Live Stream Webinar Series from the Organic Seed Growers Conference

logo_osgc2014_FINAL_websiteCan’t join us in person at the 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference next week? Organic Seed Alliance and eOrganic will be live streaming a selection of sessions directly from the event. Please see below for the live webinar schedule.

The webinar series is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.

Register today at

Why Organic Seed Matters and How to Meet Demand
Friday January 31, 2014, 9:00a – 10:30a
Organic seed that meets the diverse agronomic challenges and market needs of organic farmers is fundamental to their success and the food system they supply. The organic community has seen tremendous progress in the expansion of organic seed availability. Still, most organic farmers are planting non-organic seed. This session will focus on improving access to, and the use of, organic seed. Topics will include the importance of organic seed in the context of organic integrity and the principle of continual improvement, the 2013 NOP guidance document on organic seed, and demonstrations of new tools and resources.

Speakers: Theresa Podoll, Prairie Road Organic Seed; Erica Renaud, Vitalis Organic Seeds; Zea Sonnabed, CCOF and National Organic Standards Board; Chet Boruff, Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA)

Research Update: Small Grains and Corn
Friday January 31, 2014, 1:00p – 3:30p
The scientific field of organic plant breeding continues to expand. This session will give an overview of innovative organic research being conducting today in small grains and sweet corn. Hear reports from six researchers and participate in the question and answer.

Speakers: Hannah Walters, Seed Matters Graduate Student, Washington State University; Brook Brouwer, Seed Matters Graduate Student, Washington State University; Jonathan Spero, Lupine Knoll Farm; Amadeus Zschunke, Sativa Rheinau; Lisa Kissing Kucek, Cornell University; Adrienne Shelton, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Research Update: Vegetable Crops
Friday, January 31, 2014, 3:30p – 5:00p
There are exciting advances in breeding vegetables for organic production systems. This session will give an overview of innovative organic research being conducting today in vegetable crops. Hear reports from six researchers.

Speakers: Phil Simon, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Laurie McKenzie, Organic Seed Alliance; John Navazio, Organic Seed Alliance; Lori Hoagland, Purdue University; Michael Mazourek, Cornell University

Unpacking the Cell Fusion Debate
Saturday, February 1, 2014, 9:00a – 10:30a 
Last year the National Organic Program (NOP) clarified its position on the use of cell fusion in organic seed production, drawing attention to an ongoing debate involving what should and should not be an excluded method in the organic standards. This session will include both technical and philosophical discussion on the current use of cell fusion in organic seed development, the NOP’s current policy, and what different breeding methods mean for the organic movement and biodiversity.

Speakers: John Navazio, Organic Seed Alliance; Jodi Lew-Smith, High Mowing Organic Seeds; Jim Myers, Oregon State University; Zea Sonnabend, CCOF and National Organic Standards Board

Pollinator Conservation Strategies for Organic Seed Producers
Saturday, February 1, 2014, 1:30p – 3:00p
This session will support organic seed producers with the latest science-based information on maximizing crop yields through the conservation of native pollinators, while at the same time helping them to reduce the risk of outcrossing with non-organic crop varieties. Specific topics include the ecology of specialty seed crop pollinating insects, foraging behaviors and flight range of key native bee groups (and the impact of those foraging ranges on crop isolation), bee-friendly farming practices, development of pollinator habitat on working farms, accessing USDA technical and financial resources for pollinator conservation, and more.

Speakers: Eric Mader, The Xerces Society

Managing Seed-Borne Diseases in Seed Production
Saturday, February 1, 2014, 3:30p – 5:00p
Production of high-quality, pathogen-free seed is particularly important in organic seed crops given the very limited chemical options available for certified organic production, and the risk of producing and distributing contaminated seed lots. Learn about managing diseases in seed production with various research examples from the vegetable seed crop pathology program at Washington State University, and hot water treatment for seed-borne diseases.

Speakers: Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University – Mount Vernon Research & Extension Center; Jodi Lew-Smith, High Mowing Organic Seeds

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