Seed World

Stephen Smith Receives ASTA Lifetime Honorary Member Award

During the American Seed Trade Association’s banquet this evening (June 23), chairman Mark Herrmann recognized Stephen Smith of DuPont Pioneer with the ASTA Lifetime Honorary Member Award, one of the association’s most prestigious awards.

Smith, who will be retiring from DuPont Pioneer, was recognized for his untiring service to the association, as well as the seed industry. Smith has served on intellectual property committees of ASTA and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, also known as BIO. He chairs the International Seed Federation ‘s Intellectual Property Committee, not to mention he is a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and received ASTA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005.

“Dr. Stephen Smith is widely known, well-respected and deeply committed to the seed industry,” said Herrmann during the award presentation. “An unfailing volunteer, a tireless worker and an unrelenting defender and advocate of intellectual property rights, he has traveled the country and the work attending meetings, giving speeches, organizing symposia and other activities related to intellectual property for the seed industry.”

At DuPont Pioneer, Smith secured the company’s intellectual property rights and demonstrated the important role of plant genetic resources in plant breeding. He lead a grass roots campaign that resulted in one of the first contribution by the private seed sector of $1 million to the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Furthermore, he along with other members of the seed industry and ASTA staff finally helped persuade the U.S. Senate to ratify the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Most recently, Smith has been serving as a visiting scientist and lecturer at Iowa State University in the departments of agronomy and seed science.

Smith first started with DuPont Pioneer more than 30 years ago with a temporary assignment to study the relationship between teosinte and modern corn, but that temporary assignment led to a career-long passion. Smith’s research interests include genetic diversity, germplasm access and benefit sharing, use of molecular data for variety identification, sustainable use of genetic diversity to improve agricultural productivity, pedigree analysis of crop varieties and intellectual property protection.

He earned his bachelor’s from the University of London and from the University of Birmingham in England a master’s in conservation and plant genetic resources and a doctorate on the evolution of maize.

Congratulations to Stephen Smith.

Note: This article has been updated due to an error. The name was originally reported as Paul Smith; however, it is Stephen Smith.