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In this issue:
ASTA Unveils Enhanced Members Only Portal
Graduate Student Opportunities at CSS 2014 & Seed Expo: Attend in Person or Online
IEC Meets with USDA
FuSE to Host NPGS Webinar
House Agriculture Committee Holds Soil Health Hearing
Seedsman Don Wertman Retires
ISF Communications Manager Position Open
ASTA Unveils Enhanced Members Only Portal
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On Sept. 5, ASTA launched an enhanced version of its Members Only website.  The site offers improved functionality and design with an all-new "Issue Areas" section that allows ASTA members exclusive access to documents like federal comment letters, draft proposals and meetings proceedings.  Committee members will also be able to access presentations, minutes and agendas.


 
In addition, the new site allows seamless transitions between public and protected information by using the navigation bar at the top of the webpages.  To access the exclusive content, visit the login page.


 
If you need assistance with your account, please contact the ASTA office at (703) 837-8140 or info@amseed.org


Graduate Student Opportunities at CSS 2014 & Seed Expo: Attend in Person or Online

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The ASTA Program Planning Committee invites graduate students in corn, sorghum and soybean breeding programs to present posters summarizing their thesis work at the CSS 2014 & Seed Expo in Chicago Dec. 8-12.  Interested students should review and complete the application packet by Nov. 15. 

 

Attendance is required during the judging period on Wednesday, Dec. 10 from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.   Prizes will be awarded for 1st ($300), 2nd ($200) and 3rd ($100) place posters.


 
All students will receive complimentary CSS registration with a copy of their student ID.  For those unable to attend the conference, session proceedings will be available online immediately following each session.  


IEC Meets With USDA

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ASTA's International Executive Committee, which is responsible for maintaining relationships with international organizations, promoting the global sale of U.S. seeds and directing ASTA staff in spending U.S.D.A. grants, met in Washington, D.C. Sept. 8-9.  The IEC met with USDA Foreign Agriculture Service's Office of Trade Programs staff Christian Foster, Deputy Administrator and Curt Alt, Cooperator Programs Divisor, and shared the success of ASTA's international program and informed USDA of upcoming activities.  ASTA has submitted seven success stories to USDA, including work on an International Seed Federation low level presence position paper and an International Plant Protection Convention draft seed standard.  


 


 


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 Research Service's National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) that collects, documents, conserves, evaluates, enhances and distributes plant genetic resources used by agriculture researchers worldwide.


 
Presenters include research leaders, a plant physiologist and plant geneticist who 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 session with the panel.


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


House Agriculture Committee Holds Soil Health Hearing

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Feeding the world was the common topic of conversation in Thursday's hearing on the benefits of promoting soil health held by the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry.  According to the United Nations, the global population is expected to exceed nine billion people by 2050.  Hearing witness Jason Weller, National Resource Conservation Service Chief, noted American famers will need to grow as much food in the next 50 years as agricultural producers have in the past 500 years.


 
Among the topics discussed during the hearing, all panelists and Members of Congress present agreed on the importance of utilizing cover crops as a tool to promote healthy soils.  According to Weller, cover crops offer one of the best risk management tools for farmers, to protect yields in stressful times, such as the 2012 drought.  According to the NRCS, in a study of 750 Midwestern farmers, producers who utilized cover crops saw an 11% increase in yield in corn production and a 14% increase in yield in soybeans despite the harsh conditions.


 
Additional panelists including Jim Harbach, a farmer from Loganton, Pa.; Jill Sackett, an extension educator from the University of Minnesota; Jon Larsen, CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts and Shannon Phillips of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.  All agreed that cover crops were important in promoting both soil health and water quality.  


Seedsman Don Wertman Retires

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Past ASTA Chairman and Honorary Member Don Wertman announced his retirement from Seedway in early September.  Wertman has lead Seedway for 28 years and held many leadership roles in the seed industry and his community.  He began his career at the Emmaus seed processing plant in 1966 and became Chief Operating Officer in 1987.  Under his leadership, Seedway sales have grown to over $130 million.  

Wertman's retirement is effective August, 2015.


ISF Communications Manager Position Open

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The International Seed Federation is now accepting applications for a Communications Manager.  The employee will be responsible for internal and external communications including developing a communications strategy, managing media inquiries, informing ISF members on industry related issues and managing the ISF web presence.


 
Interested individuals should have three years of relevant experience, strong writing skills and attention to detail.  Knowledge of foreign language is preferred. The position is located in Nyon, Switzerland and will require travel. 


 
For more information, visit the ISF website.  Applications are accepted until Sept. 30. 

 

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.