organic stakeholders for  two full

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Supreme Court Denies Family Farmers Right to Self-Defen​se from Monsanto Abuse

Supreme Court Denies Family Farmers Right to Self-Defen​se from Monsanto Abuse

 The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, on January 13, 2014, in the landmark federal lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case, denying family farmers their right to argue on behalf of  gaining protection from patent litigation abuse by Monsanto. The high court decision further dashes

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Ira Wallace of SESE Talks Heirlooms of the South

Ira Wallace shares her growing know-how in the recently published Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast. Wallace is Southern Exposure Seed Exchange’s home garden expert, and serves on the board of OSGATA and of the Organic Seed Alliance. In the latest edition of the radio show, “A Way to Garden,” Wallace spoke with

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Farmers vs. Monsanto: Family Farmers File Brief in Final Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

Farmers vs. Monsanto: Family Farmers File Brief in Final Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

The Public Patent Foundation  recently filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto, in the hopes that the court would hear and reinstate the case of 73 American organic and conventional family farmers, seed businesses and

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