Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), with co-hosts Washington State University, Oregon State University, and eOrganic, will hold its 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, OR, from January 30 – February 1, 2014. The conference begins with a full-day tour of seed enterprises in the Willamette Valley, home to a premier seed-growing region and industry. The two-day conference that follows features presentations, panel discussions, and networking events around the theme: Innovation in the Field.
The event is the largest in North America to focus solely on organic seed systems. Session topics range from organic plant breeding, seed production, and distribution, to enhancing policies that support the growth and integrity of the organic seed sector.
The conference offers more than two-dozen sessions ranging from agronomic issues on the farm (seed production and disease management); breeding topics (university projects and participatory models); economic matters (organic seed markets and marketing); and policy discussions (strategies and tools for advancing the organic seed sector).
Presenters are leaders in their field and represent diverse regions, crop types, and farming scales. More than 400 farmers, plant breeders, organic certifiers, policy advocates, and seed and food companies, among others, are expected to attend.
Tom Stearns, founder of High Mowing Organic Seeds based in Wolcott, Vermont, will keynote the conference. High Mowing Organic Seeds is one of the leading organic seed companies in the U.S., supplying both home gardeners and commercial growers. Stearns’ vision has been to create a company that supports the re-building of healthy food systems. He has taught numerous workshops on agricultural education, economics, plant breeding, local food systems, genetic engineering, and other topics.
More than 70 additional experts will present at the conference. A full agenda with speakers can be found at the link below.
The full-day tour preceding the conference is co-hosted by Oregon Tilth, a non-profit research and education organization that also provides organic certification services. The tour includes visits to American Grass Seed Company, Stalford Seed Farms, and Greenwillow Grains; Gathering Together Farm and Wild Garden Seed; and Oregon State University. Seats are limited and are selling fast.
The conference is conveniently located on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis, Oregon. Area hotels offer reasonable rates for participant lodging. Delicious organic food featuring the Northwest’s best will be served throughout the conference. Regional musicians will provide entertainment.
For more information and to register, visit www.seedalliance.org.