February 14-17, Corvallis

US (OR): 'Nation's largest organic seed event' to take place this February

Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), along with co-hosts Washington State University, Oregon State University, and eOrganic, will hold the 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, Oregon, from February 14-17, 2018. The conference features more than 60 experts in the fields of organic seed production, breeding, and policy. The gathering includes a full agenda of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events around the theme of Synergy that Sustains, emphasizing the important role that collaborative networks play in advancing organic seed.



The event begins with two full days of pre-conference intensives and a tour of seed production in the Willamette Valley. The main conference offers more than two-dozen sessions on the topics of seed growing practices, organic plant breeding, seed economics, and organic seed policy. More than 500 seed growers, plant breeders, policy advocates, organic certifiers, seed and food companies, and students, among other stakeholders, are expected to attend.

A full agenda with speakers can be found at www.seedalliance.org/conference. The three pre-conference events beginning on February 14th have limited space so interested participants are encouraged to register early.

The first daylong intensive on February 14th will teach farmers how to navigate the finances of growing seed commercially, including how to manage the associated financial risks. Experts will provide an in-depth training on budgeting tools to evaluate capital investments, expand enterprises, and assess market opportunities.

The second daylong intensive on February 15th will teach farmers and agricultural students on-farm plant breeding and variety development skills. Organic plant breeders will share advice on sourcing germplasm, developing breeding populations, managing crosses, and applying advanced selection techniques. The classroom component will be complemented by a field trip and lab component at Oregon State University’s vegetable and grain breeding programs.

Pre-conference events on February 15th will also include a daylong tour of seed production in the Willamette Valley sponsored by Oregon Tilth. The tour will visit four locations featuring seed production and cleaning facilities on a variety of scales. Tour hosts will share experiences related to managing a diversity of farm types, sizes, and inventories. Locations include Avoca Farm, Kenagy Family Farm, Universal Seed Company, and Heritage Seedlings and Liners.

The conference is held at the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis. Area hotels offer reasonable rates for participant lodging. Additional information regarding registration, travel, parking, hotels, the trade show, and sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.seedalliance.org/conference.

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