Seed World

ASTA CSS Highlights


Several industry awards were presented during the General Session.

The annual corn, Soybean and Sorghum Conference and Seed Expo is America’s largest seed industry conference.

Held in early December at the Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel since 1977, the 2017 event was attended by more than 2,600 registered participants.

Some 160 companies showcased their products and services at Seed Expo 2017.

This year’s Expo featured first-time exhibitors and an expanded display area with a more open feel.

Each year, the Expo features poster presentations by graduate agricultural students from across North America. This year’s presentation included 14 posters focused on various aspects of plant science.

For the first time, ASTA deployed digital eventBit technology to see where attendees spend their time through the event. This behavioral data will be used by ASTA to make sure that future events will offer content and experiences to fulfill the needs of future meeting attendees.

Awarded for contribution

ASTA CSSThe National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (NCCPB) Plant Breeding award was presented to Natalia DeLeon, professor of plant breeding and quantitative genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). DeLeon works in the

UW corn silage and biofeedstock breeding program, the only silage breeding program in the U.S. public sector.

The NCCPB established an award to be presented to a person who has made outstanding basic contributions to the advancement of plant breeding and genetics in the public sector. It is presented annually at the ASTA-CSS conference.

Student Video Contest

ASTA CSSWinners of the first “Better Seed, Better Life” student video contest were also announced at the opening general session. Sponsored by ASTA, the

National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB), and the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies), the contest asked graduate and undergraduate students focusing on plant-science disciplines to submit videos bringing plant breeding innovation to life.

The winning video was produced by Katelyn Fritz of Iowa State University. Katelyn is a junior double majoring in Agronomy and Global Resource Systems with focus areas of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology as well as Central America. Currently she is on an eight-month internship in Guatemala with Semilla Nueva, a small NGO that works to sustainably overcome chronic malnutrition in Guatemala through biofortified corn.

The second place prize was awarded to Stephanie Karhoff, a Ph.D. candidate in Translational Plant Sciences at Ohio State University. Third place was awarded to David Hammett, a plant breeding student at Fort Hays State University.

Featured speakers, popular topics

The opening session keynote speaker was Dan Basse, president and founder of AgResource Company. Back by popular demand, Bassee presented an analysis of global agricultural production

“All agriculture is global,” he said.

Big data was a featured topic in several sessions. Digital agriculture and the role big data will play in driving emerging technologies was addressed by Dr. John Fulton, of Ohio State University. Other presentations highlighted the role of big data in improving field trial precision and in improving crop performance.