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In this issue:
Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference Registration Now Open
District Court Judge Overturns Hawaii GMO Ruling
FuSE to Host NPGS Webinar
Donate to Build Therapeutic Gardens for Young Adults with Autism
Spots Still Available for Colorado Ed Unit
Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference Registration Now Open
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Registration for ASTA's fastest growing event is now open.  Held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina January 24-27, 2015, the Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference offers unrivaled networking and educational opportunities for the global vegetable and flower seed industry. 

 

Join attendees from over 25 countries for sessions on important issues facing the vegetable and flower seed industry including emerging diseases, organic seed, phytosanitary concerns and food safety.   Popular presenter Dr. David Clark, founder of the Floriculture Biotechnology and Genetics Laboratory at the University of Florida, will also return to deliver the keynote address during the opening general session.


New this year, tabletop exhibits and appointment tables can now be reserved online.  More information, including a schedule of events, can be found here. 
 

District Court Judge Overturns Hawaii GMO Ruling  

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Kaua'i County Ordinance 960, a controversial bill concerning the regulation and various disclosures of pesticides and genetically modified organisms, has been overturned.  The regulation required seed companies to disclose specific pesticides used on seeds and establish buffer zones around applicable areas such as schools and hospitals.  On August 25, United States District Court Judge Barry Kurren issued a ruling on Syngenta Seeds, Inc., et al. v. Kauai County, stating that the ordinance was preceded by state law and was therefore invalid - a concern raised by ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne in his opposition testimony on the bill, submitted to the legislature in July, 2013.

 

In his testimony, LaVigne noted  the ordinance was in violation of existing federal law as laid out by Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution - the Interstate Commerce Clause - as it would have put unreasonable restraint on interstate commerce by prohibiting the use of bioengineered seeds within Kaua'i County.  In addition, three federal agencies already monitor the use of bioengineered seeds: the Environmental Protection Agency, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Food and Drug Administration.  The nature of the ordinance was therefore unnecessary, and would have put undue burdens on farmers, consumers, and companies doing business in Kaua'i County if enforced.

 

ASTA continues to monitor the situation in Hawaii as well as those in other states where similar legislation is proceeding. 

FuSE to Host NPGS Webinar

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Registration is open for the Future Seed Executives (FuSE)  Genetic Resources and the National Plant Germplasm System Roundtable Discussion.  The event will take place on Tuesday, Oct.  14 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. est.


 The webinar will familiarize seed professionals with the USDA Agricultural Resource System's  National Genetic Resources program with emphasis on the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) that collects, documents, conserves, evaluates, enhances and distributes plant genetic resources used by agriculture worldwide.


 Presenters Stephanie Greene, Gary Pederson, Gary Kinard and Christina Walters will discuss topics including the expansion and management of NPGS, preserving plant genetic resources, the Germplasm Resources Information Network and developing strategies to increase the effectiveness of plant genebanks.  The session will conclude with a Q&A with the panel.


 Registration is $20 for ASTA members and $25 for nonmembers. For registration and additional information, visit the FuSE website.

Donate to Build Therapeutic Gardens for Young Adults with Autism

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The National Garden Bureau (NGB) is seeking donations for the "Growing for Futures" program.  Funds will be used to build vocational therapy gardens that cultivate agriculture and life skills for young adults with autism through growing vegetables and herbs.  The first beneficiary of the National Garden Bureau's effort is the Growing Solutions Farm in Chicago, which has had success teaching 20 students on a 1.2 acre plot of land.  NGB's long-term goal is to raise $50,000 to expand therapeutic gardens around the country.  Those interested can donate online until Oct. 23, 2014 or mail contributions to National Garden Bureau, 1311 Butterfield Road, Suite 310, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

For more information, click here

Spots Still Available for Colorado Ed Unit 

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The Future Seed Executives (FuSE) will host an educational unit in La Junta and Rocky Ford, Colo., Sept.23-25, 2014.  This three day seminar will include in-depth learning on seed processing, innovations in agriculture, the function of higher education systems in local agriculture and the evolution of the Rocky Ford Growers Association.  Registration is $100 for ASTA members and $150 for nonmembers, and closes on Sept. 22. 

 

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
Alexandria
, 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.