Seed Series at Organicology 2013

OSA is a proud co-host of Organicology, an interactive conference designed to meet the diverse needs of our rapidly expanding trade. The conference offers educational and networking events that enhance the understanding and skills of our diverse organic community, from seed producers and farmers, to distributors, retailers, researchers, chefs, policy activists, and eaters.

OSA is leading a series of workshops, intensives, and roundtables that focus on current seed issues. See below for details, and register today.

We hope you’ll join us February 7th – 9th, 2013 in Portland, Oregon for this unique conference!

Organic Seed Production 101 Intensive

Thursday, February 7, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Learn the fundamental skills to produce seed and adapt varieties to your organic farm conditions. Join Organic Seed Alliance’s organic plant breeding specialists Dr. John Navazio, Micaela Colley, and Jared Zystro for a daylong intensive that will cover: the biology of seed production, seed harvest and cleaning, choosing appropriate seed crops for your system and climate, maintaining the genetic integrity of varieties with appropriate population sizes and isolation distances, conducting variety trials, and basic on-farm breeding techniques, such as mass selection and progeny testing.

Seed Swap

Thursday, February 7, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. What would Organicology be without an awesome Seed Swap? Bring your seeds and empty envelopes and join fellow participants to kick off the conference weekend by trading your favorite varieties! We’ll have seed experts from all walks there to answer questions and share their knowledge.

Understanding Organic Seed Availability

Friday, February 8, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. How do organic seed varieties become available and where can you find them? This workshop will give certifiers, extension agents, and farmers the tools they need to source more organic seed. Topics will include the current state of organic seed systems, how to find existing online resources on organic seed through eXtension, Organic Seed Finder database, methods for moving forward to increase the quantity and quality of organic seed, and more.

Protecting Organic Integrity in the Face of GE Crops

Friday, February 8, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The debate around genetically engineered (GE) crops and their impact on the integrity and success of organic production systems has risen to a new level. This session will focus on the interface of GE and organic, including overviews of the science, regulatory system, economic impacts, environmental concerns, and policy initiatives underway to address these challenges and protect the integrity of organic.

A Collaborative Approach to Strengthening Organic Seed Systems

Friday, February 8, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Strong organic seed systems are crucial to the success of the broader organic community. This workshop addresses the need for buy-in from the entire organic food chain to increase the quantity and quality of organic seed. Panelists will share positive efforts within the organic community, including food companies that are pro-actively requiring organic seed in contracts with farmers and organic plant breeding collaboratives between the private and public sector. Participants will join a larger strategy discussion on how to replicate the positive examples shared by panelists.

Bridging the Gap Between Plant Breeders and Eaters

Saturday, February 9, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Organic vegetable and seed production is on the rise in the Pacific Northwest, but what regional needs are still not being met? This listening session brings together produce purchasers, retailers, eaters, plant breeders, seed companies, and other stakeholders in identifying variety and seasonal organic production gaps in the Pacific Northwest to inform organic plant breeding needs.

Upcoming OSA Events

Tilth Producers of Washington Annual Conference | November 9-11, 2012  Join OSA’s Kristina Hubbard at Tilth Producers of Washington’s annual conference in Port Townsend, Washington. Twenty-five workshops will be offered throughout the weekend by organic and sustainable farmers, researchers and agency educators. Included will be an OSA workshop on seed concentration and protecting organic integrity. For more information, please visit the Tilth Producers of Washington website.

Using the eOrganic Organic Seed Production Tutorials Webinar | November 16, 2012 Join us on November 16, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. PST for an eOrganic webinar introducing a new eXtension online course created by Organic Seed Alliance.

The Organic Seed Production Tutorials include instructions on producing beets and chard, brassicas, carrots, lettuce, onions, and wet-seeded crops. The tutorials also cover climatic considerations, and seed disease and quality. The tutorials combine text, images, audio, and video to teach professional techniques for organic seed production.

To register for the webinar, visit

For more information, contact Cathleen McCluskey.

Southern SAWG Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference | January 23-26, 2013  Join OSA for Southern SAWG’s annual conference in Littlerock, Arkansas. The conference will include a seed track co-organized by OSA staff. For more information, please visit the Southern SAWG Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference website.

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