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In this issue:
2014-15 ASTA Chairman John Schoenecker Looks at the Coming Year
ASTA Submits Comments on Invasive Species Bill
ASTA Welcomes New Associate Director of Domestic and Government Affairs
ASTA Conference Schedule 2014-15
2014-15 ASTA Chairman John Schoenecker Looks at the Coming Year

Dear ASTA Members-


July 1 officially kicked off the start of ASTA's new fiscal year and my start as your ASTA Chairman.


My thanks to Craig Newman for the great job he did in guiding us through a successful year that included implementing various aspects of ASTA's five-year strategic plan.  The first ever ASTA Seed Leadership Program, in conjunction with the annual convention, trained the next generation of seed industry leaders.  A fresh look at our committee structure brought efficiencies in our meetings and a refined scope with our Innovations and Policy Committee expanding the view of technologies started under the old Biotech Committee. During ASTA's Storm the Hill event, more than 60 visits were held on Capitol Hill advocating for seed industry issues. In addition, the ASTA IP Education and Enforcement Program began to take shape and will become a reality in 2015. Thanks again Craig!


As we move forward, your help will be critical to build on this momentum.  Advocacy is an integral part of the seed industry's success, and I encourage members to "Make Their Voices Heard" about the seed business's impact on farmers, growers and consumers alike. 


Over the next year, we will continue to focus on areas outlined by the strategic plan including ASTA's multi-year communications and issues advocacy program which launched July 1.  With this effort, key seed industry messages will reach larger audiences and promote the benefits of high quality, strong performing seeds. 


Our ASTA team members have always been the go to source for problem solving and they will continue to work on the issues that impact our daily business like phytosanitary issues, seed health and pollinator initatives. We had excellent and detailed presentations on  cover crops at the annual meeting and I hear this is a great opportunity for members with these seed types. 


I again ask all of you to get involved, help yourself and help the industry.  ASTA needs member involvement to be successful and to fulfill its mission. Thanks to all those that have made ASTA such a dynamic organization. Your hard work continues to pay dividends! If you have questions on how to get involved with ASTA, contact the staff at (703)837-8140.


I appreciate your confidence to lead the association over the coming year and I look forward to working with you more closely.  Together, we can continue to make ASTA a strong and powerful voice for the American seed industry.




John Schoenecker 

ASTA Submits Comments on Invasive Species Bill 


On July 3, ASTA submitted comments in favor of H.R. 3994, the Federal Lands Invasive Species Control, Prevention and Management Act.  The legislation was introduced by Representatives Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Steven Horsford (D-NV) and targets reduction of invasive species populations by 5 percent annually. The bill specifies that funds be used for control and management of invasive species in addition to requiring consideration of sound scientific data when making decisions on invasive species control methods. 


ASTA supports the goal to maximize funds to be used for control of invasive species and believes the legislation would decrease the $120 billion in losses caused annually by invasive species and assist land managers in controlling those species that cause environmental harm. 

ASTA Welcomes New Associate Director of Domestic and Government Affairs 


On July 16, 2014 Virginia Houston will join ASTA as the new Associate Director of Domestic and Government Affairs.  Houston will be responsible for assisting in ASTA's federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives.  In addition, Ms. Houston will help bolster the advocacy efforts of the association thorugh organizing ASTA's domestic initiatives, tracking proposed legislation and coordinating comments and testimony to Congress, federal departments and agencies and to state activities. 


Most recently Houston was employed with the Pork Producers Council, where she managed member outreach and legislative research and the PorkPAC.  She held previous positions at the Animal Agriculture Alliance and County of Origin Labeling Program at USDA. 


Houston has a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Mississippi and a master's in Professional Studies from George Washington University. 

ASTA Conference Schedule 2014-15


Save the dates for ASTA's four key meetings.  With re-structured programming and exciting networking opportunities, you won't want to miss these events. 


Farm & Lawn Seed Conference

Nov. 9-10, 2014

Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Mo. 


CSS 2014 & Seed Expo

Dec. 8-12, 2014

Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, Ill. 


54th Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference

Jan. 24-27, 2015

Tampa Marriott Waterside & Marina, Tampa, Fla. 


132nd ASTA Annual Convention

June 17-20, 2015

Washington Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C. 


Seeding Success


It's your membership and financial support that allows ASTA to do this work and get you the information you need. Please encourage other seed industry colleagues to join ASTA and contribute to the success of the industry.

American Seed Trade Association 

1701 Duke Street, Suite 275
, VA  22314

(p) 703.837.8140 │ (f) 703.837.9365

ASTA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact ASTA at 703-837-8140.