Research and Education Organizations and Events Related to Organic Seed

eOrganic authors:

Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

Linda Brewer, Oregon State University

This is an Organic Seed Resource Guide article.

Nonprofit Organizations Involved in Organic Research and Education

  • Oregon Tilth, Inc. 
    Link:  (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    Oregon Tilth is a nonprofit research and education membership organization dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture. Tilth provides educational resources and sponsors educational events and conferences. The bimonthly paper, In Good Tilth, is delivered free of charge to members. Tilth provides USDA, EU, and Japanese certification services to organic growers, processors, and handlers as well as Salmon Safe certification.
    470 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem, OR 97301
    Phone: 503-378-0690
  • Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) 
    Link:  (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    OSA conducts research and education projects on organic seed production and breeding for organic production systems.
    PO Box 772
    Port Townsend, WA 98368
    Phone: 360-385-7192
  • Public Seed Initiative
    Link: (verified 2 Apr 2010)
    The Public Seed Initiative (PSI) is a cooperative effort amongst Cornell University, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, NY. This program works with farmers and seed companies to develop a vegetable breeding and seed production training program.
    Plant Breeding Contact: Michael Glos
    9398 West Creek Rd.
    Berkshire, NY 13736
    Phone: 607-657-2860
  • Saving Our Seed 
    Link: (verified 11 March 2014)
    Saving Our Seed is a USDA Sustainable Agricultural Research  and Education (SARE) funded project, organized by the Carolina Farm Stewardship  Association and nine partnering organizations, working to increase the  availability of regionally adapted, open pollinated, certified organic seed and  develop a southern seed network. Saving Our Seed offers excellent seed production publications. 
    Cricket Rakita, Seed Project Coordinator
    Carolina Farm Stewardship Organization
    O Box 448
    Pittsboro, NC, 27312
    Phone: (919) 542-2402
  • Tilth Producers of Washington 
    Link:  (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    Tilth Producers is a membership organization of more than 400 Washington growers that sponsors organic educational events and conferences.
    Nancy Allen, Administrative Director
    Phone: 206-442-7620

Conferences and Other Educational Programs

  • Seed conferences. American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). 
    Link:  (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    ASTA hosts several seed conferences each year.
  • Seed Grower’s Conference. Organic Seed Alliance.  
    Link:  (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    OSA hosts a bi-annual conference on organic seed production and breeding for organic systems.
  • Seed Biology, Production, and Quality Short Course. UC Davis Extension and UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center.  
    Link: (verified 2 Apr 2010)
    Two-day short course taught by faculty from UC Davis, Oregon State University, and other land grant universities as well as seed professionals.
  • Distance Education in Seed Analysis. Colorado State Extension.  
    Link:  (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    CSU offers for-credit distance education courses: Seed anatomy and identification, Seed development and metabolism, Seed purity analysis, and Seed germination and viability.  

Seed Trade Associations

  • American Seed Trade Association (ASTA).
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    ASTA's mission is to be an effective voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and free movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life, moving freely across state and international boundaries. To this end, it advocates industry-wide positions on seed-related policies and legislation, promotes global sales of U.S. seed, and maintains positive working relationships with related domestic and international organizations.
    225 Reinekers Ln, Suite 650 
    Alexandra, VA 22314
    Phone: 703-837-8140
  • California Seed Association.
    Link:  (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    The California Seed Association is a nonprofit agricultural trade association which has served the seed industry since 1940.
    Our membership consists of those firms which believe that the best way to achieve common goals and respond to the problems that affect the seed industry is through cooperative effort and group action.

    1521 I St.
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: 916-441-2251
    Fax: 916-446-1063
  • Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA). 
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    OSGATA develops, protects and promotes the organic seed trade and its growers, and assures that the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed, free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture.
    PO Box 772
    Port Townsend, WA 98368
    Phone: 360-385-7192


Published January 19, 2009

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.