Washington, ME- May 31, 2012- The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) has hired Holli Cederholm as their general manager in charge of technical assistance, organizational development and communications. She joins OSGATA with experience as an organic farmer, seed grower, seed company professional and freelance writer.
Cederholm says, "The reasons I'm drawn to organic farming compel me to OSGATA. The organization's mission and work to date resonate with my own values and practices. I'm passionate about vibrant rural landscapes and healthy well-fed communities, about the preservation of biodiversity and the stewarding of the stories that celebrate our collective cultural identity. This all relates to seed."
Cederholm labels heirloom winter squash cultivars in her farmers' market booth at MOFGA's annual Common Ground Fair.
She has been involved in organic agriculture in the state of Maine since 2005 and founded her own small-scale certified organic Proud Peasant Farm in 2010 through the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association's Farmers in Residence program. Issues of diversity and seed integrity are at the core of the operation, which annually produces over 200 cultivars of vegetables grown exclusively from open-pollinated seed for sale at local farmers' markets and through a small Community Supported Agriculture(CSA) program.
Another aspect of Cederholm's farm is organic seed production. Several years of seed saving combined with confidence gained through attending the 6th Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) Organic Seed Growers Conference in Port Townsend, WA, led Proud Peasant Farm to sign its first ever seed contract last winter. This season's seed crop list includes peppers, tomatoes and poppies for Fedco, an OSGATA business member, in Clinton, ME where Cederholm has been a worker-member since 2009.
Cederholm's background in writing and communications includes five years of freelance writing and editing following the completion of an Environmental Writing degree at Unity College in Unity, ME.
Previous manager Laura Parker of Montrose, Colorado leaves OSGATA to establish her own farm focused on organic seed production.
OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen says, "We wish Laura the best as she shifts her focus back to organic farming. We are grateful for her good work in helping grow OSGATA into an effective national trade organization dedicated to protecting organic seed and the organic community at large."