More than 470 seed industry professionals from across the nation gathered in Portland, Oregon June 18-22 for a joint Annual Convention of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and the Oregon Seed Association. ASTA’s Annual Convention brings together the association’s diverse membership to tackle the collective issues confronting the seed industry today. During the meeting, ASTA elected its 2016-2017 officer team which will continue to drive the association’s five year Strategic Plan, focusing strongly on advocacy, efficiency of operations, and internal and external communications.
The 2016-17 ASTA Officer Team is:
- Chair: Mark Hermann, AgReliant Genetics
- First Vice Chair: Tracy Tally, Justin Seeds
- Second Vice Chair: Jerry Flint, DuPont Pioneer
“The seed industry today faces both unprecedented challenges and opportunities,” said incoming Chair Mark Hermann. “Whether it’s the threat of regulatory uncertainty, international issues impacting the movement of seed, or simply a lack of understanding from the public about the importance of the work we do—it’s never been more important that we proactively drive a strong and unified industry to address the issues we will face in the future.”
During his acceptance speech, Hermann vowed to continue ASTA’s strong commitment to be the voice of the American seed industry, to have an open and ongoing dialogue between members and leadership, and to have efficient internal operations to ensure the association is prepared to address whatever issues or threats emerge in the future. He stressed that one of the most pressing issues facing the industry is the general lack of understanding–by the public, legislators, and regulators—about how the seed industry operates and why innovation in plant breeding is vital, not only to the seed industry, but to virtually every aspect of life.
“The continuous advancement in knowledge about how plants function provides information that enables breeders and seed companies opportunities to meet the challenges facing agriculture, and society, today and in the future,” said Hermann. “Whether a company is on the cutting edge of breeding techniques or they can see them on the horizon, what happens in the coming years will impact us all. There will continue to be challenges and opportunities ahead of and I am confident that ASTA is well positioned to lead the seed industry into the future.”
The new ASTA leadership team will begin official duties on July 1.