Jan 7, 2020
Organic Seed Growers Conference coming to Oregon in February
The Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), along with co-hosts Washington State University, Oregon State University, and eOrganic, will hold the 10th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, Oregon, from February 12-15, 2020.
The conference is the largest event focused solely on organic seed in North America, bringing together hundreds of seed growers, plant breeders, researchers, students, seed companies, food companies, policy advocates, and others from across the U.S. and around the world.
The biennial conference has been convening the organic seed community for nearly two decades and includes a packed agenda of presentations, panel discussions, networking events, and time for celebration. Farm tours and short courses will be held prior to the full two-day conference.
The 10th-anniversary biennial conference theme charges participants to “Reflect. Renew. Resolve.” The year 2020 begins a new decade and provides inspiration for participants to look back and take stock of growth in the organic seed sector while collectively creating a future for organic seed that supports the health of both people and planet.
The conference welcomes Ricardo Salvador, senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, to provide the event’s keynote address. Salvador is a renowned speaker on the connections between food and health, the environment, economic development, food sovereignty, and social justice. His address will complement the conference track and daylong intensive focused on organic seed as a social movement.
The event begins with two full days of pre-conference intensives and a tour of seed production in the Willamette Valley. The main conference features more than 70 leaders working in the areas of farm-scale organic seed production, plant breeding, organic seed policy and advocacy, and seed ethics and justice.
A full agenda with speakers can be found at www.seedalliance.org/conference.
There are four pre-conference events that have limited space and require pre-registration. Interested participants are encouraged to register early. These events include:
- Seed Ethics Participatory Intensive (Wednesday, February 12th)
The first daylong intensive will be held as a moderated open forum to discuss how to build ethical seed networks. The intensive is offered free of charge but pre-registration is required.
- Willamette Valley Seed Tour (Thursday, February 13th)
Tour participants will visit a number of seed enterprises that call this world-class seed production region home. The cost is $150 for the tour, breakfast, and lunch. Pre-registration is required.
- Organic Plant Breeding Intensive (Thursday, February 13th)
This daylong intensive provides a crash course in organic plant breeding to help participants take their on-farm breeding skills to the next level. The cost is $150 for the intensive, breakfast, and lunch.
- Organic Variety Trial and Culinary Evaluation Intensive (Thursday, February 13th)
Participants will not only learn how to design and implement a variety trial, but how to set up a successful culinary evaluation as well. Farmers, researchers, and chefs will lead this daylong intensive. The cost is $100 for the intensive, breakfast, lunch, and tasting.
The two-day conference agenda runs from Friday, February 14th, through Saturday, February 15th. The main event includes more than 20 timely and practical presentations and panel discussions featuring experts from a broad range of practices and experiences. The agenda also includes research poster sessions, a seed swap and seed expo, an art exhibit and bookstore, other networking events and more.
The conference is held at the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis. Area hotels offer reasonable rates for participant lodging. The conference website also includes a tool that allows participants to share lodging and rides to the event.
Additional information regarding registration, travel, parking, hotels, and sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.seedalliance.org/conference.