Taking Seed Production to the Next Level in Montana

9402748609_67859dd1a2_bOSA will lead a course next month in conjunction with the Montana Organic Association’s annual conference. The course will take place on December 12, 2013, at the Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell.

OSA’s senior scientist, Dr. John Navazio, who also serves as the Extension’s organic seed specialist at Washington State University, will teach the course.

Participants will learn how to strengthen their specialty crop seed production skills and how to adapt varieties to their farms. The course will cover the following topics: 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 variety improvement techniques.

“We are excited and honored to have John Navazio bring his extensive organic seed production and breeding knowledge to Montana. This has been a long time in the making, and we believe the information producers will gain from him at the workshop and at the Montana Organic Association conference will help us continue to build a resilient organic seed system in Montana,” says Judy Owsowitz, owner of Terrapin Farm, a diversified seed and produce farm in Whitefish, Montana. Judy also serves on the board of the Montana Organic Association and is a steering committee member of an emerging Montana organic seed producer cooperative.

The Flathead Valley Community College is located at 777 Grandview Drive in Kalispell, Montana. The course is from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration is $25 and includes lunch.

Prior experience in seed growing or completion of the Montana Seed School with Native Seeds SEARCH is a pre-requisite. Space is limited. Attendance at the Montana Organic Association conference from December 13 – 14, 2013, is encouraged but not required.

The course is made possible by support from LCCDC’s Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, Flathead Valley Community College, the Montana Organic Association, Organic Seed Alliance, and the USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program.

Register at www.montanaorganicassociation.org.

For more information, contact Karl Sutton at karl.sutton@lakecountycdc.org or 406-676-5901.

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