Registration for the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference is now open!
Join OSA and co-hosts Oregon State University, Washington State University, and eOrganic for the largest organic seed event in the U.S. Expand your seed knowledge and skills, hear the latest in scientific research, and discover new resources and tools that help you breed, grow, and sell more seed. Together we are changing our food system one seed at a time. Join us for this unique opportunity to trade knowledge, techniques, and ideas that strengthen our organic seed community — it’s the only event of its kind!
Our biennial conference brings together hundreds of farmers, plant breeders, seed companies, food companies, organic certifiers, policy advocates, and other stakeholders for two days of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events. This is a unique opportunity to trade knowledge, techniques, and ideas that strengthen our rapidly growing organic seed community. The conference week includes an agenda of over 80 experts in their fields and more than two-dozen sessions, a daylong organic seed production intensive, a tour of organic seed in the Willamette Valley, and a number of social events, including a vegetable tasting from our trials. You can also expect good organic food, live music, celebrations, and great networking opportunities.
We have quite the week planned for our gathering at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, this February. Here’s a quick overview:
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Organic Seed Production Intensive
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Pre-Conference Tour of Organic Seed in the Willamette Valley
Friday, February 5, 2016
8th Organic Seed Growers Conference
Saturday, February 6, 2016
8th Organic Seed Growers Conference
SESSIONS AND SPEAKERS
We couldn’t be more excited about the well-rounded agenda that includes over two-dozen sessions and 80+ experts in the fields of organic plant breeding, seed production, seed policy, and much more.
Sessions include cutting-edge research and timely conversations focused completely on organic seed. Titles include:
• Farmer Participation in Plant Breeding: Models from Canada, Europe, and the United States
• Breeding Better Brassicas for Organic Agriculture
• Addressing Intellectual Property Rights in Organic Seed Systems
• Seed Economics: How to Make Growing and Selling Seed More Profitable
• Creating Plant Breeding Populations for Organic Systems
• Seed Equipment: On-farm Innovations
• Which Plant Breeding Techniques Should be Allowed in Organic Agriculture?
• Building Resilient Seed Systems: Implications for Germplasm Conservation, Plant Breeding, and the Organic Seed Community
• Vegetable Breeding Research Updates
• Grain Variety Selection for Organic Food Production
• How Can Organic Seed Growers Address GMO Contamination?
• Education as a Profit Center in Organic Seed Operations
• Community Plant Breeding: Engaging Stakeholders Across the Food System From Eaters to Breeders
• Breeding Crops for Organic Adaptation, Resilience, Vigor, and Flavor
• Organic Cover Crop Seed Production
• Organic Seed Activism: A Primer and Toolkit
• Strategies for Organic and Low-Input Breeding and Management
• Regional Organic Grain Breeding
• Vegetable Seed Production: Scaling up
• Organic Seed Purity Listening Session
• The Breeding Perspectives of a Successful, Independent Seed Company
• Breeding for Resiliency in the Face of Climate Chaos
•Hybrid Variety Development: Dispelling Myths and Inspiring New Ideas
•Managing Seed Borne Disease: Brassica Black Leg and Implications for Organic Seed Producers and Industry
•Germplasm Conservation and Access to Genetic Resources
•Building Community Through Seed
•Building Community Resilience Through the Upper Midwest Indigenous Seed Network
ORGANIC SEED PRODUCTION INTENSIVE FOR FARMERS
Interested in learning how to grow organic seed? Join us for this pre-conference training on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, in Corvallis, Oregon. OSA’s Jared Zystro and Steve Peters will lead this daylong intensive that will cover basic seed production for new farmers. Instructors will provide an in-depth look at the fundamental techniques of seed production, including organic disease management, managing selfers versus crossers, seed crop spacing and timing, and fertility and irrigation needs. Participants will learn methods and tools for determining seed maturation, harvesting, threshing, cleaning, and handling, with hands-on demonstrations. The intensive will also include the principles needed to improve seed quality, manage isolation distances, avoid genetic contamination, and select seed crops for local adaptation while maintaining healthy, diverse crop varieties. We expect the intensive will sell out, so register early!
When: Wednesday, February 3, 2016, from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $100.00 includes daylong intensive, breakfast, and lunch (NOTE: does not include registration for the full conference or the tour.)
TOUR OF ORGANIC SEED IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Hop on the bus to expand your seed education in the field with Organic Seed Alliance and tour co-host Oregon Tilth. This year’s pre-conference tour will showcase the diversity of organic plant breeding projects in the region and partnerships at Oregon State University, including the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC), the Tomato Organic Management and Improvement project (TOMI), Squash Party, and the Oregon State University barley breeding program, among others. Tour participants will learn first-hand from experienced seed growers and seed companies. The tour will also include a visit to the inner operations of the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository. From seeds to breeds to genetic conservation you won’t want to miss this opportunity to see seed systems in action. This tour sells out every year, so register early!
When: Thursday, February 4, 2016, from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Cost: $120.00 includes daylong bus tour, breakfast, and lunch (NOTE: does not include registration for the full conference or the organic seed production intensive.)
Participating in the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference Trade show is your business or organization’s best opportunity to showcase your products and work, while networking with conference participants throughout the weekend.
$300.00 — 6′ Business Trade Show Booth
$160.00 — 6′ Non-profit or Government Organization
$80.00 — 3′ Non-profit or Government Organization
Trade show booth fees do not include conference registration, lodging, or meals. Conference registration for trade show booth participants is required and must be done separately. Register for the full conference here.
The conference location at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, provides unique networking opportunities for trade show participants. Booths are clustered in high volume areas throughout the main hall, allowing for extensive exposure. Additionally, the conference agenda designates times for participants to visit trade show booths on each day of the main conference.
Trade show booths are available on a first come, first serve basis. Reserve your place today, as space is limited. Access to power cannot be guaranteed. If you require access to power, please contact Cathleen McCluskey before reserving your space.
Conference organizers have worked hard to make the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference affordable and have secured scholarship funding for eligible individuals needing financial assistance.
Scholarship awards will support registration costs for the main conference programming on Friday, February 5th, and Saturday, February 6th. These scholarships are available to farmers who net less than $50,000 per year, and agricultural interns and students. A portion of this year’s scholarship awards are reserved for 1) beginning farmers, 2) Latino farmers, and 3) Canadian farmers.
Scholarship funds are limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Please apply early to increase your chances of receiving assistance. Scholarships are made possible thanks to our conference sponsors, the USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher Grant Program, and The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.
Applications are due no later than December 11, 2015. Apply here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Have questions about the conference location, where to stay, how to get to Corvallis, and more? Visit our Conference FAQ page for all your conference related questions.
We have answers to your conference related questions:
• Conference Center Location
• Driving Directions to Conference Center
• Parking at Conference Center
• Getting to Corvallis from Outside of Oregon
• Conference Registration
• Dietary Restrictions
• Cancellation Policy