People on the ground, like you, make this work possible. Please donate today.
Need a gift idea for a farmer or gardener in your life? Give the gift of seed this holiday season with your contribution to OSA. Make a donation of $30.00 or more on behalf of others and we’ll send them a packet of organic seed along with a card (samples shown here) acknowledging your gift. View 2010 holiday gifts.
A letter from OSA Executive Director Micaela Colley ::
Dear Seed Supporter,
Carrot plants churn through Nash Huber’s combine as he turns to me and says, “Without the seed we don’t have anything.” In other words, seed is the foundation of our organic food system. Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) works nationally with farmers like Nash, as well as researchers, independent seed companies, and organic advocates, to create healthy, community-based seed systems. People on the ground, like you, make this work possible. I invite you to join our efforts with a tax-deductible donation this holiday season. Our work preserves farmers’ roles and rights as seed stewards, and ensures the integrity of seed and food by protecting it from contamination by genetically engineered (GE) crops. It also supports organic farmers’ ability to feed their communities a diversity of locally grown organic food.
Nash realized the importance of locally adapted, organic seed when the company he purchased carrot seed from discontinued his main variety in the late 1990s. More than ten years later, Nash grows his carrots from seed he produces in his own fields. Most organic farmers, like Nash, are experiencing less choice as the seed industry consolidates, dropping many regionally adapted varieties as they merge. The handful of firms that control much of our seed focus on serving large-scale conventional agriculture. The consequence is that organic farmers’ needs are not met.
That’s why OSA is creating the alternative: networks of farmers and plant breeders that develop and preserve superior varieties for organic systems – varieties that compete with weeds, grow optimally in organic soils, don’t rely on pesticides, and efficiently use our limited water and nutrient resources. We’re also establishing regional and national collaborative networks to provide farmers with access to shared knowledge, resources, and infrastructure needed to successfully grow seed for the organic farming community.
In the last two years OSA:
Worked with partners to form the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative, a national network of farmers and researchers breeding and evaluating varieties for organic farms;
Helped launch the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative and other regional networks of seed growers in five states;
Released the State of Organic Seed report, the first comprehensive analysis of the opportunities and challenges to organic seed systems.
The landscape of seed is changing beneath our feet, providing critical opportunities to expand and protect organic seed. OSA works to confront threats to the integrity of organic seed: genetic engineering, patents on plant genetic resources, and seed industry consolidation. This year with the Center for Food Safety and others, we won a lawsuit to prevent the planting of GE sugar beet seed crops in the United States. OSA also advocated for organic seed through meetings with the U.S. Department of Justice on consolidation issues. These historic events signal momentum behind challenging GE crops and the concentrated ownership of seed.
We need your strongest possible support. Your tax-deductible donation helps us ensure a healthy food system for the next generation. Please also consider giving on behalf of someone you care for this holiday season and we’ll send them a card acknowledging your gift. Please visit our holiday gifting page to learn more.
Micaela Colley, Executive Director, and the board and staff of Organic Seed Alliance