Through our autumn newsletter we’d like to introduce you to the inspiring projects and people that OSA’s involved with throughout the year to improve organic seed for farmers and the broader organic community.
As OSA witnessed at the recent Student Symposium on Organic Plant Breeding, the interest in breeding for organic systems is growing. We know that further investments in organic seed will result in improvements that support the environment and address regional food and agriculture needs. This means training in field-based, organic system breeding is more important than ever.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and our land grant university system. Reflecting on the founding missions of both entities provides an opportunity to examine the state of plant breeding and seed, and reinvest in an infrastructure that provides the next generation of breeders genuine opportunity in the field of public plant breeding.
Since this infrastructure was established, certain policies and practices have undermined these founding missions, such as patents on plant genetics and the privatization of research.
Trying to reverse these trends is a daunting task. But confronting such challenges also demands proactive models that forge a better path for managing and improving seed.
And that’s precisely why OSA’s work is so important. Our research and education is resulting in working models where farmers and researchers guide research goals together — where managing seed as a public resource is seen as central to the success of agriculture. And where organic agriculture has an opportunity to create its own path for seed system development.
Organic Seed Alliance